May the land enjoy prosperity;
may it experience righteousness.
May the king judge the poor fairly;
may he help the needy and defeat their oppressors.
May your people worship you as long as the sun shines,
as long as the moon gives light, for ages to come. (verses 3-5)
Read Psalm 72:1-7, 18, 19
Parts of Australia have a Mediterranean climate similar to that of Israel. I grew up in the Adelaide Hills, and so I easily identify with these verses. Ever since childhood I have loved the smell of summer rain on dry earth, a scent that brings with it the promise of new life and new growth.
It would appear that this psalm may have been written by Solomon and that he himself is the subject. At first the sentiments expressed in the psalm may seem rather presumptuous. Consider though the hope and the anticipation that people have in regard to a new leader, be it a president, prime ministers or pastor. While we hope for wonderful things from our earthly leaders, the scent of anticipation soon wears off, sadly often replaced with the odours of cynicism and mistrust.
Just as the rainbow was a promise to Noah, so the scent of rain on the dry earth can be a reminder to you that it is only in God that all promises are fulfilled.
Come to your people, O God, as welcome as rain on the parched earth. Amen.
by Anne Maczkowiack in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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