Reading: Psalms 72-74
Click on the link for the reading to read the Psalms for this week. As we read, let us not do so in haste. Take time to read each Psalm at least three times: once to understand the content, once as a poem or song to feel the meaning, and once as a prayer to appropriate the Psalm into your life. There will often be a hymn attached at the bottom of the page that helps bring meaning to one of the Psalms for the week.
PSALM 72: May Righteousness Flourish and Peace Abound
This psalm was most likely originally written for the coronation of Davidic kings in Jerusalem. After the disappearance of the monarchy, the psalm continued to be used because what it prays for ultimately is the establishment of God’s reign and will in the world. The vision of peace expressed in the psalm still calls for actualization. We are called as citizens of God’s realm to remind every human ruler, politician, and government that peace and well-being can be accomplished only when those in power assume responsibility for justice and rule with compassion towards all peoples.
Psalm 73: Blessed Are the Pure in Heart
Our hymn this week, “Be Thou My Vision”, echoes the final verses of Psalm 73. The meaning and mystery of the psalm lie in its transition from the opening bitterness to the ending declaration of the psalmist’s pure devotion. In verses 13-14 the psalmist questions what good it does to be faithful to God. In verse 15, the psalmist directly addresses God for the first time in the psalm. Apparently, the direct encounter with God also renews the psalmist’s awareness of God’s family. The psalmist realizes that if he or she were to keep on talking the way expressed in verses 13-14, then it would be a betrayal of God’s family—Israel. What brings the psalmist through the crisis of faith, then, is his or her identity as a member of God’s people. This sense of belonging to God and thus belonging to God’s people is subsequently solidified in worship. The psalmist almost lost faith because he or she thought that good behavior should be rewarded materially. What the psalmist came to realize was that true goodness, happiness, and peace consist of a different kind of reward. It is rewarding, not because it earns God’s favor, but because it derives from and expresses the power and presence of God in our lives, individually and corporately.
This is the Psalm in hymn form. Read or sing it through with melody to give the Psalm another dimension.
Just getting started? Find our reading schedule here
If you’d like to sign up for the reading notes to come via email, please sign up below.