Who Can Deliver Those Crying for Help?
1. In the case of David, what do we learn about God’s mercy?
HOW heartwarming are those words, apparently penned by King David of ancient Israel! Years before writing them, he experienced remorse after committing adultery with Bath-sheba. At that time, David begged God: “According to the abundance of your mercies wipe out my transgressions. . . . My sin is in front of me constantly. . . . Look! With error I was brought forth with birth pains, and in sin my mother conceived me.” (Ps. 51:1-5) Mercifully, Jehovah takes into account our inherited sinful condition.
2. How can Psalm 72 help us?
2 Jehovah understands our lamentable situation. As foretold, however, God’s anointed King “will deliver the poor one crying for help, also the afflicted one and whoever has no helper. He will feel sorry for the lowly one and the poor one, and the souls of the poor ones he will save.” (Ps. 72:12, 13) How will relief be provided? Psalm 72 tells us. Composed regarding the kingship of David’s son Solomon, this song provides foregleams of how the rule of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, will relieve mankind of distress.
A Preview of Christ’s Rule
3. What did Solomon ask for, and what did God give him?
3 After directing that Solomon be made king, elderly David gave him specific instructions that Solomon faithfully carried out. (1 Ki. 1:32-35; 2:1-3) Jehovah later appeared to Solomon in a dream and said: “Request what I should give you.” Solomon made only one request: “You must give to your servant an obedient heart to judge your people, to discern between good and bad.” As a result of Solomon’s humble request, God gave him what he asked for and more.—1 Ki. 3:5, 9-13.
4. How was Solomon’s reign described by a contemporary ruler?
4 With Jehovah’s blessing, the reign of Solomon resulted in the most remarkable period of peace and prosperity ever realized under any government on earth. (1 Ki. 4:25) Among those who came to see what Solomon’s rule was like was the queen of Sheba, along with her large entourage. She told Solomon: “True has the word proved to be that I heard in my own land . . . I had not been told the half. You have surpassed in wisdom and prosperity the things heard.” (1 Ki. 10:1, 6, 7) Yet, far greater wisdom was displayed by Jesus, who could rightly say with reference to himself: “Look! something more than Solomon is here.”—Matt. 12:42.
Relief Under the Greater Solomon
5. What does Psalm 72 reveal, and what preview does it provide?
5 Let us now examine features of the 72nd Psalm with a view to learning about blessings under the rule of Jesus Christ, the Greater Solomon. (Read Psalm 72:1-4.) This psalm reveals how Jehovah feels about “the princely rule” of his Son, the “Prince of Peace,” Jesus Christ. (Isa. 9:6, 7) Under God’s direction, the Greater Solomon will ‘plead the cause of the afflicted ones and save the sons of the poor one.’ His rule will be one of peace and righteousness. While on earth, Jesus provided a preview of what his coming Thousand Year Reign will accomplish.—Rev. 20:4.
6. Jesus gave what glimpses of blessings under Kingdom rule?
6 Consider some of the activities of Jesus Christ that give us a glimpse of what he will do for mankind in fulfillment of Psalm 72. We are rightly impressed with his great compassion for those who were suffering. (Matt. 9:35, 36; 15:29-31) For instance, a man afflicted with leprosy approached Jesus and pleaded: “If you just want to, you can make me clean.” Jesus replied: “I want to. Be made clean.” And the man was healed! (Mark 1:40-42) Later, Jesus met a widow whose only son had died. “Moved with pity,” Jesus said, “Get up!” and her son did so. He was alive again!—Luke 7:11-15.
7, 8. What were some demonstrations of Jesus’ healing power?
7 Jehovah empowered Jesus to perform miracles. This was illustrated in the case of “a woman subject to a flow of blood twelve years.” Although “she had been put to many pains by many physicians and had spent all her resources,” she actually got worse. The woman entered a crowd and touched Jesus—a violation of the Law for one with a ‘running discharge of blood.’ (Lev. 15:19, 25) Jesus perceived that power had gone out of him and therefore asked who touched him. “Frightened and trembling,” the woman “fell down before him and told him the whole truth.” Realizing that Jehovah had healed the woman, Jesus treated her kindly and said: “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be in good health from your grievous sickness.”—Mark 5:25-27, 30, 33, 34.
