A Psalm for Solomon. Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son.
I. Christ's gracious visitations are essential to the comfort and prosperity of the Church. This doctrine is evidently taught in the text. The Church, without the manifestations of Christ's presence and grace, is, like the mown grass, languishing for heaven's moisture. Favoured with these manifestations, it is like a field which the Lord hath blessed.
II. We are warranted to look for gracious visitations to the Church. The text is not to be regarded as a prophecy pertaining merely to the future, but as a statement which has been verified already in the history of the Church, and which may be verified also in like manner at the present day.
III. Notice some of the means which must be employed for the obtaining of the blessings promised in the text. When Christ is to come down for the refreshment of His people, like rain upon the mown grass, it will generally be found (1) that they have been stirred up earnestly to desire and long for His manifestations; (2) that they have been excited to the exercises of deep repentance and prayer; (3) that they have set themselves to walk before Him according to all the appointments of His word; (4) that they have been brought to give greater honour to the Spirit and His work than they were accustomed to do before, and to feel more deeply their absolute dependence upon His gracious operations.
A. D. Davidson, Lectures and Sermons, p. 135.
The genial character of Christianity.
Look at Christianity:
I. As a scheme. (1) As a scheme, the religion of Jesus Christ is a device to seek and to save the lost. (2) It is a Divine device, consisting of means arranged by our Father in heaven to prevent His banished ones being finally expelled from Him. (3) In this design chief service is assigned to One who is called the Son of God. His service is rendered chiefly by abasement and toil, suffering and death. This part of the Christian scheme appears to some men so ungenial that they ignore or reject it; but all that is dark, and sad, and gloomy in the sacrifice of the Son of God leads to all that is bright and sunny in man's salvation. (4) The Christian scheme provides that salvation should be revealed and applied by the Holy Ghost. This part of the scheme is as important, and at the same time as genial, as the redemption-devising grace of the Father, and as the mediation of the Son of God. Perfect knowledge, wisdom, goodness, and love in Him whose work directly affects our inner life, is a fact on which we cannot but look with joy. (5) As a system of morals, Christianity is based upon love. (6) The Christian religion is aggressive, aiming at comprehension without compromise; but its mode of aggression is as genial as its doctrines and precepts, its promises and spirit. (7) If we look at the Christian dispensation as a matter of individual experience, its genial aspect remains unchanged. (8) The Christian system finds its consummation in a new creation, perfected in all its parts and bearings. Can this scheme be other than genial?
II. Look, secondly, at Christianity as a fact. (1) As a fact, Christianity was too genial to be received by the people to whom it was first presented. (2) The presence of Christianity involves the presence of all that is genial there. It presents genial subjects to the mind and genial objects to the soul, and it must give a genial aspect to the character and prompt its disciples to generous and noble deeds. (3) To be really genial we must maintain personal intercourse with Christ by the aid of the Holy Ghost. To be right, and true, and strong is our first duty; to be attractive, and cheerful, and genial is our next duty. "I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me."
S. Martin, Rain upon the Mown Grass, p. 1.
References: Psalm 72:6.—H. Macmillan, Two Worlds are Ours, p. 80; S. Hebditch, Christian World Pulpit, vol. iii., p. 273. Psalm 72:6, Psalm 72:7.—J. Keble, Sermons for the Christian Year: Christmas to Epiphany, pp.39, 268. Psalm 72:10, Psalm 72:11.—G. Huntington, Sermons for Holy Seasons, p. 43. Psalm 72:12.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xviii., No. 1037. Psalm 72:15.—Ibid., vol. xii., No. 717. Psalm 72:16.—F. Delitzsch, Expositor, 3rd series, vol. iii., p. 60; M. G. Pearse, Sermons to Children, p. 67.
Psalm 72:17The theme which this text presents for our consideration is Messiah's glorious renown—a renown richly deserved, widely diffused, enthusiastically accorded, and everlastingly continued. The perpetuity of Jesus' name and fame is, however, the main idea of the passage.
I. For what reasons Messiah's name and fame shall endure for ever. (1) Because, by its own inherent properties, it is fitted to endure. It is a name (a) of superlative greatness; (b) of superlative goodness. (2) Because, by God's immutable purposes and promises, it is destined to endure for ever.
II. In what respect Messiah's name shall endure for ever, (1) Emblazoned on the pages of a living book. Christ is an Author. The Bible is His book. (2) Embodied in lasting institutions. Beyond compare the noblest institution in the world today is the Christian Church, and of that Jesus is the Founder. We have the Lord's Supper, the Lord's Day, and Divine ordinances of prayer and praise, of preaching and giving, that shall not cease. (3) Enshrined in loving hearts. His name shall live in their holiness, love, and gratitude for ever.
III. With what results Messiah's renown shall endure for ever. (1) Benefactions from Him. "Men shall be blessed in Him." (2) Benedictions upon Him. "All nations shall call Him blessed."
A. Miller, American Pulpit of the Day, 1st series, 1875, p. 55.
References: Psalm 72:17.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. i., No. 27. Psalm 72:18, Psalm 72:19.—H. W. Beecher, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xiv., p. 26. Psalm 72:19.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. iii., No. 129; Ibid., Evening by Evening, p. 220; A. Fletcher, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. xiii., p. 77. Psalm 72—Congregationalist, vol. xv., p. 95; J. G. Murphy, The Book of Daniel, p. 48. Psalm 73:2, Psalm 73:17.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. i., p. 104.
He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment.
The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.
He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.
They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.
He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth.
In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.
He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.
The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.
Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.
For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.
He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.
He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.
And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised.
There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.
His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.
Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.
And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.
The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.