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Balm Psalms: Week 7

Mosaic Boston

Religion & Spirituality

Audio Transcript: Good morning and welcome to Mosaic Church. My name is Jan. I'm one of the pastor's here at Mosaic along with Pastor Andy and Pastor Shane. If you're new or if you're visiting with us, we'd love to connect with you, either through the connection card that you can fill out and then toss in the box at the at the back. Or you can fill out the connection card in the app or on the website. With that said, would you please pray with me over the preaching of God's Holy Word? Heavenly Father, we come into Your presence with fear and trepidation. Trepidation, because You are a holy and a mighty God. We thank You that You are just. And as we thank You for Your justice, we recognize that we deserve to be punished for our sins. So we cannot pray for Your justice without also asking for forgiveness for our sins. We're thankful for Jesus Christ who lived the perfect life and died the death that we deserved to die. By grace through faith in Him, we are given imputed righteousness and now we can cry out, "Give us Your justice and give us Your righteousness. Holy Spirit, we pray that You come into this place, come into this space. Come and fill our hearts. Prepare our hearts to hear from Your holy Word. Lord, as we today open up Psalm 72, in which the psalmist prays for the King, we see a pattern that we too, Your people, are called to pray for those whom You have placed into positions of authority. We pray for every single person in a position of authority over us. We pray for the town council here in Brookline. We pray for Mayor Marty Walsh, Mayor of Boston. And we pray for governor Baker, Governor of Massachusetts. We pray for our congressmen, and we pray for our senators, and pray for the Supreme Court. We do pray for our President and our Vice President, we pray for Donald Trump and Mike Pence. We pray that You fill them with wisdom like You filled Solomon. You call us to pray that Your Holy Spirit guides them. You tell us that, You, the great God of the universe, You guide the hearts of Kings, of those in authority like water in Your hands. We do pray for this upcoming election and we pray that You give us wisdom in how to vote in every single sphere, every single level of the election. We pray that You put into power, put into authority, the person that You have decreed before the foundation of the world. We pray for religious liberty that we can continue to gather as Your people to hear Your Word proclaimed, to worship You in freedom. Freedom that's lacking in so many parts of the world, a freedom that we take for granted all too often. We do pray that You make us a people who don't look to our political representatives to fix all of our problems. They cannot, they are but frail humans. So we look to You, oh great God. We turn to You for forgiveness, and we turn to You for healing, and we turn to You for blessing, and we turn to You for security and protection, and we turn to You for ultimate guidance. You are the one who can order the chaos of our hearts and of our lives, and we ask for that now, no matter how painful it is. We ask for Your grace, and protection, and mercy. Bless our time in the Holy Word. We pray this in Christ's name, amen. We are in a sermon series called Balm Psalms, where we are looking at some of the choices. Psalms in the first half of the Psalter, we'll pick up the second half of the Psalter at some point later on. We'll do Season Two on Balm Psalms. Today, we are in Psalm 72. Next week, we cap off the series. After that, we got a four week series in Malachi, which then brings us to Advent in which we will look at the first two chapters of the Gospel of Matthew. Today, we look at Psalm 72, which is a prayer of coronation, a prayer for the king, a prayer for people in power over us. The first lesson that we must draw from the very beginning is that we as God's people are called to pray for those in positions of power. How often do you pray for those in positions of power over us? Do you pray for them more often than you complain about them? Here's my challenge to you. For every time that you share a political meme on social media or in group texts, pray as often. I think if we do that we're going to have revival in the land. But scripture does teach us to pray for those in positions of power. 1 Timothy 2:1-2. "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way." He does not tell us to pray according to their godliness or according to their righteousness, he says pray because they've been placed in this position of authority. And as we look at Psalm 72, which is a psalm of King David. King David writes this prayer for his son, Solomon, and he prays for Solomon. He prays that Solomon will be blessed by the Lord. If one of the greatest kings, King David, prays for his son who had one of the greatest Kingships of the Old Covenant. If that person needed prayer, how much more do the rulers over us? We must pray regularly for leaders no matter how just or unjust they might be. Pray for wisdom as well in whom to vote for in this coming election in 16 days. And as we do, one of the things you realize as you pray Psalm 72, you realize how far our leaders fall short of the standard. As we pray this, we