December 17, 2014

 

Psalm 72
Ring Christmas Bells

The prayer in Psalm 72 centers on a vision of the perfect king. This king rules in righteousness and compassion. For the Israelites, this king is one for which they longed, but must have wondered if such a ruler could exist? Most kings they knew took care of their own needs and desires at the expense of their people. This king rules over the nation in peace and security, yet the Israelites were accustomed to other armies of large powers ravaging the land. This prayer pictures a land of beauty and abundant fertility, but drought and famine were often grim realities. So who is this king? Where might he be found?

The early church interpreted this psalm as a prayer about the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. This prayer looks beyond itself. Behind the human king stands God. The king’s righteousness is but a glimpse of the righteousness of the King. He is the King of mercy and empathy, and every king will bow to this King, King Jesus. Although we do not have a king ruling in our country today, we can relate to the Israelites’ struggle and doubts about their future. Today, may we rest knowing this Old Testament prayer and prophecy is being fulfilled. Christ the King has come. Let us “ring Christmas bells, merrily ring, tell all the world, Jesus is KING!”

Ring Christmas bells, merrily ring
Tell all the world, Jesus is King
Loudly proclaim with one accord
The happy tale, welcome the Lord
Ring Christmas bells, sound far and near
The birthday of Jesus is here
Herald the news to old and young
Tell it to all in every tongue
Ring Christmas bells, merrily ring
Tell all the world, Jesus is King
Ring Christmas bells, toll loud and long
Your message sweet, peal and prolong
Come all ye people join in the singing
Repeat the story told by the ringing
Ring, ring, ring, ring
Ring, ring, ring, ring