8 Jesus’ God-given healing powers cured the sick but must also have had a dramatic effect on observers. For instance, many undoubtedly were impressed when they saw Jesus heal people before his famous Sermon on the Mount. (Luke 6:17-19) When John the Baptist sent two messengers to seek confirmation that Jesus was the Messiah, they found Him ‘curing many of sicknesses and grievous diseases and wicked spirits and granting many blind persons the favor of seeing.’ Jesus then told the two: “Report to John what you saw and heard: the blind are receiving sight, the lame are walking, the lepers are being cleansed and the deaf are hearing, the dead are being raised up, the poor are being told the good news.” (Luke 7:19-22) How that message must have encouraged John!
9. Jesus’ miracles were foregleams of what?
9 True, the relief from suffering that Jesus provided during his earthly ministry was only temporary. Those whom he healed or resurrected later died. Yet, the miracles that Jesus performed while on earth were foregleams of the lasting relief humankind will enjoy under his Messianic rule.
An Earth-Wide Paradise Ahead!
10, 11. (a) How long will Kingdom blessings last, and what will Jesus’ rule be like? (b) Who will be with Christ in Paradise, and how will he be able to live forever?
10 Try to imagine what life will be like in Paradise on earth. (Read Psalm 72:5-9.) Worshippers of the only true God will be able to enjoy life in Paradise for as long as the sun and the moon exist—yes, forever! The King Jesus Christ will prove to be refreshing, ‘like rain upon mown grass and copious showers that wet the earth.’
11 As you envision the fulfillment of this psalm, is not your heart stirred by the hope of living forever in an earthly paradise? Surely the impaled evildoer was thrilled when Jesus told him: “You will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) During Jesus’ Thousand Year Reign, that man will be restored to life. If he submits to Christ’s rulership, he will be able to live on earth forever in perfect health and happiness.
12. During Christ’s Millennial Rule, what opportunity will be open for resurrected unrighteous ones?
12 Under the rule of the Greater Solomon, Jesus Christ, “the righteous one will sprout,” that is, flourish or prosper. (Ps. 72:7) Christ’s love and tender care will then be abundant, just as they were when he was on the earth. In God’s promised new world, even “the unrighteous” who are resurrected will be given a loving opportunity to conform to Jehovah’s standards and live. (Acts 24:15) Of course, those who refuse to act in harmony with divine requirements will not be allowed to continue living and mar the peace and tranquillity of the new world.
13. How extensive will Kingdom rule be, and why will its peace never be disrupted?
13 The earth-wide extent of the Greater Solomon’s rule is indicated by these words: “He will have subjects from sea to sea and from the River [Euphrates] to the ends of the earth. Before him the inhabitants of waterless regions will bow down, and his very enemies will lick the dust itself.” (Ps. 72:8, 9) Yes, Jesus Christ will rule over the entire earth. (Zech. 9:9, 10) Those who appreciate his rulership and its blessings will “bow down” in willing submission. On the other hand, unrepentant sinners will be cut off, as it were, at “a hundred years of age.” (Isa. 65:20) They “will lick the dust itself.”
Sympathetic Concern for Us
14, 15. How do we know that Jesus understands human feelings and “will deliver the poor one crying for help”?
14 Sinful humankind is in a pitiable state and is desperately in need of help. But there is hope for us. (Read Psalm 72:12-14.) Jesus, the Greater Solomon, has sympathy for us because he understands our imperfect condition. Moreover, Jesus suffered for righteousness’ sake, and God allowed him to face trials on his own. Why, Jesus suffered so much emotional distress that “his sweat became as drops of blood falling to the ground”! (Luke 22:44) Later, on the torture stake, he cried out: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:45, 46) Despite everything he suffered, and although Satan made an all-out effort to turn him away from Jehovah, Jesus proved faithful to Jehovah God.
