Sunday, 27 December 2020
May the king’s name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun shines. May all nations be blessed through him and bring him praise. – Psalm 72:17 [NLT]
In Psalm 72 a kingdom is presented which cannot be compared to any that has ever been seen here on earth. The first few verses of Psalm 72 could have been a prayer for Solomon the future King of Israel but what is striking is the obvious reference to the rule of Christ Jesus over his people and the earth.
This prayer in Psalm 72 finds its ultimate fulfilment in the messianic kingdom initiated by Jesus into which one may enter through faith in his redeeming work on the cross. Moved by the Holy Spirit the Psalmist prophesies about this Kingdom in which the ‘Son of the King,’ or Jesus, will rule. The hallmark of this kingdom is righteousness, peace and fullness of joy. As it says in Psalm 89:14: “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.”
During his earthly life, Jesus went about preaching the good news saying “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt.4:17). Other versions say “Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is near” (NIV). ‘At hand’ would therefore mean near. It would also imply that the Kingdom has not yet arrived but the arrival is imminent. Through his life and ministry Jesus gave us all a glimpse of what that Kingdom would be like.
The kingdom would be a place of no sickness for He has the power to heal. A place where there is no bondage for He sets the captive free. A place where we will be clothed more splendidly than the lily of the field and each of us are of great worth. Jesus invites all those who hear this good news to enter into this Kingdom.
Psalm 72 holds out the promise that the king who rules over this kingdom “will endure as long as the sun, as long as the moon, through all generations” (V.5) This is the promise of an everlasting kingdom! “He will be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth” (V.6) which is the promise of restoration and revival. "In his days the righteous will flourish; prosperity will abound till the moon is no more" (V. 7)—the promise of fullness of joy.
Don’t we all want to belong to this kingdom? Don’t our hearts ache to be there? The very words of Jesus: ““Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”—tell us how we can enter—repentance. The world we live in bears no resemblance to the Kingdom we read of in Psalm 72. It is so filled with strife and error and we, so easily, fit into the patterns of this world. So, as Paul encourages us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” (Heb.12:1).
Therefore my dear ones, let us “be all the more eager to make our calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, AND YOU WILL RECEIVE A RICH WELCOME INTO THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.” (2Peter 1:10)
Together as members of this wonderful kingdom let us praise the name of our Lord Jesus, the name that endures forever! Let us praise the Lord who alone does such wonderful things. With the Psalmist let us sing “let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and amen!”
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. (2 Pet1: 5-7, NLT).