THE CALL | Matthew 19:14–15 [ESV]
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.
Father, all human life bares your image and is a blessing, but we treat some as more important than others. We value each other for our utility, beauty, skill, or entertainment and we treat children as tiresome distractions from our ambitious desires. We neglect the elderly and pretend that we ourselves will never age. We rise up early and go to bed late in order to advance our careers just a little bit more; we are building our own kingdoms where only the strong can survive. Jesus, teach us to welcome the children, elderly, and marginalized into our lives. Holy Spirit, help us to rely on your promises and live within your kingdom, a kingdom of love and rest. Amen.
ASSURANCE | Matthew 7:24–27 [ESV]
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
SING: Gloria Patri
Glory be to the Father
And to the Son and to the Holy Ghost
As it was in the beginning
Is now and ever shall be world without end
Read Psalm 72
2nd Reading: Mark 10:35-45
(Ps 72:17) May [the king's name] endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed!"
Psalm 72 is often called a "royal psalm" because it has specific references to the king. The superscription at the beginning of the psalm reads, "Of Solomon", and the first line is, "Give the king your justice." The psalm then goes on the pray for God's strength to defend the poor and needy (v. 4, 12-14), expand the king's dominion (v. 8-11), and shows the blessing that godly kings could have on an entire land (v. 8-9, 15-17.)
Figuring out what the psalm means is not hard. Figuring out how this psalm applies to us is more challenging. I doubt anyone reading this blog post is an actual king or queen. (Elizabeth if you are reading this, please like our facebook page from your royal account.) For everyone else, here are some things we can take away from this:
(i.) The psalm teaches us that God has a purpose for authority. It is meant to bless others. A godly king would be a blessing to the whole land. Verse 17, says "may the people be blessed in him." This applied to actual kings, but also to other positions of authority. In Mark 10:35-45 Jesus taught the disciples that his ministry of service and sacrifice was meant to characterize every expression of Christian authority. We can look for ways to use the limited authority we have to be a blessing to others. In your work, family, or church relationships, how has God entrusted you with responsibilities to bless others.
(ii.) This psalm can also guide us as we pray for our elected officials and consider who we support for office. Paul told Timothy that we should pray for "kings and all who are in high positions (v. 1 Tim 2:2.)" The model of an ideal king can shape how we pray for others in government.
(iii.) Ultimately, this psalm is fulfilled most clearly in the ministry of Jesus, the "Christ"... the true anointed king. Jesus is the one of whom it can be said, that "all nations call him blessed." The ministry of Jesus is a blessing to the weak and vulnerable and he will use his authority to bring salvation to people from every nation on earth. One day, we will see his authority clearly displayed and all opposition will be humbled before him (Phil 2.) Psalm 72 leads us to worship and praise the king of kings, Jesus Christ and to pray for his return.
MEMORIZE | Psalm 127
- Spend time memorizing the words of the Psalm as best you can -
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever,
Genesis 1:28 [ESV]
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
City Reformed Presbyterian Church
The 90 Days project is a collaborative effort of many church leaders. Matt Koerber and Daniel Snoke have taken lead roles, with others helping to write daily devotionals.