Connected with the First Reading from Isaiah 11:1-10 that speaks of a shoot growing out of the “stock of Jesse,” King David’s father, in this passage we read a Psalm “of Solomon,” King David’s son. It’s not clear whether Solomon is the author of the Psalm or the one who who is promised. I’m inclined towards the latter. This is Solomon’s typical problem; he believes he is more important than he actually is.
When we look at 2 Samuel 7 we read the words of YHWH spoken to David through the prophet Nathan regarding David’s desire to build the Lord a temple. YHWH tells David that he should not build a temple; that dwelling in the midst of the people in a tabernacle has been appropriate. But it goes further than that. “Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me.” (2 Samuel 7:11b-14a) The promise here is that God will be the one doing the building. And that it will be built through one of David’s descendants.
The problem is that Solomon believe that he was this descendent. He wasn’t. Considering the words of YHWH to his Father, Solomon believed that he was the appointed heir to build the house of the Lord. This indicates what Solomon thought of himself in relation to the Lord. In 1 Kings 6 we have a record of Solomon’s temple.
But we’re never like Solomon, are we? Thinking that we are more important than we are?
Sometimes we think that the coming Kingdom of God is dependent upon us. “God has no hands but yours,” right?
Well, during this Advent season we are reminded that the coming Kingdom of God is not contingent upon you or me. We are reminded that as Christ came before he is coming again. And when comes this Psalm will be utterly realized. Not by a king decreeing the right decrees or a legislative body passing the right legislation, but by the righteousness and justice of Christ our King (something we just celebrated a few weeks ago).
As good as it is for us to take responsibility for our actions (Revelation says that we’ll be judged by them, after all) be reminded this season that Christ’s Kingdom is something we anticipate and something we look forward to. And even if it looks like the world around us is crumbling, Christ’s Kingdom will still come! And when it comes equity and justice will reign supreme.
Here is where our real responsibility lies; not in being the agents upon which the coming Kingdom is contingent, but in being those who live into the future! This royal expectation has become an eschatological expectation. And because of that you and I are not beings of the future! We are defined more by what is to come than by what is around us.
So, preacher, preach well the promise of Psalm 72, this promise that will be completely realized in the coming Kingdom. It’s something your congregation needs to hear. Within your halls there are likely both people being oppressed as well as those doing some oppressing. Both parties need to hear that God will crush the oppressor; one for hope and the other for repentance. Within your sanctuary will be those who are poor and those who perpetuate poverty. Both parties need to hear that God will defend the cause of the poor and bring deliverance to the needy.
There are those in your congregation who need to hear that a day is coming where peace will abound; the abused spouse, the combat veteran suffering from PTSD, the teen who was sexually assaulted, the wrongfully imprisoned, etc. etc.
A day of vindication is coming. A day of hope is coming. A day of peace is coming. Your people need to hear this!