Thursday, 30 July 2020
Title: The True and Perfect King
Author: Hon Sir Neng
Living in a broken and sinful world, one can only imagine a perfect ruler. However, it is actually not overly idealistic to hope for a perfect ruler. Due to the repetition of human failure in history, we tend to think there will never be one. However, today’s passage offers a different perspective in light of our seemingly hopeless situation. I encourage you to read through the whole psalm word for word on your own before you continue.
This psalm celebrates and sings about the king which God placed over Israel. God made an everlasting Covenant with David that He will establish David’s Kingdom as an eternal one and his descendants would sit on his throne (2 Sam. 7). This psalm is also prophetic, in the sense that it looks forward to the day where God will establish His kingdom and rule through this king. The end goal of this is for Israel to be a light and bring nations from around the world to know Yahweh (Isa. 2:1-5). This king will also then rule the world.
The first 4 verses sing about the character of the king. Verse 1 says the king is to rule over the people with God-given justice and righteousness. He is to rule by God’s rule instead of his own. As he rules, he ought to rule with the welfare of his people in mind as stated in verses 2-4. That is because God’s people depend on the king for their well-being. Hence, the king ought to rule with God’s justice and righteousness. By doing so, we see the land and people being blessed (v3).
Moving on to verses 5-7, the psalmist sings about the king’s rule. In ruling the people, he prays that the king(s) will fear God through all generations. By doing so, he is being obedient to the terms of the Covenant which God made with David, which will incur blessings upon the nation. The land and people will flourish as God’s blessings fall upon them.
As we come to verses 8-11, the psalmist prays about the king’s rule. He prays in faith that God will fulfill His part of the Covenant, by establishing David’s throne through his descendants forever (2 Sam. 7:13, 16). This portion describes the nature of the king’s rule. It is one that is universal (v8, 11), powerful (v9) and of great blessings (v10). Verses 12-14 echo verses 2-4, where the king is described as one who prioritizes the welfare of his people.
It then goes on to the next stanza, singing and praying for blessings for the king (v15-17). The psalmist rejoices and sings about the gifts and tributes by the queen of Sheba (v15). The land will also be blessed, resulting in abundance of grain, blossoming of fruits and increase in population (v16). This is a picture of great blessing that reminds us of the Garden of Eden.
The king’s name will also endure forever and nations will recognize his rule! This is the fulfillment of God’s Covenant with Abraham, where the world will be blessed (Gen. 22:18). This psalm ends with a doxology, praising God for all that He has done. He alone is the one who does wondrous things (v18). His glory alone fills the whole world through the king.
In light of our present situation (with corrupted rulers), how are we to understand and sing/pray this psalm? First, this psalm reminds us to look in faith to Christ whom the Father appointed to rule over the world in His return. Though there is still injustice and evil in this world, we know Satan’s time is near. The Son of David will crush the head of the Serpent and end all evil with His rule. Christ is the only one who can bring full security, perfect welfare and blessing when He returns, because He is the only King that was perfectly obedient to the Law (compared to other kings!). He has earned the blessings for us!
Secondly, the world will come to know the power of the King that is displayed through the cross and resurrection, which defeated sin and death. As much as we are to celebrate Christ’s Kingship over the world, we are to also bring this Good News wherever we go, heralding the Gospel in this broken world that we live in and through the Gospel, bring them into this Kingdom. His Kingship extends to all kinds of sinners. So then let us herald this Gospel of Grace that calls for repentance and faith in the King who will return to rule us that they may also partake in this blessing which the King brings.
As we pray, may we ask God to help us be reminded of God’s appointed ruler, Jesus Christ, who will bring perfect rule in His return and revert all the curses in this world. May we also ask God to take away every worry and help us to look forward to His perfect rule in the future. Lastly, let us ask God to give us the strength to share this Good News to the dying world that they will come to know the perfect King and live under His Kingship as they come in repentance and faith.