The king is dead, king live the king!
A psalm about king Solomon, but more about the ideal, the role of kingship than any human could achieve. Setting out God’s ideal of kingship, it naturally anticipates and describes the Messiah.
They don’t know if David wrote it about his son, or Solomon himself did. David ‘son of Jesse’ scores a mention at the end, to wrap up book two, which is described as a collection of his prayers. Strikingly in a psalm all about kingship, he’s not called ‘king David’ the prayers haven’t been about his glory, but Gods.
So what is the ideal king like? He has the justice and righteousness of God, his government is dependable and for the benefit of the people.
He defends the poor and afflicted. Care for the weak is a thread everywhere in the Bible, is just so pervasive. I keep getting jolted every time Donald Trump treats aid as a transaction or a bargaining chip. If he doesn’t think it’s buying any benefit for the US, he cuts it: it’s never motivated by the need of the recipients.
There is breadth, length of rule and abundance of prosperity beyond what any earthly king could dream.
I loved the evocative description of soft rain falling on fields of mown grass to describe abundance and blessing. I associate the psalm with that smell memory now.
Then it runs though the same qualities again, but turned up further:
The king treats as precious every drop of blood of the poor, needy and afflicted.
He’ll be in glorious reign for ever, rule every nation.
Crops will be so abundant they sway on tops of every mountain as well as in the fields .
Then it ends with a burst of praise to God directly.
Then the bit about it being the conclusion of the prayers of David.
Well Solomon did achieve a wealth and peace and power David never knew. But David’s prayers, his rule, his life has been all about the glory and eternal saving power of God.
Both their roles as king ended and had flaws, but this model of what a king should be, that they could imagine and evoke in part, but not sustain, outlasted their kingdoms, fulfilled in Jesus.
I’m obsessing on the US mid term elections, now 3 days away. I’m dying to know the result, maybe to have president Trump called to account by resurgent democrats.
It’s my vice. I trawl my phone last thing at night, first thing in the morning and at lunchtime for developments, and try to stop myself at other times. It’s quite compulsive!
I can’t stand to see power used so crassly. The rule of unapologetic lying and selfishness. It’s just such a gross example. I long to see right triumph, the weak get their due.
I need to keep talking about it to myself as a stupid obsession, because it is. All earthly kingdoms are corrupt. My energies are given me to seek first the kingdom of God.
Earthly power can be a means to that end I suppose, a bit, sometimes. But for most of us practically, it a hobby, a time waster, not the real game. Seeking the kingdom in my own little sphere means seeing the preciousness of the weak and vulnerable, living generously, modelling abundance, living out and talking the eternal power realities, the rule of Christ. The kingdom is forever AND NOW.