The Purpose of Influence Based on Psalm 72
Few days from now the term of office of the newly elected officials of our land will commence. They are the people of influence chosen by millions of Filipino voters to represent them in government. We will closely monitor them as they use that influence for the next three to six years.
Psalm 72 and the Purpose of Influence
Psalm 72 is an enthronement psalm attributed to David’s son, Solomon (Fee & Stuart). In kings 3:5-9 God appeared to Solomon and asked him what he wants as the newly installed king of Israel. Instead of asking for power and wealth, he asked for understanding mind to govern the people of God. God was pleased and told him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be” (1 Kings 3: 11, 12 NIV).
Psalm 72 is the final chapter of Book 2 of Psalm (chs. 42-72)). It is in the form of a prayer asking God to give the king justice and righteousness so he can defend the poor and the oppressed with righteousness. He asks God to expand his influence. It may sound selfish and ruthless but the real purpose for this tone is found in verses 12-14. It is to help the poor, the needy and save the oppressed. He values human lives (15-17). So, the purpose of influence is to give strength to the weak, to be the voice of the poor and the needy so they can be heard. It is to share the same influence to these people so that they too, can influence others.
It resonates with Luke 4:18-19. The setting is almost the same, Solomon in 1 Kings 3, was about to begin his rule as the King of Israel, Jesus on the other hand was about to start his earthly ministry. He went to the synagogue and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He read the portion which says, “The Spirit if the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Isaiah 61:1-2 NIV). There is no question about Jesus’ influence. He has it and was able fulfill it in his almost three years of ministry with his disciples.
Let these examples be the guide for our new leaders. They represent the poor, the oppressed and the needy, the marginalized people in our society. It is good to desire for more influence, but they should make sure that it will be for the benefit of the people whom these people.
Bible Gateway: www.biblegateway.com
Fee, Gordon D. and Stuart, Douglas. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. Manila, Philippines: OMF Lit., Inc., 2004.
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