1Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son.
2May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.
3May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.
4May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.
5May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
6May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.
7In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
8May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
9May his foes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust.
10May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts.
11May all kings fall down before him, all nations give him service.
12For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper.
13He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.
14From oppression and violence he redeems their life; and precious is their blood in his sight.
15Long may he live! May gold of Sheba be given to him. May prayer be made for him continually, and blessings invoked for him all day long.
16May there be abundance of grain in the land; may it wave on the tops of the mountains; may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field.
17May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun. May all nations be blessed in him; may they pronounce him happy.
18Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.
19Blessed be his glorious name forever; may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.
20The prayers of David son of Jesse are ended.
It’s a complicated word, justice. Just what does that look like? What does it feel like in today’s world, especially where kings are not our leaders? Whose responsibility is it to be just? What would it look like if we read Psalm 72 again and replaced all the ‘hes’ with I?
O Holy One of Israel, of old you asked your kings to do justice and live righteously; but I think you mean me today. Help me to care for your people. Allow my hands and feet to do justice and my heart to love kindness, now and always. Amen.