Psalm 72 is a prayer for the King of Israel – most likely written for Solomon’s coronation – that speaks in extravagant terms of his justice (verses 1-7), his power (verses 8-11), his compassion for the weak (verses 12-14), his wealth (verses 15,16), and his influence over the whole world (verse 17).
Solomon was of course a great and splendid king, and the accolades of the psalm are not totally out of place. He was renowned for the wisdom with which he dispensed justice (I Kings 3), he ruled an empire stretching as far as the Euphrates (I Kings 4:20,21), he and his country were phenomenally wealthy (I Kings 10:14-23), and he had influence far beyond his own borders (I Kings 4:34). But to look only at Solomon is to miss the point: “now One greater than Solomon is here.” (Matthew 12:42) The glory and prosperity of Solomon’s reign ended abruptly after his death; but it pointed towards something greater to come.
So it is Christ who embodies the wisdom, justice and righteousness of God. (Isaiah 11:1-5; Jeremiah 23:5,6) He is the One who has authority “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion.” (Ephesians 1:20-22) It is His Kingdom that shall “endure for ever” (Psalm 72:17; Luke 1:32,33) and embrace the whole world (Matthew 28:18-20).