There’s an old saying that all’s well that ends well. But what goes on in between may not look well at times, and begin to cause doubt that things will turn out for the good after all. But lack of action or no action may cause a reaction that spoils the whole thing. When David’s eldest son, Adonijah, schemed to usurp the throne from Solomon, the intended heir, the prophet Nathan went to Bathsheba and advised her on how to put a stop to this treacherous act. So Bathsheba ran to David and pleaded with him not to let Adonijah succeed because it would cost Solomon his life. Once David brought Adonijah’s plot to an end, he decided to make Solomon’s ascendance to the throne official, and prepared this Psalm to be read before the elders at the coronation.

O, One True God, anoint this king with Your wisdom, yes, endow my royal son with Your principles of justice. May he judge people honestly with fairness. May the nation become prosperous as the hills and valleys produce generous crops to reward their hard work. May he defend the poor, give relief to the needy and keep them from being exploited. May he be revered as long as the sun shines and moon glows, generation after generation. May he rule from sea to shining sea. May everyone everywhere, from kings to commoners bow down before him to honor his reign. May his memory be honored forever and ever; may nations be blessed because of his sovereignty; and may he be looked up to as one of our greatest leaders.” Psalm 72:1-5, 8-9, 17

Reflection: According to an ancient Chinese story, a childless Emperor needed to choose his successor. So he devised a unique way of doing so by calling a large group of boys together and giving each of them a seed to plant. After doing so he ordered them to return in a year and show him what they grew. One young lad, named Ling, let his mother help him plant his seed in a large clay pot. He tended to it and watered it with great dedication. But while the seeds the other boys planted grew and produced trees and plants, Ling’s laid dormant beneath the soil. When the young boys were ordered back to show the Emperor the results, Ling arrived with his clay pot’s soil bare of any vegetation. The Emperor looked over the other pots and saw many plants, and those with the tallest had the biggest smiles. After surveying the situation, the Emperor suddenly called Ling to come stand in front of him. Ling’s heart sank; he felt panicky inside thinking the Emperor might punish him for being a failure. After asking Ling for his name, the Emperor turned and announced, “Behold, your new Emperor, Ling!” Everyone was stunned until the Emperor explained. One year ago I gave every one of you a boiled seed incapable of growing. All of you, except Ling, substituted another seed just to impress me. But because Ling did not try to cheat, and showed courage and honesty by bringing his barren pot, he is your new Emperor. David wanted to be replaced by a king whose reign would be based on integrity and honesty. Such longing should resonate in the heart of any citizen for this kind of leader. Although Ling’s story may be one of fiction, his character and virtues represent what David desired in the one who succeed him. Even Jesus said that on judgment day there will be many who will show up and try to pass off wonders and miracles they performed using His name, but will be exposed as frauds and impersonators. God loves honesty, integrity, honor, decency and trustworthiness. May we all pray for a special anointing of these virtues on our leaders today.

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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