15 We can be sure that Jesus sees our pain and “will deliver the poor one crying for help, also the afflicted one and whoever has no helper.” With loving concern like that of his Father, Jesus will ‘listen to the poor ones’ and will ‘heal the brokenhearted ones, binding up their painful spots.’ (Ps. 69:33; 147:3) Jesus can “sympathize with our weaknesses,” for he “has been tested in all respects like ourselves.” (Heb. 4:15) How good it is to know that the King Jesus Christ is now ruling in heaven and is eager to bring suffering humans relief!
16. Why was Solomon able to sympathize with his subjects?
16 Because he had wisdom and insight, Solomon undoubtedly did “feel sorry for the lowly one.” Besides, his life was marked by sad and traumatic events. His brother Amnon raped his sister Tamar, and Solomon’s brother Absalom had Amnon killed for the crime. (2 Sam. 13:1, 14, 28, 29) Absalom usurped David’s throne, but his coup failed, and he was killed by Joab. (2 Sam. 15:10, 14; 18:9, 14) Later, Solomon’s brother Adonijah attempted to seize the kingship. If he had been successful, this would undoubtedly have meant death for Solomon. (1 Ki. 1:5) That Solomon understood human suffering seems evident because of what he said in prayer at the inauguration of the temple of Jehovah. With regard to his subjects, the king prayed: “They know each one his own plague and his own pain . . . You [Jehovah] must forgive and give to each one according to all his ways.”—2 Chron. 6:29, 30.
17, 18. What pain have some of God’s servants had to cope with, and what has helped them to do so?
17 ‘Our own pain’ may result from the effects of certain past experiences in life. Mary, * a Witness of Jehovah in her 30’s, writes: “I have every reason to be happy, but often my past brings up feelings of shame and disgust. Deep sadness results, and I tend to cry, as though everything happened yesterday. Ingrained memories still produce overwhelming feelings of worthlessness and guilt.”
18 Many of God’s servants can identify with these feelings, but what can help to give them the strength needed in order to endure? “Genuine friends and a spiritual family now bring me happiness,” Mary says. “I also try to focus on what Jehovah promises for the future, and I have confidence that my cries for help will be turned into cries of joy.” (Ps. 126:5) We need to place our hope in God’s provision of his Son, his appointed Ruler. Concerning him, it was foretold: “He will feel sorry for the lowly one and the poor one, and the souls of the poor ones he will save. From oppression and from violence he will redeem their soul, and their blood will be precious in his eyes.” (Ps. 72:13, 14) How reassuring that is!
A New World of Plenty Awaits Us
19, 20. (a) As indicated in Psalm 72, what problem will be solved by Kingdom rule? (b) To whom should primary credit go for Christ’s rule, and how do you feel about what it will accomplish?
19 Try again to visualize the future of upright humans in God’s new world under the rule of the Greater Solomon. “There will come to be plenty of grain on the earth,” we are promised. “On the top of the mountains there will be an overflow.” (Ps. 72:16) Since grain is not ordinarily produced on mountain tops, these words emphasize how productive the earth will become. Its produce “will be as in Lebanon,” a region that produced abundantly at the time of Solomon’s reign. Just think! No more food shortages, no one undernourished, nobody starving! All will then enjoy “a banquet of well-oiled dishes.”—Isa. 25:6-8; 35:1, 2.
20 To whom will credit go for all these blessings? Primarily to the Eternal King and Universal Ruler, Jehovah God. In effect, all of us will then joyfully add our voices to the concluding portion of this beautiful and heartwarming song: “Let his name [that of the King Jesus Christ] prove to be to time indefinite; before the sun let his name have increase, and by means of him let them bless themselves; let all nations pronounce him happy. Blessed be Jehovah God, Israel’s God, who alone is doing wonderful works. And blessed be his glorious name to time indefinite, and let his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.”—Ps. 72:17-19.
^ par. 17 Name has been changed.
How Would You Respond?
• Psalm 72 prophetically provided a preview of what?
• Who is the Greater Solomon, and how extensive will his rulership be?
• What do you personally find appealing about the blessings foretold in the 72nd Psalm?
[Picture on page 29]
What was foreshadowed by the prosperity enjoyed during Solomon’s reign?
[Picture on page 32]
It is worth every effort to attain life in Paradise under the rule of the Greater Solomon