Read Psalm 72
Featured Verse: Psalm 72:15
“Long may he live! May gold from Sheba be given him. May people ever pray for him and bless him all day long. ”
It has been a long time since we’ve had a leader like the one described in this royal psalm. This is a psalm of Solomon, who of course, was King David’s son, and successor to the throne. Under Solomon’s reign, the nation of Israel expanded economically, educationally, militarily, and spiritually — “happy days were here again” for God’s people.
Solomon began his reign by declaring his utter dependence on God. You can see it here in this song, which is really a prayer to God declaring the kind of leader he wants to be. He speaks of being divinely endowed with justice and righteousness so that his leadership will be characterized by those same two qualities. (Psalm 72:1-2). He desires the nation to be prosperous and fruitful primarily as a result of his righteous rule. (Psalm 72:3,7) He declares his intentions to look out for the little guy—the needy, poor, oppressed and the innocents. (Psalm 72:4,13-14).
No wonder he thinks his leadership can endure and his influence expand. (Psalm 72:5,8) People will not be crying out for term limits with this leader; he is both an authentic servant of God as well as public servant in the truest sense. His people love him!
Wouldn’t it be great if our presidents began their reign by declaring their utter dependence on God? Wouldn’t it be great if they saw their administration as a conduit to God’s blessing on us? Wouldn’t it be great if they played fair with both the bigwig and the little guy? Wouldn’t it be great if they fundamentally saw themselves as both servant of God and servant of the people?
Who wouldn’t want to follow a leader like that!
But as much as we wish for that kind of leadership in the White House…or in the governor’s mansion…or in the mayor’s office…or in the pulpit, we should be even more intent on praying for those very qualities to be endowed to them from on high. And, of course, we ought to pray that they would have the kind of heart into which God places the stuff of great leadership.
Solomon was wise enough to know that he couldn’t be that kind of leader without the prayers of the people. That is why he includes a prayer request for himself in the song: “May people ever pray for him and bless him all day long.” (Psalm 72:15)
Wouldn’t it be great if we began praying and blessing our president like that! Who knows what good it might do him, and in the process of praying and blessing him, it might do us some good, too!
“The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.” ~John Stott