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 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,
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.
What struck me in the last half of this psalm is verse 17: “Then all nations will be blessed through him, and they will call him blessed.” This is a clear echo of the promise of God to Abram in Genesis 12:1-3, which is the “Great Commission” of the Old Testament.
Notice how the psalm is structured. As this section begins, Solomon describes what the king will do. This is followed by well-wishes and prayers. The conclusion comes in the last part of verse 17: Blessing for all the nations. Then the psalm concludes with praise for the Lord and a prayer that His glory fill the earth. So the ultimate result of the rule of this king is the fulfillment of the mission, blessing for the nations.
What this means is that there is a clear connection between the king’s responsibilities (Yesterday I mentioned that the only activity described for the king was justice and help for the lowly.) and the fulfillment of the mission. Caring for the lowly – the needy, the widows, the orphans – is not just a good idea because this is what the king does. It’s a good idea because it is part of the mission. When there is justice and relief for the oppressed and needy, we are seeing a picture of the fulfillment of the mission in eternity, when there will be no injustice, no oppression, no loneliness, no sickness and no death. So when we as the people of God engage in activities that bring the love of God to those in need, we are proclaiming our hope of the fulfillment of God’s mission in eternity. It is a living proclamation of the kingdom.
So my prayer today is for those ministries that seek to bring the love of God to the lowly. At St. John’s that includes the Mission Farm, the Comfort Dog Ministry, our Mission India partnership, and (when we are able to start them up again) the Table, the Large Print Ministry, etc. I am praying today for these ministries, those that participate in them, and those who are served by them.
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