bemoan that sinful people are leading sinful people. And we cry out to God, "God, send us a true King. The King that, His image is written on our hearts." This is why we're so disappointed with earthly leaders. No matter how great they are, were ultimately disappointed. Even Israel was ultimately disappointed with Solomon and with King David ... Will serve you. He refuses, they succeed, they rebel, and then following the following kings ruling over Judah don't even come close to the glory of Solomon. In 586 BC, the last Davidic King goes into Babylonian exile and there's no more kings on the throne of David from then on. So as the people of Israel after 586 BC, as they pray Psalm 72, they're praying Psalm 72 in a similar way that we are praying it. They do pray for their current leaders, but ultimately, the Psalm was about the great leader that's coming. It's a prophecy of the coming King, and I'll just set that up with the verbs in the Psalm. Psalm in verse 1, there's an imperative, "God, give Your justice. God, give Your righteousness to the King." That's an imperative. It's a command. And then every verb after that is an imperfect, and it can be translated either as adjustive, may it be. Or as a future tense, it will be, he shall be. And you say, "Which one is it?" Well, poetry is infused with ambiguity often, because it wants you to read both meanings. So as we read this as a prayer, "May this King be, may this King be righteous, just. May He be good, may He lead to prosperity, may He protect His people." You're also reading it as a cry for the prophecy, "He will be." Who's that? Jesus. Jesus will rule with justice, Jesus will rule with righteousness. So it's a prayer for our leadership now, and it's a prediction and a cry for the future Messiah to come and reign. That Psalm is long and we'll read every single section under each point. The five points that cover our time in Psalm 72, we'll look at the righteous reign of the King, verses 1-4. The eternal reign of the King, verses 5-7. The universal reign of the King, verses 8-11. The compassionate reign of the King, verses 12-14. And the blessed reign of the King in verses 15-17. First, we see the righteous reign of the King. Verse 1 begins with a petition. It's a prayer, it's pleading for God to do the following. Verse one, "Give the king Your justice, O God, and Your righteousness to the royal son." Or the son of the King. He's not asking the King to just be just, though that would be good. He's not asking for God to make the King just righteous, that would be good as well. No, he's asking for something greater. He says, "God, give the King Your justice. Give the king Your righteousness, O God." First thing that we noticed from the very beginning, is that the people of God do not look to the King for ultimate justice and righteousness. They're not praying this prayer to the King, they're praying this prayer to God. The first thing that this prayer does is it reorders our priorities. We don't look to the President of the United States, or the governor of Massachusetts, or the mayor of Boston to reorder our lives, to fix absolutely everything. We know that this person is placed in authority under someone who has a greater authority, which is God. I think that's one of the problems with politics in the United States. One of the biggest problems is we look to this one figurehead to figure out all of our problems. And every four years, there's the poll that goes out and survey that's run in the whole country, are, "Is your life better off after the four years of this person in power?" And then you're like, "Is my life better off?" Actually, if you're really honest, probably 99.99% of your life really hasn't changed that much. So why do we spend so much emotional energy, so much stress, so much anxiety, thinking about this one person who is empowered? What this does in the very beginning of this prayer, as you pray for those in powers you realize there's someone in power over this person. And Lord, I pray that whoever's in power realizes that You have ultimate authority, that You will judge, that You have a standard of righteousness, that there is a standard of righteousness. The cry here is, "Lord, put people in positions of power that recognize that they are under authority, that You will judge, You will bring to justice this person with their actions and their decisions. And as we cry out for this, Lord, we pray that You give Your justice to the King, we can't but pray the same thing for ourselves." Because that would be hypocrisy. How can we pray for the King to receive God's justice if we don't pray that for ourselves? Do you pray that for yourself? Are you willing to pray, "God, give me Your justice for everything I've done. God, judge me according to Your perfect law." You can't pray that for the King if you don't pray that for yourself. And one of the beautiful things that we see here is that as you pray this, you see your need for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because the ultimate hope for our country is not for the right president, or the right senator, or the right congressman, or the right governor, or the right mayor. The ultimate hope for our country is the gospel of Jesus Christ, transforming us first. God, I do cry out for justice, but I realize how