Today’s Reading: Psalms 72-77
Today’s Reflection: Psalms 72:1-4
1) Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son! 2) May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice! 3) Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness! 4) May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor!
Looking at leadership in our world today it’s hard to see anyone who has the interest of the average person at heart. The gap between the rich and poor grows; the wealthy and the corporations who make them rich avoid taxes while the working class bear the burden of funding government while at constant risk of losing their jobs. Politicians seem to be more caught up in partisan debates and planning on how to cash in on their government connections with book deals, speaking tours and consultants fees, than on meeting the needs of the public. Sadly they’ve proven more likely to bail out failing companies than to provide relief to the unemployed or underemployed.
Psalm 72 shows a definitive contrast. Written by Solomon after he became King, it is the plea of a man asking God to give him a heart to rule fairly. Within the first few verses he asks that he be a man who will rule righteously in God’s sight and twice asks to be such a one as to defend the poor from oppression. Solomon was clearly focused early on ensuring he was a servant to his people rather than acting in service of his own interests. What’s most interesting is that God answered his requests. According to the report of the Queen of Sheba:
2 Chronicles 9:5-8 – 5) And she said to the king, “The report was true that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom, 6) but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. And behold, half the greatness of your wisdom was not told me; you surpass the report that I heard. 7) Happy are your wives! Happy are these your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 8) Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and set you on his throne as king for the LORD your God! Because your God loved Israel and would establish them forever, he has made you king over them, that you may execute justice and righteousness.”
1 Timothy 2:1-2 instructs us to pray for our leaders, and we should. But Psalms 72 tells us if our leaders turn to God and pray to be good, fair, just and honourable leaders, God will hear them and give them what they ask for.
1 Kings 3:10-12 – 10) It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11) And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12) behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.