Of Solomon. 1 Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness. 2 May he judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice. 3 May the mountains bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness. 4 May he defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; may he crush the oppressor. 5 May he endure[a] as long as the sun, as long as the moon, through all generations. 6 May he be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth. 7 In his days may the righteous flourish and prosperity abound till the moon is no more. 8 May he rule from sea to sea and from the River[b] to the ends of the earth. 9 May the desert tribes bow before him and his enemies lick the dust. 10 May the kings of Tarshish and of distant shores bring tribute to him. May the kings of Sheba and Seba present him gifts. 11 May all kings bow down to him and all nations serve him. 12 For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. 13 He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. 14 He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight. 15 Long may he live! May gold from Sheba be given him. May people ever pray for him and bless him all day long. 16 May grain abound throughout the land; on the tops of the hills may it sway. May the crops flourish like Lebanon and thrive[c] like the grass of the field. 17 May his name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun. Then all nations will be blessed through him,[d] and they will call him blessed. 18 Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. 19 Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen. 20 This concludes the prayers of David son of Jesse.
This psalm begins as a prayer for the leader, the king – that he would lead his people with justice, mercy and righteousness. While some of the references here work better in the cultural context that this psalm is written, it is a great prompt for us to be praying for our leaders as well. In this current season, just mentioning leaders of nations, states and provinces can bring up a whole array of opinions, thoughts, judgements, derisions or praises. Yet as Christians, it is our call to be praying for our governing leaders that they too would make wise decisions that are based on compassion, mercy and justice – whether we agree with their policies or not. By lifting them up to God – who hears and is moved by our prayers – we are partnering with Him to make real and everlasting change.
This psalm then ends by praising God for His glorious and marvellous deeds. How grateful we can be that God is a perfect leader who does not lead us with judgement or disdain, but with wisdom and kindness as He continuously calls us to Him and loves us unconditionally.
God, we thank you that you care about our world on a big scale, and yet also know each of us individually and want to lead us in step with you. We lift up our leaders to you Lord and ask that you would help to guide their decisions, that they would lead our nations with your wisdom, mercy and justice. Amen.
Written by Ps Madelaine Tarasenko