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Reading:                                      Psalm 72

Of Solomon

Verses 1-11

Endow the king with your justice, O God,
the royal son with your righteousness.
May he judge your people in righteousness,
your afflicted ones with justice.

 May the mountains bring prosperity to the people,
the hills the fruit of righteousness.
May he defend the afflicted among the people
and save the children of the needy;
may he crush the oppressor.
May he endure as long as the sun,
as long as the moon, through all generations.
May he be like rain falling on a mown field,
like showers watering the earth.
In his days may the righteous flourish
and prosperity abound till the moon is no more.

May he rule from sea to sea
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

 May the desert tribes bow before him and his enemies lick the dust.
May the kings of Tarshish and of distant shores bring tribute to him.
May the kings of Sheba and Seba present him gifts.
May all kings bow down to him and all nations serve him
(NIV).

Reflection

There is a verse from Psalm 72 carved in stone into Canada’s Parliament building. From the King James Version it reads, “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth” (Psalm 72:8).

Canada Day 2 2014-07-01

Parliament of Canada, Ottawa, ON — Photo by David Kitz

There are several ways of interpreting this verse. First, it should be noted that Psalm 72 is a prayer of Solomon. During his reign, Solomon brought the nation of Israel to the pinnacle of greatness, prosperity and dominance over its surrounding neighbors. But Solomon also sowed the seeds that brought about the nation’s decline after his death. His marriage to hundreds of foreign wives led directly to idolatry and a forsaking of the ways of the LORD. Personal wealth and aggrandizement were achieved by means of forced labor and high taxation. Revolt was festering beneath a surface of calm.

Another interpretation of this psalm takes a more messianic approach. The Messiah will reign. He will have dominion from sea to sea. Many believe this is how the Fathers of Confederation viewed this passage. They longed for the reign of Christ on the earth. Even so we pray, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. That should be the prayer of every Christian believer in whatever country we live.

Response: LORD Jesus, have dominion over me. I willingly submit to your rule. You are my King and my God. I willingly bow my knees before you. Reign over me, and in me to the end of time. Amen.

Your Turn: Are you by nature rebellious or do you find it easy to submit to God’s rule?