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Wednesday, October 4th, 2023
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 72

Hawker's Poor Man's CommentaryPoor Man's Commentary

Verse 1


This Psalm is entitled a Psalm for Solomon; but under that title we are taught by the divine word that it is a prophecy concerning the Lord Jesus; and a greater than Solomon is here. It is indeed, take it altogether, a most beautiful description, typically considered, of the reign of the Lord Jesus, and the prosperity of his church, as to be accomplished in the times of the gospel.

A Psalm for Solomon

Psalms 72:1

I cannot but suppose that David himself was conscious that the Holy Ghost was speaking in him, and by him, concerning that blessed Fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, which he knew God had sworn to him with an oath, that he would raise up to sit upon his throne: and therefore, with all the natural affection he had for his son Solomon, he perfectly well understood that all that is here said of the king, meant king Messiah, and him only. And if we read this Psalm wholly as referring to Christ, it is indeed most blessed. But if we allow it to have any secondary reference to Solomon, David's son, we sadly enervate the scripture, and pass by the reverence wholly belonging to our God. Acts 2:29-31 . Reader! my desire is to consider David as uttering these last words of his under the blessed inspiration of God the Spirit; and in this view is not this first verse, a prayer which God the Holy Ghost puts into the mouth of the church and every true believer, both under the Old Testament dispensation, and in the New? Our fathers prayed ardently that God the Father would send his King, his Holy One, and set him upon his throne in Zion; and what doth the church pray for now, but that, since he hath come and finished redemption work for his people, he would exercise his blessed reign in his people, and rule and govern in their hearts, the great and everlasting Lord of all! Hail! precious King, Lord Jesus! may thy kingdom come! may thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.

Verse 2

The prophet having with an eye of faith, beheld the advent of the Redeemer, goes on, under the same spirit of prophecy, to describe the blessed auspices of his reign. I would observe, once for all, while going over this divine Psalm, that our reading of it will be more profitable, if by grace we feel ourselves enabled to convert the prophecy into a prayer, and then act faith upon it. As, for example: Doth the Holy Ghost, by his servant David, say, "He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment?" Lord, I would say, do thou give thy people grace to see thee thus carrying on thy righteous judgments, that since the Lord hath founded Zion, the poor of thy people may trust in thee! Isaiah 14:32 .

Verse 3

Isaiah had a similar commission, in speaking of Jesus and his gospel as the peace of God in Christ, when he declared that the very feet of them who were the preachers of it were beautiful; Isaiah 52:7 .

Verse 4

By the same judgment and justice with which the Redeemer's reign shall be distinguished, while his poor and needy shall be upheld and blessed, his and their enemies must be destroyed. He shall take out of his kingdom all that offend. An awful consideration, if duly pondered; to all the enemies of the cross, and which scripture decidedly declares; Matthew 13:41 .

Verse 5

Here is a verse, which, if needed by way of confirmation, is enough to cast forever to the ground all the childish ideas which some may have taken, as if this Psalm had any reference to Solomon, king of Israel. The whole reign of David's son was not more than forty years; whereas that throne, which the angel told Mary, the Lord God would give to Jesus should be forever, and of his kingdom there should be no end. Luke 1:32-33 .

Verse 6

Every verse is descriptive, more or less, of the glories of Christ, and of the sure success and blessedness of his government. What a lovely instance is this one! He shall come down as rain. How? Upon the dry and parched ground of his people's hearts. And how doth the rain descend? Silent, sometimes, and unperceived; so the graces of the Spirit from the Lord Jesus come down upon our unthinking unprepared hearts: and with violence at others, when the Holy Ghost, like full refreshing showers, cleanseth away the filth of our uncleanness. Isaiah 4:4 ; Ezekiel 34:26 . But we must not stop here, in admiration of the beauty of this scripture. Jesus shall come down as the rain, because, as another prophet speaks, the shower tarrieth not for man, neither waiteth for the sons of men; Micah 5:7 . Jesus himself, with all his blessings, is the free, unmerited, unexpected gift of the Father. Therefore Christ is the sent, the sealed of the Father, as the rain and the dew of heavenly extraction. Hence the Lord from the whirlwind demands of Job Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of the dew? Job 38:28 . Reader! do you know what it is to be refreshed with Jesus in his visits, as rain upon the mown grass? Do you see the Father's gift in Jesus? And do you know what it is to be continually waiting as the thirsty earth for the coming showers, in a constant abiding dependence for those visits of divine love? Happy the man that is so taught by God the Holy Ghost!

Verse 7

This verse very sweetly and properly follows the former, for where Christ comes down on a nation, or a people, or family, or any individual; all the blessings of mercy and peace will follow. From whence come wars (saith an apostle) and fightings among you? Come they not hence even of your lusts, which war in your members? James 4:1 . Men would literally break their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks, if Jesus lived and reigned in the hearts and minds of the people. Oh! for more of Jesus in this Christ-despising day, in which we live.