far I've fallen from Your standard of justice. So I pray for forgiveness as well, and I pray for imputed righteousness." How can you pray that God gives the King His righteousness, "God, give Your righteousness to the King." What's that talking about? That's talking about an imputed righteousness. You can't pray that for the King without praying that for yourself, "God, give me an imputed righteousness." Whose righteousness? "That of the ultimate king of King Jesus. God, forgive me of my sins. Thank You that Jesus Christ led a perfect life, died on the cross for my sin, the death that I deserved to die. Bearing the wrath of God, and now by grace through faith, an imputed righteousness is offered to me." So as we pray for the King, we recognize our need for a greater King, and that's King Jesus. No king, no matter how talented, no ruler no matter how successful, no matter what the innate abilities. No king can reign with this justice and this righteousness, this justice and this truth without the empowerment of God. "So God, we ask that for the King, we ask that for ourselves." All too often, this election and the past election, but what we've seen is ... and the one before that, if you have a good memory. And the one before that, every single election, we always look at the final two candidates. The people that went through the whole primary and all of that and we say, "These two? These are the only options? There's 330 million people in this country, these are the only options?" And then you get to debates, the lesser of evil, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. What this does, what the Psalm does is it shows us that the greatest need is not for the leader, it's for a people. The greatest need is for us to be transformed. The reason why it's these two, no matter who it is, is because these two reflect the people. They reflect us as a country. That's why I say the greatest hope of this country is not the President, the greatest hope is a gospel that can transform the people, reawaken the people to the rule of God, to the rule of Jesus Christ. And the more people who submit to the rule of Jesus Christ, the more people like that, that there are people of justice, people of righteousness, perhaps then We'll have better candidates. And that's why verse 1 is so important. He recognizes that it's the people, it's the people that pray for the King. It's the people who pray for the King to be under God who is the ultimate King. It's the King who rules on behalf of God, it's the King who needs the wisdom of God, and needs to ask for the wisdom of God just like King Solomon asked. 1 Kings chapter 3, God comes to Solomon in a dream and says, "Ask whatever you want. Anything, anything that you want. Anything in the world. You want riches? I'll give you riches. You want power? I'll give you everything that you want." And this is the dialogue, verse 9, "Give Your servant therefore ..." Solomon says, "'... an understanding mind to govern Your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this Your great people?' It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, 'Because you have asked this and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.'" Lord, I need an understanding mind, that's what Solomon asked for. That's what we want in the rulers, that's what we want in the person in charge over us. And as we pray, "God, give Your wisdom, understanding, a discerning mind to those in power over us. Give us the same, give me the same." And where does wisdom begin? It begins with the fear of God, we recognize who we are under the authority of God, created by God to glorify Him. "God, give us wisdom and give our leaders wisdom. God, make Your judgments be the King's judgments, may He rule in accordance with Your justice and judgment." Verse 2 of Psalm 72, "May He judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice. Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills in righteousness. May He defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor." Few things I want to point out here is he emphasizes righteousness. Righteousness in the context of not just upholding uprightness or truth, but a righteousness that includes compassion. Compassion to the least of these. It's a responsibility to give justice, to seek vindication, the rescue of the afflicted and the needy. It's a King who cares for the weakest of the kingdom, the most in need. So he talks about, "Give Your poor with justice." And he talks about, "Including the deliverance of the children of the needy." God has a soft spot for the disenfranchised, for the marginalized, for the weakest. And in Scriptures, His categories for the least of these, they're the widows, and they're the orphans, and they're the immigrants. Those people who do not have financial power, that's what he's talking about primarily. "May the King, may those in leadership care about those who need this socio economic justice, particularly for the children in need. God, we pray that those in leadership care about children." That's emphasized, it's highlighted here, particularly of the children of the needy. In Old Testament contexts, in Scripture, children life did not begin at birth. The whole phrase of "she was with child", the Psalmist and the prophets talk about, "You knit me in my