“Endow the king with your justice, O God,
the royal son with your righteousness.
…Long may he live!
may the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and Amen.”
Psalm 72:1, 15, 19 (NIVUK)
Psalm 72 is one of those chapters in the Old Testament that point to a dual concept of fulfilment.
In the first instance David is expressing his hope for his son, Solomon, but something –or rather, someone – “greater than Solomon” was to come (Luke 11:31). That was and is Jesus. As the hymn-writer Isaac Watts wrote in his paraphrase of Psalm 72: “Jesus shall reign where’er the sun does his successive journeys run”.
This is a reference to the Ascension and Exultation of Jesus Christ at the right hand of God the Father. Paul alluded to it in a section of the Bible, which is thought of by many to be an early New Testament psalm or hymn: “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).
To the Christian this is not a remote event but one in which we participate through Christ. We are involved in it, as Paul explained in Ephesians 2:6-7, “And God raised us up and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace…”
The Ascension proclaims Jesus is King! He is exulted before the throne of God and he has taken us with him. We are safe with him and protected by his glorious name. As the psalmist said, “Praise be to his glorious name for ever”.
Father in heaven, thank you for raising Jesus from the dead through the Eternal Spirit; for exulting him at your right hand, and for the grace of our participation in who Jesus is and in all that he has done. In Jesus’ name.
Study by James Henderson
About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.