A Good Government (Psalm 72)

PSALM 72

[A Psalm] of Solomon. Give the king Your judgments, O God, And Your righteousness to the king’s Son. 2 He will judge Your people with righteousness, And Your poor with justice. 3 The mountains will bring peace to the people, And the little hills, by righteousness. 4 He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy, And will break in pieces the oppressor. 5 They shall fear You As long as the sun and moon endure, Throughout all generations. 6 He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing, Like showers [that] water the earth. 7 In His days the righteous shall flourish, And abundance of peace, Until the moon is no more.

PSALM 72:1-7

A GOOD GOVENMENT

I’ve been a few places outside of the United States and seen how a few different countries are governed. Sometimes the people have a voice in who will be the president or leader, other times they have no real voice. I’ve witnessed poverty in lots of places. Sometimes that poverty was caused by injustice that was unaddressed by the “rulers” and in some instances it was even caused by the “rulers.” Such instances should cause us to pause and consider what is a “good government?” Even in America there is turmoil and strife over how our country is run and for those who cry out for justice. It only makes it more evident that we live in a fallen world.

Solomon writes this Psalm calling out to God to bless him to be a good leader and ruler of his people. He doesn’t have a small job, it’s a big one. He is the first in the Davidic line of kings behind his father David. He wants to judge justly. He wants to honor God as king. And as we read through the scriptures we notice that he does several things right… but then we also note that he does several things wrong or not as rightly/ fully as he should. (It’s easy to see his mistakes from the outside, but I wonder how he felt when he was making them?)

The truth of the matter is that Solomon was a good king, but the end of his Reign not only had he built the temple to God, but he had build several places for idol worship in the land of Israel. We see he was wise and just, but he also had oppressed and perhaps overworked the people of the northern ten tribes to the point that they are willing to rebel when his son takes over.

We marvel at the Davidic line. How can someone who is said to be a man after God’s heart go an commit adultery and kill another man? How can a man be called the wisest man who ever lived and yet be at the center of rampant idolatry worship in Israel? We could probably say similar things about the people who have held office in our cities, states, and nations. We need a better leaders. We don’t just need sometimes godly leaders, we need God as our leader…. Enter Jesus Christ.

I’m convinced that our complaints of injustice can only be met when Jesus is king. Indeed we are taught to pray, “Thy Kingdom Come.” We are recognizing that as good as our politicians and leaders might be in their own generation, there is only truly ever good king and his name is Jesus. Only He can deliver us from sin, and death. He is the one who can undue the curse.

PRAYER

Father, Your kingdom come. Your will be done. I am asking for good and godly leaders for our nation. I am grateful for so much that has transpired recently in my nation with the supreme court. While I ask for your blessing on our leaders and for your will to be done and executed through good and godly politicians who would seek after you, I also know that no one will be as good for the world as Jesus. So I look to you and pray that in your timing, your kingdom would come, and those in Christ would be ready. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

Day 89: Revelation 16-18 (NEW TESTAMENT 90)

Today’s reading comes from Revelation 16-18 follow the link provided here to read the ESV online.

The reading today is filled with a lot of imagery that many others have attempted to interpret so I won’t add anything there. What I’d like to notice is the wrath of God, especially as it concerns the persecution of the saints. God cannot be loving without being wrathful. Those two attributes go together. Indeed, because God is loving that He is wrathful. God loves the martyrs so he avenges them by pouring out his wrath. Notice that God’s wrath isn’t like ours. He makes no mistakes in judgement. It isn’t undeserved, if anything God has been patient with mankind by not pouring out his wrath sooner.

Notice also how this wrath serves to harden the hearts of those who hate God. They continue to curse him and blaspheme rather than repent and come to God on his terms. The fact that the wrath comes in waves serves to demonstrate that there is time and opportunity for repentance, but people continue to harden their heart. They would rather shake their finite fist at the Creator than repent of sin and turn to Him…. They are broken beyond repair. They will not turn from their sin.

I think this passage should cause a real sobriety among God’s people. We should recognize that God is in control, he will bring justice in his own time and at the exact right time. We should be quick to repent knowing that God offers all sorts of opportunities along the way to seek repentance. We should also be scared to ever harden our heart against God.

FATHER, I pray that we have tender hearts today. I ask that we would be ready to receive your word. We stand in awe of your greatness and your sovereignty. We are thankful for your patience and we rejoice in your justice. We pray that we would always be quick to repent when we find ourselves in sin. Thank you for the grace of leading your flock. IN JESUS NAME, AMEN.

What did you take away from today’s reading? What are your thoughts or questions? Feel free to comment below and enter the discussion.

Find out about New Testament 90 – Here

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Day 81: 1 John 1-3 (NEW TESTAMENT 90)

Today’s reading comes from 1 john 1-3 follow the link provided here to read the ESV online.

In 1 John chapter 1, the apostle John reminds the readers that what he has to share is real. He saw Jesus. He walked with Jesus. He talked with Jesus. He was taught by Jesus. John knew Jesus and his teachings very well (1:1-3). He isn’t sharing speculation. He isn’t building some sort of belief system on the foundation of Christianity. What he has to share is pure gospel. Undiluted by the world. With an introduction like that we lean in. We pull up our chairs. We strain our ears. We take note. We listen to what he has to say.

He writes for our joy. He writes so that we will have fellowship with God and one another (1:4). There should be nothing that stands between us and the LORD and if nothing stands between us and the LORD, then nothing should stand between us and our brothers and sisters in the faith (1:6-7). There once was something that stood between us and the Lord, but if we have confessed our sins we are cleansed and it stands between us no more (1:9). Jesus has paid the penalty for our sins (2:2).

Since Jesus has cleanses us from our sins, we should have a desire to follow and obey him (2:3).  If we really belong to the Lord, we should see fruit in our lives and we should look more and more like him (2:6). We should be abiding in the truth, loving others as the Lord loves us. If we are in Christ, we will love like he loves.

There is a transformation that takes place when we are adopted in to a family. Though not always sudden, our identity begins to shift from who we were before, to what it is to be a member of the new family. And so it is with being adopted into the family of God (3:1). We are no longer identified as sinners, but rather as children of God. And as our identity changes, our heart changes. We want to be more like God and the impossible begins to happen… We begin to love others because of the way that God has loved us. We change.

FATHER, Thank you for the gospel of our salvation. Thank you that we can confess our sins and come to you to be forgiven and made new. Thank you for the love you have put in our hearts for you and for one another. Help us to love one another and help one another in this present moment. We appeal to you for salvation and grace. Thank you for your grace in shepherding your people at this moment in history. IN JESUS NAME, AMEN.

What did you take away from today’s reading? What are your thoughts or questions? Feel free to comment below and enter the discussion.

Find out about New Testament 90 – Here

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