mother's womb." The child is there, that's life. It has its own heartbeat, it has its own DNA. "God, we pray for leadership that cares about life in the womb, life at conception. God, we pray that You send someone to defend, we pray that You send someone to crush the oppressor, that You give deliverance to the children of the needy." So the king, the righteous king of God, the people in leadership that we want and long for, are not people that conquer, it's people that defend. Defend the nation, defend the people. In particular, defend those who are most defenseless beginning with children. So as we look at our options, who is standing up for life? Who wants to defend the children? Defend life and defend their innocence? We live in a culture that says you can choose your gender and not your sexuality. You can choose your gender at age eight. And our leaders will praise that. Well, 1 Peter 2:14 tells us the job of those in leadership is to punish evil and praise that which is good. What is good and evil? Well, you can't decide what's good and evil apart from a standard, apart from the God that we pray to, "God, give justice. God, give righteousness." There is a line between good and evil. So the King is the one who protects children, he protects the poor, he defends the people. Why? Because he understands they're not his people. Look twice in this text, it says, "May he judge Your people. May he judge Your people. May He defend the cause of the poor of the people of the needy for Your people." Over and over, God wants justice because God is their Creator. The people belong to God, not to the King. And then in verse 2, the other thing I want to point out here, "May he judge Your people with righteousness and Your poor with justice." Why emphasizing poor and justice? He says, "We need to pray for leaders that are not swayed by those who have powerful interests. Not swayed by money, not swayed by bribery where the rich get justice or don't get justice, and the poor do not because they can't buy their way out." So Lord, we pray the wise ruler does not allow justice to be bought or sold." Isaiah 1:17, "Learn to do good, seek justice, correct oppression, bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause." Amos 5:15, "Hate evil, love good and establish justice in the gate. It may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph." Amos 5:24, "But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." Whose justice? God's justice. To even talk about justice is to assume a God with laws. A God who is just. And ultimately, the only righteous King is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the author and Creator of life and of our salvation, He's the perfecter of our salvation. He came as a King who came to serve those in subjection to Him. He came to love care. He said that ... The Scripture says that, "A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering flax He will not put out." Jesus is the perfect combination of justice and compassion. Of justice and compassion. You look at Him every once in a while and you're like, "Who is this?" As He goes into the temple, as He starts tossing tables of tax collectors and money changers who were oppressing the poor from worshiping God. And then He's so tender, so gentle to the woman caught in adultery. He's got toughness against the oppressor, and He's got compassion for the oppressed. He's tough and strong enough to deliver us from every oppressor, and tender and gentle enough to care for the oppressed. So as we pray this for our leaders, we also pray, "Lord Jesus, come. Lord Jesus, we submit to You. Rule over us every square inch of our lives, rule over us with justice and righteousness and make us a people who reflect You. So then hopefully, by Your grace, we can have a leader who reflects You as well." Point two is the eternal reign of the kingdom. Verses 5-7, he talks about a dynasty. A dynastic endurance of this King. Verse 5, "May they fear You ..." King, "... You while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations. May He be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth." What he's crying out is, "Lord, we want great rulers. And since they're so great, we don't want them out of office." Obviously, this isn't talking about a human being, it's talking about someone greater. God promised to King David, "David, you will have someone, a descendant of David will rule on your throne forever." 2 Samuel 7:16. "And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before Me, your throne shall be established forever. Forever." With Rehoboam like the second generation as Solomon's son, all of a sudden Israel's kingdom gone. Now he's got 2 tribes instead of 12 to rule over. And then after 586, we don't have any of that. Obviously, this is a prophecy. A King who would indeed rule justly, a Kingdom marked by righteousness, peace, prosperity and a Kingdom that would endure forever. Verse 7, "In his days, may the righteous flourish and peace abound, till the moon be no more." Here, he is back to something very more tangible, very more specific. "Lord, we pray for rulers that allow the righteous to worship, that allow the righteous to flourish." He's talking about those who worship God. "Lord, we pray for leaders that create an atmosphere, create a culture, create