Summary: Don't hesitate to submit to Jesus as your King, because He is a righteous, reigning, rescuing and rich King.
Bill Klem was the father of baseball umpires: colorful, judicious, and dignified. He was passionate about the game, which he officiated for 37 years, including 18 world series. He was the first umpire to use arm signals while working behind home plate and became known as “the Old Arbitrator”, because of his keen eye for calling balls and strikes.
On one such occasion, as he crouched and readied behind the plate, the pitcher threw the ball, the batter didn't swing, and, for just an instant, Bill said nothing. The batter turned and snorted, “Okay, so what was it, a ball or a strike?” To which Bill responded, “Sonny, it ain't nothing 'till I call it.” (David Sturt, Great Work, McGraw Hill, 2013, page 139; www.Preaching Today.com)
Bill Klem had absolute authority on the ballfield, an authority most players accepted, because of his integrity and skill.
Jesus, our Lord, has absolute authority over all of creation, but many don’t want to accept it, even though His integrity and skill far exceeds that of any man.
On the first Palm Sunday nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus presented Himself as Israel’s King. On that day, the crowds shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matthew 21:9). But just a few days later, that same crowd was shouting, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” (Matthew 27:22-23).
They didn’t want Him as their King like many people today, perhaps even some of you. You’re not too sure about letting Jesus have absolute authority in your life, because you’re not too sure about what He would do with your life if you let Him take charge. You’re not too sure about what kind of King He would be.
Well, there is a psalm which describes what kind of King Jesus will be when He comes again to rule from King David’s throne. The psalm is actually a prayer that Solomon wrote for his son who was to succeed him on the throne.
Solomon was asking God to make his boy a great king, but if you remember your Biblical history, you know that Solomon’s son was a great disappointment. Through his own folly and pride, he ended up dividing the nation, and Israel began its downward spiral towards captivity and destruction.
In the meantime, Israel prayed this prayer for each succeeding king, on the day of his coronation. Even so, each king fell short of their expectations. Each king was a disappointment to some degree or another, because there is only One King who can meet every expectation of this psalm. And that’s our Lord and Savior, Jesus, the Messiah!
Psalm 72:1-4 Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son! May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice! Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness! May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor! (ESV)
It is very clear, when Jesus reigns…
HE IS A RIGHTEOUS KING.
He is a just and fair ruler, who will make everything right. The right people will be rewarded, and the wrong people will be punished.
Jesus will crush the oppressor, vs.4 says. He will destroy evil men and tyrants, who seem to get away with murder all the time.
Now, our liberal and postmodern world hates the idea of such judgment, but N. T. Wright reminds us that “throughout the Bible God's coming judgment is a good thing, something to be celebrated, longed for, yearned over. It causes people to shout for joy and the trees of the field to clap their hands. In a world of systematic injustice, bullying, violence, arrogance, and oppression, the thought that there might come a day when the wicked are firmly put in their place and the poor and weak are given their due is the best news there can be. Faced with a world in rebellion, a world full of exploitation and wickedness, a good God must be a God of judgment.” (N. T. Wright, Surprised by Hope, HarperOne, 2008, p. 137; www.PreachingToday.com)
And Jesus will execute that judgment fairly when He comes to reign and rule on this earth.
Jesus will crush the oppressor, and He will cause the righteous to flourish. Under Jesus’ reign, good people will prosper and do well.
Psalm 72:5-7 May they fear you while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations! May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth! In his days may the righteous flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more! (ESV)