Verses 8-11

The prophet having spoken of the blessedness of Christ's reign, here describes the extensiveness of it. Jesus is indeed the universal Emperor and Lord of heaven and earth. He saith himself, "All power is mine; " and he hath the keys of hell and death. Matthew 28:13 ; Revelation 1:8 . So that from the wilderness and from the city, from the one end of the earth unto the other, all nations, kingdoms, and tribes, shall serve him. He will gather his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven, Mark 13:27 . Reader! it is blessed when our own hearts can bear testimony to these truths; when conscious that from the wilderness of our own fallen nature, and from the natural enmity of our hearts, we are come up, and brought over, to bend the knee of allegiance and love to this almighty Lord.

Verses 12-14

Here are some of the gracious acts of this almighty Sovereign in his reign of grace: he will save his poor and needy. They are the purchase of his blood, and therefore they shall be precious in his sight: No weapon formed against them shall prosper. Blessed consideration! and yet more so from the assurance connected with it, that their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord; Isaiah 54:17 .

Verse 15

Here is another evidence of the perpetuity and everlasting duration of his kingdom; and another of the blessed consequences of it, in the prayers and praises continually and daily presented to him, and presented for him. Believers shall look up to him for all the graces of the Spirit, and for unceasing communion with him, and the enjoyment of him. Sinners upon earth and saints in heaven shall have continued access to his throne; and in his life his people shall live. He hath said himself - Because I live, ye shall live also; John 14:19 . But how are we to understand that prayer is to be made for him? everyone doth this who is asking the blessings of redemption of the Father in his name, and for the spread of his name and gospel. And is not prayer made for him continually, when, in the ardency of faith, the church devoutly prays, Lord, hasten thy second coming, and be thou as a roe or the young hart upon the mountains of spices? Song of Solomon 8:14 . Yes! thou blessed Holy One of thy people, will not all, whom thou hast called and justified freely by thy grace, long for thy coming, who have presented to thee, what in thy sight is infinitely more precious than the gold of Sheba, their souls and bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is their reasonable service? Romans 12:1 .

Verse 16

Here is an elegant figure to represent the fruitfulness of the gospel of Jesus, the seed of which, though but like a handful, or as the grain of mustard-seed, shall spring forth and produce such abundance, that a little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation. Isaiah 60:22 .

Verse 17

The prophet cannot close the wonderful account of Jesus and his kingdom without once more (as if to draw an everlasting line of distinction between him and all earthly potentates) speaking of the eternity of both, and that in him, and him only, all nations shall be blessed. There is not a blessing out of Christ: so that to obtain happiness, it is indispensably necessary to win Christ, and to be found in him. So the apostle expressed his desire; and so every true believer finds it. Philippians 3:9; Philippians 3:9 .

Verses 18-20

No wonder the Prophet, after such a review as this Psalm records, of the person and glories of Christ, should break out in such an acclamation of praise to Jehovah Elohim, the God in covenant, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Who but must bless God for Christ; and bless God in Christ, that duly contemplates these rich and unspeakable mercies? Reader! shall not you and I join in the devout anthem? Yes! if we know Christ, and have learned to know our original want of Christ, when in a state of nature; and now our all-sufficient security and blessedness in Christ, if in a state of grace. Here every redeemed soul will join issue, and cry aloud, Blessed be God for Jesus Christ! Blessed be the Lord God for salvation! Let everything in heaven and in earth bless and praise God for his unspeakable mercy in Jesus. Let the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen! Let all say Amen, and Amen will I say. And let all set their seal to it of God's truth and mercy, Amen. The prayers of David the son of Jesse are answered, and so ended as being fulfilled. Similar to this expression are the words of Christ upon another occasion; the things concerning me (said Jesus) have an end, that is, a design; Luke 22:37 . And every true believer in Christ, like David, would wish to close all with a hearty Amen, that this kingdom of Christ may come, and all the blessed ends of his salvation be accomplished. Amen.

Verse 20


HERE let me pause, my soul, and contemplate thy King and God in the glories of his person, and in the blessedness of that reign which shall have no end! Truly, blessed Jesus, thou art a King, both as one with the Father, God over all, blessed forever; and as the Mediator, the Head of thy church and people, to whom the Father hath given all power in heaven and earth. It is thy sole right, both by inheritance and by gift, to govern thy church, which thou hast purchased to thyself by thy blood! And oh! how blessed thy government! How mild, how just, how equitable, how true is everything in thy kingdom. Thy poor subjects, gathered from the ruins of a fallen nature, shall be saved, shall be blessed, protected, and made everlastingly happy in thee and by thee! Not all the refreshing dew of falling showers can come down with an influence so genial, as thou, by thy Spirit, wilt refresh the souls of thy redeemed: and every blessing in thy spiritual kingdom here, and thy kingdom of glory hereafter, shall be suited to the greatness of thy power, and the glories of thy person. Men shall be blessed in thee; and so universal and everlasting shall be thy reign, that all nations shall call thee Blessed. Hail, then, thou glorious, eternal, almighty Lord! Oh! give my soul a place in thy kingdom! Let me daily see the goings of my God and King in his sanctuary! Acknowledged as thine, both by the Father's gift, and thine own purchase, and the conquests of thy grace; Lord, help me to call thee mine by an everlasting union to thy person, and an interest in all thy redemption! then shall my soul continually exult in the same hymn of praise as all the faithful gone before have done; and the first and last of my hosannas shall be - Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name forever. Let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.

Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 72". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/psalms-72.html. 1828.
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