Summary: The blessings of Jesus realised in the praises of God.
A DOXOLOGY FIT FOR KING JESUS
It is surely no mistake that the benediction which concludes Book II of the Biblical collection of Psalms, is incorporated into the postscript of Psalm 72. This Psalm is one of the most clearly Messianic (or Christological) in the whole Psalter. Christians have, from time immemorial, recognised Jesus as the fullest fulfilment of the ideal king in this chapter.
Psalm 72:1. As king, Jesus has the power to establish justice. He is endowed with righteousness as the King’s Son. We submit to His kingship, and pray for the manifestation of His righteous judgment.
Psalm 72:2. As quickly as the prayer is uttered we are presented with a definite answer: His people shall benefit from His righteous judgment. There is no partiality (Romans 2:11), but the poor in spirit do have God’s favour (Matthew 5:3). We should desire this gracious rule in our own hearts.
Psalm 72:3. The mountains will bring “shalom”: peace, prosperity, wellbeing. This is because the kingdom is established in righteousness (Isaiah 32:17). Jesus Himself is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30), and our peace (Ephesians 2:14).
Psalm 72:4. Jesus our king brings justice and salvation to His people (Luke 4:18-19). He also executes righteous judgment against those who oppress His people. Nothing, and no-one, can separate us from the love of God which is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Psalm 72:5. Jeremiah speaks of the ordinances of sun, moon and stars (Jeremiah 31:35-36; Jeremiah 33:20-21). The prophet foresees Jesus when he says that as long as these things remain, there will be a king to sit upon the throne of David. There shall also always be a people to reverence King Jesus.
Psalm 72:7. God’s people flourish when Jesus is manifested amongst them. Then they abound in “shalom”: peace, prosperity, wellbeing. Again, the Psalmist draws our attention to the ordinance of the moon.
The extent of the dominion of the Davidic kings (Psalm 72:8-10) was never fully realised beyond the times of King Solomon - and began to recede rapidly thereafter. King Jesus embraces ‘all nations’ (Psalm 72:11), whether we acknowledge Him or not. Based as it is in the righteousness of God, His reign brings salvation to all who call upon Him (Psalm 72:12-14).
Jesus’ reign is a reign of abundance (Psalm 72:15). The city that submits to King Jesus, whether Geneva or Glasgow or elsewhere, flourishes (Psalm 72:16). (Unknown to many these days, the motto of the City of Glasgow in Scotland - ‘Let Glasgow flourish’ - is an abbreviation of the much longer: ‘Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the Word and the praising of His name’.)
The main body of the Psalm passes seamlessly from the benediction of Psalm 72:17, where blessings flow from King Jesus - to the doxology of praise to God in Psalm 72:18-19. When we “bless” God, we add nothing to Him. We are celebrating the blessings which begin with Him, bring blessing to His people (cf. Ephesians 1:3), and which redound to His glory.
Our righteous king cares for every one of us for whom He shed His own covenant Blood. So yes, “let the whole earth be filled with His glory!” To which we add our twofold Amen: “Amen, so let it be” (Psalm 72:19).