The Royal Psalms

There are eight royal psalms: 2, 20(19), 21(20), 45(44), 72(71), 101(100), 110(109), 144(143). Psalms 95-99 celebrate the Lord’s kingship, and are often called Royal Psalms as well.


Commenting on the Royal Psalms, Drijvers says “The kings proved faithless to their mission in a theocratic state by their taking to themselves powers that belonged to Yahweh along, the real king, the national royal line came to grief in the catastrophe of the year 587 B.C.”


Is this not what kings do around the world? Is this not what big government does? And is this not what each individual does? In fact, this is original sin.  We want to be like God, “knowing” good and evil. What this really means is we want to take his place and “make” good and evil.  This is clearest in the positivists as regards law.  “Abortion is not wrong, for clearly it is legal.” Wrong equates to immoral. So right and wrong become what man, not God, declares right and wrong.


The royal Psalms deny this wholeheartedly, for they declare and praise the true King.


“The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed…[but] The One enthroned in heaven laughs…[and says] “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” (Psalm 2)


I must note a favorite psalm quotation of mine. As a soldier, I have always liked Psalm 144: “Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” Of course, the battle is not just in the physical realm, but it often is there as well. It may be against “enemies, foreign and domestic,” whether this means a terrorist group or an enemy nation. But even the lines “foreign and domestic,” which form part of the oath I took the day I became a soldier, can be extended, and for the Christian, primarily used to refer to the battle with sin.


The enemy is foreign: “For our wrestling is…against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.” (Eph 6:12)


But it is also domestic: “So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:21-25)


Jesus Christ our Lord. Yes, it He who is King. “Lord, give victory to the king!” (Psalm 20:9)

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