Today’s Scripture reading was authored by two kings of Israel, David and his son Solomon. Psalm 72 was most likely penned in the last weeks or months of David’s life, and was titled, “A Psalm for Solomon.” The last verse of the psalm identified the elderly king as its author with the words, “20The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended” (72:20).
Psalm 72 – David’s Prayer for His Son, King Solomon
In my opinion, Psalm 72:2-17 had an immediate application for Solomon’s kingdom, and a prophetic implication that will only be fulfilled during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. David’s desire and prayer was that Solomon’s judgment as king would be righteous (72:2), and the effect of his rule would be one of peace (72:3-4).
Psalm 72:5-8 will only be fulfilled when Christ shall return, and rule the earth. His reign of righteousness will provoke fear and reverence over those whom He will rule (72:5), and like the rain and dew upon green pastures (72:6), His rule will bring peace (72:7). Though Solomon’s kingdom would be great, it is Christ’s future kingdom that will span “from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth” (72:8).
The reign of Christ will be compassionate, and “He shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and himthat hath no helper. 13 He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy” (72:12-13). What a glorious day it will be when men will be redeemed “from deceit and violence” (72:14), and He will be continually the object of praise in the earth (72:15). Christ’s reign upon the earth will be a time of plenty (72:16), and His name, like His kingdom, will “endure for ever…and men shall be blessed in Him: all nations shall call him blessed” (72:17).
David concluded the psalm with a doxology offering praise and thanksgiving to God, and foreseeing the day the glory of the LORD would fill the earth (72:18-19).
Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith
Song of Solomon 1 – An Introduction to a Timeless Love Story
The second half of today’s Scripture reading bears the name of its author, “The Song of Solomon.” The Song of Solomon has been described as a story of love, and a celebration of love between a man and woman. The book does bear messianic implications (meaning it is a prophecy, and portrayal of the millennial reign of Christ following His second coming). Throughout the book you will find Solomon expressing a young king’s passion, and love for a peasant woman whom he identified as a “Shulamite” (Song of Solomon 6:13).
Possible Interpretations of The Song of Solomon
It has been suggested that “The Song of Solomon” might be interpreted in three genres. Some suggest an Allegorical interpretation, and that it is a narrative describing God’s relationship with His people, Israel. Early church fathers took the approach that the Song of Solomon was meant to describe Christ’s love for His church. A Typical interpretation has also been suggested by some who contend, “The Song of Solomon” is descriptive of Christ’s love and relationship with the Church (Ephesians 5:25, 29).
For the sake of our brief study, I suggest a Literal interpretation of “The Song of Solomon.” I believe the narrative of the book is a story of romance, a love story. I suggest “The Song of Solomon” is a celebration of love and romance between the young king and the woman whom he loved. Song of Solomon 1 is the beginning of that courtship.
Following a literal interpretation, I tend to agree with some who suggest that King Solomon had departed his court and royal city, disguised as a lowly shepherd. That he had traveled northward, and in his journey noticed a beautiful young woman, a peasant laboring in a vineyard her family had leased, perhaps from the king himself (1:6).
Identified as a Shulamite (6:13), she did not recognize her king and, concluded she and the shepherd were of the same rank in society. Like many young women who dream of love, she met the stranger and was flattered and embarrassed by the attention he had shown her (1:2-4). Mindful of her skin tanned by the rays of the Middle Eastern sun, she reasoned within herself, “5I am black, but comely [beautiful], O ye daughters of Jerusalem, As the tents of Kedar [Bedouin shepherds], as the curtains of Solomon. 6Look not upon me, because I am black, Because the sun hath looked upon me: My mother’s children [not her brothers, but her step-brothers] were angry with me; They made me the keeper of the vineyards [another’s vineyards, perhaps the kings]; But mine own vineyard have I not kept” (1:5-6). She dreamed of meeting the shepherd again, and wondered where his flocks graze (1:7).
Romance was in the air, and she knew their interests were mutual; however, she did not know the object of her affections was Solomon, the king of Israel! (1:9, 15) Her love for the shepherd is expressed in verses 9-14. She imagined lying beside the shepherd on a bed of green grasses (1:16). With a canopy of cedar and fir branches above her head (1:17), she dreamed of love.
Closing thoughts – “Love is not blind.” Though their stations in life were different, the king loved the tanned skin woman who labored in the vineyard, and she loved him (though she believed him to be a lowly shepherd). Ignoring the traits that might have been undesirable (weathered skin, and calloused hands from labor), Solomon loved the young woman, and focused on the positives of her beauty and character.
Dwell on the negatives, or love and look past them. After all, “Charity [Love] thinketh no evil” (1 Corinthians 13:5).
Copyright © 2021 – Travis D. Smith