a society where the people of God are free to worship Him as He decreed. Where the people of God are free to teach the whole counsel of God without fear of retaliation or consequence. Lord, we pray for leaders like this, leaders that establish conditions for the Church to do the Church's work." So as we choose whom to vote for, this is one of the things we got to keep in mind as well. Who is going to further this condition or who is going to detract from it? Who will create conditions for the people of God to flourish? And who will create a condition where the people of God do not? "Lord, we pray for rulers that allow us the space to fulfill the great commandment, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.'" Love as is decreed by the truth of God's Word. And here he says, "May peace abound, may the shalom of God." The universal flourishing, righteous flourish. And as the righteous flourish, they work to further the common good, and then peace flourishes in the culture. Point three is the universal reign of the king. He prays for a King who has a global kingdom embracing the reign of a King whose Kingdom was global. Look at verses 8-11. "May He have dominion from sea to sea, from the river to the ends of the earth. May desert tribes bow down before Him, and His enemies lick the dust. May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render Him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts. May all kings fall down before Him, all nations serve." Solomon's kingdom was great. But as great as it was, we couldn't conceive of Solomon's reign having global dominance. Yes, the Queen of Sheba did come to King Solomon and she did bring gifts as a sign of allegiance. Four and a half tons of gold, which is an astonishing amount. Other kings came bearing gifts, silver, gold, garments, weaponry, spices, horses, mules. Kings from Ethiopia came and brought gifts. But certainly, Solomon did not have a global Empire. This is talking about a different King. Zechariah 9:10, the prophet echoes the sentiment, he says, "I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off and He shall speak peace to the nations. His rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth." This King that we're crying for is a King who is a King of all people. He transcends all people, therefore He can be King over all people. Whose this talking about? This is why it's so important. Obviously, he's talking about Jesus Christ who has a Kingdom not of this world for now, He has a kingdom of hearts. One of the reasons why the Magi from the east came when Jesus was born, Magi from the east came with gifts of gold, frankincense, myrrh, is to show that people of all the ends of the earth will one day submit to this King. This is why King Jesus before His ascension, He gave us, the Church, the Great Commission, "I want you to go and make disciples, of followers of Christ, disciples of all nations. Baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, the Holy Spirit. And lo, I Am with you, always until the end of the days." What was He talking? He was talking about, "Go and share this gospel that transforms hearts, hearts of all people." So that one day, people from every single tribe, nation, tongue will bow down before King Jesus and worship of Him." Point four is the compassionate reign of the King, this is verses 12-14, "For He delivers the needy when He calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence, He redeems their life, and precious is their blood in His sight." God is calling for us to pray for a King or ruler that protects those who need protection, but a compassionate protector. We mentioned this in righteousness, but here it's explicitly expounded that we pray for someone who has concern for the poor, the needy. The poor is mentioned three times as a category verses 2, 4, and 12. The needy is mentioned four times in verses 4, 12 and 13 twice. God is telling the people of Israel to pray for a King that protects the most vulnerable. Why? Because the people of Israel had a problem with this just like people of all times, people from all nations. Frequently, the rights of the poor were trampled by the powerful through dishonest gain. And over and over in Jeremiah and all the prophets, and Leviticus as well, God talks about the fact that He abhors dishonest gain. Oppression and violence are the two evils that threaten the poor and needy. Oppression is the exploitation of the powerless by the powerful, often using usury, or just exorbitant amounts of interest to put people into debt for all of life. And violence was just ruthless disregard for life. So he says, "Lord, we pray for a King who has pity on the needy. He will protect from the oppression of violence and will redeem their life. Their life is precious, their blood is precious in His sight." And hear the language of redemption. We see this language all throughout Scripture, and particularly we saw this language at play where someone redeemed the poor in the book of Ruth. Do you remember? We had a great sermon series over quarantine in the book of Ruth. In the book of Ruth, we see Ruth with her mother-in-law. They come into Israel, they have no money, they have no finances, they are in this category of poor. And by the way, poor in the Old Testament isn't the person who