Sermon Details

God’s Good Leader

October 18, 2020
Wabash Avenue Presbyterian Church in Crawfordsville, Indiana invites you to join us for our virtual worship service on Sunday, October 18, 2020. The Scripture Reading is Exodus 33:18-23. Rev. Van Nuys' sermon is "A Glimpse of Glory". Jennie Fights Swick sings, "Holy, Holy, Holy" and "Open My Eyes that I May See".
1 Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to a king’s son.
2 May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice.
3 May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness.
4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the needy,
and crush the oppressor.
5 May he live while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth.
7 In his days may righteousness flourish
and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
8 May he have dominion from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
9 May his foes bow down before him,
and his enemies lick the dust.
10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles
render him tribute,
may the kings of Sheba and Seba
bring gifts.
11 May all kings fall down before him,
all nations give him service.
12 For he delivers the needy when they call,
the poor and those who have no helper.
13 He has pity on the weak and the needy,
and saves the lives of the needy.
14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life;
and precious is their blood in his sight.
15 Long may he live!
May gold of Sheba be given to him.
May prayer be made for him continually,
and blessings invoked for him all day long.
16 May there be abundance of grain in the land;
may it wave on the tops of the mountains;
may its fruit be like Lebanon;
and may people blossom in the cities
like the grass of the field.
17 May his name endure forever,
his fame continue as long as the sun.
May all nations be blessed in him;
may they pronounce him happy.
18 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
19 Blessed be God’s glorious name for ever;
may God’s glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.
20 The prayers of David son of Jesse are ended.
– Psalm 72

Psalm 72 is a blessing for the king. It’s also a job description for the king. Psalm 72 asks God to give the king the qualities the king is supposed to have. We don’t have kings anymore, but we do have political leaders. If what God wants in a king then is also what God wants in a political leader now, then Psalm 72 is a timeless standard for all leaders and it’s a good guide for us as we choose our leaders.
Psalm 72 prays for the oversight of the godly leader to be one of justice, righteousness, and concern for the poor. The Psalm begins by praying: O God, grant the king, our leader, the one who is in authority your justice and your righteousness. In other words, God, enable our leaders to do what they’re supposed to do.

Give our political leadership your justice (your commitment to do what is right) and your righteousness (your inherent goodness). Help us, the people who are led by your godly leader, to flourish and prosper (v. 3, 16). And help those who are struggling receive the additional care they need to flourish.

Psalm 72 asks God to give us leadership that: brings justice to the poor (v. 2); defends the poor (v.4a); delivers the needy (v. 4b); and opposes those who afflict the needy (v. 4b). Verses 12-14 say that the godly leader cares for the most vulnerable and protects them from those who would prey upon them.

Psalm 72 asks heaven’s blessings – and our prayers – for God’s good leader to have health, honor, happiness, prosperity, and peace (v. 15-17). Psalm 72 asks God to prosper us, too, so that we flourish. So that we are protected from foreign adversaries and predatory neighbors.

Psalm 72 says that a good leader is like rain (v. 6) that causes us, the people, to flourish and blossom like grain in the field (v. 16). Psalm 72 ends with praise for God from whom all blessings flow (v. 18-19). May God be blessed; may our leaders be blessed; may we be blessed. This is a good vision. It shows us what we can expect when our leaders lead us by following God and by honoring God’s ways.

Now, no human leader has ever fully lived up to this vision. No society, no political party, and no nation has either. The history of the kings in the Bible is mostly a story of their failure to honor God’s will and way. Nonetheless, this good vision set forth in Psalm 72 should still be the goal for our nation – and every nation. And every leader – from county commissioners on up.

Currently, there’s a lot of cynicism, division, and despair – and rightly so. 2020 has been brutal. There’s social unrest, economic trouble, and a worldwide pandemic. But God is still at work. God’s vision still holds true. God is still raising up good men and women to lead us. They are all imperfect; they have differing views of how to promote the common good; but they have all offered to serve – and for that, they all deserve our thanks and our prayers.

As you exercise your right to vote, you fulfill your civic duty to care for our community, state, and nation. And you also fulfill your heavenly duty to care for God’s world by securing good leadership for it and us.
Keep Psalm 72’s good vision before you as choose who is worthy to lead. May God bless all in positions of authority according to the words and wisdom of this psalm. May God guide us as we vote and may God bless America.

In reading this, your heart may be stirred. What you’re feeling is the Holy Spirit drawing you to Christ. To begin or renew a relationship with Jesus, just pray:

“Lord, help me receive your love. I regret the wrong I’ve done. Forgive me. Jesus, I believe you are God’s Son and the Savior of the world. Be my Savior. Save me from myself. Save me for yourself. Enter my heart. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Help me to serve you faithfully and well. Help me to love as you love. Lead me in your Way, Truth, and Life now and forever. Continue to show me who you are and who I am in you. Amen.”

If you pray this prayer, contact a pastor. They’ll show you how to live for Christ with purpose, peace, and joy. Jesus says: “Behold, I make all things new.” That definitely includes YOU!