Solomon, the wisest man to have lived, is given credit for writing Psalm 72. This nineteen-verse adoration of a king might possibly be about Solomon himself, but the adoration without a doubt extends as well to the superlative One, the King of kings. “Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness” is the opening verse for this majestic proclamation of kingship (Ps. 72:1, NIV). Jesus, the King to come, is the completion of justice for all mankind. He alone is the righteous One, and his judgment is indisputable. Jesus is the royal Son indeed and deserves all the tributes of majesty, nobility, and grandeur that we mortals can offer. His royalty is not defined by lording over others but by serving others, for He proclaimed that His mission on earth was not “to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28, NIV).
This king, Solomon continues, will “judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice” (Ps. 72:2, NIV). Jesus, the King, has been given all authority in heaven and on earth, and He has sent His Spirit to see this authority to completion: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” (John 16:7–11, KJV-BRG).
This king will endure as long as the sun and as long as the moon, yes, and even for the eternal ages yet to come. This king is the Alpha and Omega, the First and Last, the Beginning and the End. This king will rule from sea to sea and to the ends of the earth. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. This king will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever” (Isa. 9:6–7, NIV).
No wonder Solomon prophesies in verse 10 that kings from distant shores will bring him gifts and tribute. These kings from Tarshish, Sheba, and Seba speak volumes about God’s intricate attention to detail. A closer look reveals that Tarshish is from Japheth, Sheba is from Shem, and Seba is from Ham—see the ancestry list in 1 Chronicles 1. Wow! What a birthday party to be held for the birth of the newborn King! Solomon proclaimed, “May all kings bow down to him and all nations serve him” (Ps. 72:11, NIV). These kings or wise men or magi, however looked upon, know that the King is to be born; that the star of Jacob will lead them to the exact location at the exact time, and they will bring the tribute of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These kings have been designated by God. By virtue of their ancestry, they represent the nations of the earth, for all nations were formed out of the three sons of Noah. God makes no mistakes; He is in control of the smallest detail and the largest plan, especially when it comes to His only begotten Son. The kings have read Daniel’s account of sixty-nine sevens, of Balaam’s oracle about Jacob’s star, of Micah’s description of Bethlehem. They have read and know that this King is from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, from the root of Jesse and the line of King David. They have read and know even Psalm 72: That Solomon of old said gifts and tribute fit for the King of kings would be brought on that day—the birthday of the King!
It is 2 BC, and all things are ready for the journey; the gifts have been selected and are secure upon the caravan’s mounts. Gabriel has fifteen more months before he will speak to Mary, but God is in control, and the gifts to be brought by the kings of the earth representing all nations of the earth to this birthday party are now in transport. As we sing of these gifts this Christmas, let us sing of His gifts He has brought to each of us. From the words of Frances Havergal in his 1858 hymn “I Gave My Life for Thee”:
And I have brought to thee,
Down from My home above,
Salvation full and free,
My pardon and My love;
I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee,
What hast thou brought to Me?
I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee,
What hast thou brought for Me?