can't afford the iPhone 12. If that's the definition of poor, that's me as well. That's not the definition of poor. The definition of poor is someone who could not feed their families. If you don't have food, you are poor. You have food, you have sufficiency, you are not poor. That's how the categories work. So Ruth comes in. And what Ruth did was she saw work. God provided ... In the Old Testament, He provided provision through the gleaning laws, where people in positions of power, land owners, people who owned farms or farming establishment, what they were called by God to do is provide work for those who are the least of these. The widows, the orphans, the immigrants. Ruth was a widow and she was an immigrant and Ruth started working. God cared. The King cares by providing meaningful work for those in need, primarily a hand up not just a handout. However, it was also taught in Scripture, that if a person is not able to work due to sickness, an accident, old age, et cetera, that the people who had means of wealth were to care for the least of these. Jesus taught us the same thing, to provide for those who are the least of these. He said, "What you do the least of these, you do unto Me." The King's job is to make sure that they're protected from this oppression, protected from violence, so that they can be provided for. And ultimately, this shows us the picture of the gospel. Boaz redeemed Ruth by providing work for her, but ultimately not just providing work for, he ultimately paid for all her debts. Now she had freedom, and then he ultimately made her his. This points to the ultimate King of kings, Lord of lords, Jesus Christ comes into ... He redeems us, redeems us from our greatest bankruptcy, which is our spiritual bankruptcy. Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor." Poor in what? Poor in righteousness. Blessed are the spiritually bankrupt who come to the Lord and say, "Lord, forgive me of all my debts." He does forgive because He paid for our debts on the cross of Jesus Christ. We are to pray for a King that allows us to fulfill the great commandment to love God with all heart, soul, strength and mind. And love our neighbors as ourself. To fulfill the Great Commission, that's our job. Not the King's job, that's our job. And fulfill the great compassion. Lord, as we pray for the king to provide for the needy, are we working to provide for the needy? In particular, we saw this in action over quarantine with our COVID fund. We saw people with influence, people with resources caring for those who were hit the hardest during quarantine. May that continue to be the pattern of our life as the people of God. And fifth, the blessing reign of the King. The king blesses the people and the people bless the King. See, here in verses 15-20, we have 10 petitions for the King, the land, the people, and the nation's. Verse 15, "Long may He live, may gold of Sheba be given to him. May prayer be made for Him continually, and blessings invoked for Him all the day. May there be abundance of grain in the land. On the tops of the mountains, may it wave. May its fruit be like Lebanon, and may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field. May His name endure forever, His fame continue as long as the sun. May people be blessed in Him, all nations call Him blessed." May all the nations call this King blessed, he's ultimately talking about the kingship of Jesus Christ. And this echoes the promise that God gave to Abraham, "In you, all the families of the earth shall be blessed." What's fascinating is the verse 16, he prays for abundance in the land. "Lord, we pray for abundance in the land, we pray for prosperity." And he's talking about a supernatural prosperity. When the nation prospers and the nation is filled with righteous people, then everyone prospers. He says, "May there be abundance of grain in the land. On the tops of the mountains, may it wave. May its fruit be like Lebanon." If you've ever been to the top of the mountain, I'm sure you've seen a lot of great things. You go to the top of Mount Washington, there's a lot of great things up there. There's even a little tour shop up there and you can buy snacks and stuff. One of the things that you do not see at the top of Mount Washington or any of the mountain, is you do not see grain. There's no grain at the top of a mountain. There's grain on flatland, there's grain on lower ground. There's not grain and abundance of grain on mountains. What he's talking about is, "God, may You send us a supernatural prosperity. Prosperity that only comes from You." We see the same echo in verse 3, "Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills in righteousness." Hills are fertile, mountains are barren. Why is he asking for prosperity in the mountains? And by the way, prosperity means a flourishing of shalom. From the very top bank, prosperity come. He asked for supernatural prosperity, a supernatural blessing. And God does promise a supernatural blessing for people under one condition, the condition is that you submit to God, that you are a righteous people. Look at Leviticus 26:3-6, "If you walk in My statutes and observe My commandments and do them, then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Your threshing shall last to the time of the grape harvest, and the