I have been reflecting on Psalm 72. This is a recoded prayer from King David for his son Solomon, who will be the next king of Israel. King David was a renowned king. He was the second king of Israel who united the kingdom and ushered in peace and prosperity. He was the covenant king as Yahweh promised that his throne would see no end, referring to the coming Messiah. To this day there is no more revered king to the people of Israel than King David.
But David’s human reign could not last forever. He too would pass and another would take his place. God’s chosen successor was Solomon, the second child from the marriage of David and Bathsheba. Solomon was a very significant king in his own right. He was to be the king who would build the first temple of Israel, a dwelling place for the presence of God. David would supply all of the resources, but it was Solomon’s task to execute the building project and see it through to completion. There was much on the line.
So what does David pray for his son? The themes of this prayer are powerful and instructional.
David asks Yahweh to provide Solomon with a clear sense of justice and righteousness as he leads. Kingship is a heady thing. It is easy to lose perspective on the purposes of your rule and role. David understood that Solomon must be a righteous and just ruler.
David also prayed that Solomon would be a protector of the defenseless. Once a leader tastes power it is easy to use people rather than defend them and provide for their needs.
David prayed for a prosperous reign, one that would continue the national peace and be recognized by the nations surrounding Israel.
David prays that Solomon would be a redeemer king, one who free his people from oppressors. David longed for Solomon to be a king who would look out for the needy and the weak.
David prayed that Solomon would be a king who would experience abundance of provision that all the people might be blessed.
Finally, David acknowledges that it is God’s glory that is most important. It is He who sustains leaders and uses them to bring His storyline to full fruition. It is His name that matters more than any leader’s name.
Take a fresh look at this Psalm, this prayer for a future and coming leader. What are your observations? How did this turn out for Solomon?