Every endeavor has its gold standard—coaches, presidents, teachers, athletes, soldiers, doctors. Each profession has someone who is considered the best of the best, the elite, the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of all time).
Psalm 72 describes the ideal king. Regardless of whether the psalm was written by David for Solomon (see the King James’ superscription) or by Solomon for himself and his successors to the throne (see the New King James’ superscription), this composition sets the gold standard for royalty. The ideal king has the following characteristics:
- A firm, unshakable love for righteousness which promotes righteousness. “Give the king Your judgments, O God and Your righteousness to the king’s Son. He will judge Your people with righteousness and Your poor with justice. The mountains will bring peace to the people and the little hills, by righteousness. 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. They shall fear You as long as the sun and moon endure throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing, like showers that water the earth. In His days the righteous shall flourish and abundance of peace, until the moon is no more” (vv. 1-7).
- A universal reign which promotes quiet and peaceable living. “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him, and His enemies will lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles will bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba will offer gifts. Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him” (vv. 8-11).
- A benevolent compassion which delivers the needy from oppression. “For He will deliver the needy when he cries, the poor also, and him who has no helper. He will spare the poor and needy and will save the souls of the needy. He will redeem their life from oppression and violence; and precious shall be their blood in His sight” (vv. 12-14).
- An enduring reign which produces praise, peace and prosperity. “And He shall live; and the gold of Sheba will be given to Him; prayer also will be made for Him continually, and daily He shall be praised. There will be an abundance of grain in the earth, on the top of the mountains; its fruit shall wave like Lebanon; and those of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth. His name shall endure forever; His name shall continue as long as the sun. And men shall be blessed in Him; all nations shall call Him blessed” (vv. 15-17).
In each testament, such an ideal king can be found. In the Old Testament, Jehovah Himself was such a king over Israel. As long as God’s people sanctified and served Him as they ought, righteousness, peace, deliverance, and prosperity abounded. In the New Testament, the Son of God Himself is such a king over His spiritual kingdom.
“Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only does wondrous things! And, blessed be His glorious name forever! And, let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen” (vv. 18-19).