grape harvest shall last to the time for sowing. And you shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land securely. I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid. And I will remove harmful beasts from the land, and the sword shall not go throughout land." If you're righteous, you shall be blessed. That sounds great, until you look at the United States of America. That sounds tremendous, until you look at your own life. "Lord, this blessing depends primarily on me. If so, what hope is there? What hope is there for me personally? What hope is there for my nation." This is why the gospel Jesus Christ is such good news and our ultimate hope. The gospel of Jesus Christ comes to us and says, "You are not righteous, you are sinners. You have rebelled against the ultimate King of the universe, the God of the universe." We deserve punishment, we deserve pestilence. We do not deserve prosperity. So God sends His Son, Jesus Christ. He, though being rich, became poor so that we might become rich in Him. The King of the universe subjects Himself to be murdered by us, rebels. The King of the universe submits to what we deserve for our rebellion, He submits to the wrath of God. He does this to save His people. I don't care who you're voting for ... I do care. You should listen to earlier in the sermon, there's a clear criteria. It's important who vote for. Don't give your ultimate allegiance to the person. The Scripture says, "Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, soul, strength and mind." Not that person. No matter how great any King, no matter how great any politician, they did not die for you. They did not go to the cross for you. They did not observe the wrath of God for you. They're just a person and they need Jesus just as much as you do. So we cry out, yes, we pray for our politicians, we pray for the people in power over us. But ultimately, we pray for Jesus Christ. Hebrews 1:8 says, "But of the Son he says, 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your Kingdom." Jesus Christ came and the very first words that He said in His very first sermon is, "The time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God has come near. Therefore, repent and believe in the good news." As we pray for that King, we pray that that King repents and believes in the good news, but we also pray the same for ourselves. "Lord, we repent of our sins. And Lord, we pray that You forgive us and give us faith." The prayer in Psalm 72 answers in part ... The cry of it is answered in part with the coming of Jesus Christ the first time. With His life, His death, His resurrection, His missionary mandate, His ascension to heaven, He ushered in the Kingdom. An all ready but not yet Kingdom. Where is Jesus' dominion to the end of the earth? He healed people, but not all people. He preached the good news to the poor, but not to all. He died and rose again, sent His disciples as witnesses to the end of the earths, but still we haven't preached the gospel to the ends of the earth. Jesus ascended, seated at the right hand of God the Father, and we still are told to cry out for the second coming. Jesus taught us to pray for the second coming. "Our Father ..." He said, "Pray like this, 'Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.'" The ascended Lord promised in Revelation 22:20, "Surely, I Am coming soon." And you know what the saints cried out? "Amen, come Lord Jesus." So we pray for those in authority over us, we also bemoan the fact that they fall so short of the standard that's written on our hearts. Written there by God Himself and is a story of Jesus Christ. It's the image of Jesus Christ, so we cry for Him to come. The Psalm ends with this benediction, Psalm 72:18-19, "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be His glorious name forever. May the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and amen." The God of Israel, the God of Jesus ... our God, the triune God of the universe, He alone can do such wondrous things. He alone and endow rulers with righteousness and justice, He alone can make not only hills but mountains wave with gorgeous grain and prosperity. He alone can give the King dominion to the ends of the earth. May His name, His name be glorious and blessed forever. And may His name and His glory fill the ends of the earth. Let's pray. Lord Jesus, we thank You that You the great King of the universe came and died for us, Your rebellious subjects. Lord, You call us to Yourself not just to be Your servants, but when we are saved by grace through faith, when we repent and believe the good news of Jesus Christ, You also make us Your children. Children of the King. I pray, make us a people who reflect the ultimate King of the universe, make us a people of justice who cry out for justice because we have the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. Make us a people who live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Make Your Church flourish. I pray that we do not forget our mandate, that we don't our responsibility, the responsibility of the Great Commission, and the great commandment, and the great compassion to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to all the earth. We pray this in Christ's name. Amen.


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