What detours are you facing? Psalm 72

Thursday, January 6th, is a feast day for the church known as Epiphany. It’s the day we remember the magi or three kings who sought baby Jesus by following a star. The Feast Day of Epiphany then begins the season of Epiphany. Ash Wednesday (03/02/2022) will mark the end of the season of Epiphany.

Have you ever considered how the three kings dutifully followed the star all the way to Jerusalem and not Bethlehem? Was it a divine detour?

Matthew chapter 2 explains they began to ask about where the newly born King of the Jews might be. Their questions troubled everyone, but most especially King Herod. He was not about to let someone else claim his throne, so he enquired of his chief priests about the birthplace of Christ. They directed him towards the city of Bethlehem because it had been foretold.

King Herod then summoned the three kings and told them to go and find the child in Bethlehem. As soon as they did, he instructed them to report back the child’s location, so he could go worship him too. Honesty was undoubtedly not one of King Herod’s character traits.

After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 
Matthew 2:9-10 ESV

These three kings persisted even when the route was challenging. Their journey to Jesus, even with the detour to Herod’s palace, fulfilled many prophecies about the promised Messiah. He would be worshipped and acknowledged by many nations. (Isaiah 60:3)

What detours are you facing in this season? Are you willing to persevere like the three kings?

These three kings sought Jesus because he was the promised Messiah and the savior of the world. So they came to worship him.

Psalm 72 concludes the second book of Psalms and was written as a prayer by King David. The verses appear to be a glance into the future at the ultimate king, Jesus.

1 Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son!

2 May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice!

3 Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness!

4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor!

Psalm 72:1-4 ESV

These verses describe a ruler who will defend the cause of the poor, bring justice, and judge the people with righteousness. Only King Jesus can judge with complete righteousness.

5 May they fear you while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations!

6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth!

7 In his days may the righteous flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more!

8 May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth!

9 May the desert tribes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust!

10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts!

11 May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him!

Psalm 72:5-11 ESV

Jesus did receive gifts from other kings, and they did all fall down and worship him.

12 For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper.

13 He has pity on the weak and the needy and saves the lives of the needy.

14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight.

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!

Psalm 72:12-15 ESV

Jesus even received the gift of gold from one of the three kings.

16 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!

17 May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed!

18 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.

19 Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory!

Amen and Amen!

20 The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are ended.

Psalm 72:16-20 ESV

Someday every verse from this Psalm will be completely fulfilled when Jesus comes back to rule forever. Be encouraged in this season of Epiphany (January 6-March 1st) by the example of the three kings who followed a star and found the promised Messiah. The word Epiphany means revelation because God is showing us His son and promised ruler.

What does God wish to reveal to you in this season?

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