Giving Shalom: Advent Day 17

All kings will bow before him,
   and all nations will serve him.
He will rescue the poor when they cry to him;
   he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them.
He feels pity for the weak and the needy,
   and he will rescue them.
He will redeem them from oppression and violence,
   for their lives are precious to him. (Psalm 72:11–14 NLT)

Written by King Solomon, Psalm 72 reads as a description of Israel’s ideal king and kingdom, a hope that could only be realized in King Jesus and the Kingdom of Heaven. The king described in this psalm is one who is just, righteous, and loving, who cares for his subjects and actively seeks their well-being. This king cares so much for the poor, needy, weak, and oppressed that He chose to live among them—among us. This King, and the kingdom He rules, is dramatically different from King Solomon and the kingdom he led.

We follow King Jesus, who sees our lives as precious and eagerly seeks to grant us shalom—peace, wholeness, and well-being. This alone makes Him remarkable among world leaders, but what sets Him apart from even the most caring of leaders is that all have equal access to Him, regardless of position; everyone is free to approach His throne. Read the entirety of Psalm 72 with a recognition that this hope for a king and kingdom has been realized in Jesus and the Kingdom of Heaven, contrasting this Kingdom with the kingdoms we join or make for ourselves today. Use it as the basis for a song or prayer of praise to the King of kings, who actively works toward the well-being of all of His people.