"He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth."
~ Psalm 72:6 (KJV)
While some Bible scholars believe that the 72nd Psalm was written by David as a prayer to God for the prosperity of his son, Solomon, who would succeed his father as king of Israel, most strongly believe that this Psalm is, instead, a prophetic view of the coming Messiah. God had promised King David that David’s royal blood-line and his empire would never end; “Thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established forever” (II Samuel 7:16). Having no knowledge of Jesus, it would have been quite natural for David to believe that this promise rested on the success of his son. However, many years later, the hope of that promise would just about disappear when David’s people would be cut down by their enemies and taken into captivity for 70 long years. The prophet Jeremiah described this period of desolation as a time when, “The peaceable habitations are cut down because of the fierce anger of the Lord” (Jeremiah 25:37). Like freshly mown grass, left with its raw edges exposed to the parching heat of the sun and the crushing weight of footsteps, David’s people found themselves cut down and bruised with their raw wounds exposed to the cruel environment of their enslavement.
All seemed lost until the prophet Hosea remembered David’s sentiments, written so many years before and echoed them in comfort to the people; “[The LORD] shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth” (Hosea 6:3). Although David’s people had been cut down to a stump, there was still life and as the old adage reminds us, “Where there is life there is hope”. God would rain down His great mercy, water that stump and from it would spring forth the One Who would restore fertility and allow the people to flourish once again; “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” (Isaiah 11:1). David was not completely wrong when he prayed that his “son” would “Judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment…judge the poor of the people, [and] save the children of the needy, and break in pieces the oppressor” (Psalm 72:2, 4). However, that “son” would not be Solomon but many generations later, Jesus, the Messiah. In describing Himself Jesus declared, “Behold, a greater than Solomon is here” (Luke 11:31). To further validate His identity and announce His mission, Jesus also reiterated Isaiah’s prophecy; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19). Advent reminds us, afresh and anew, that Jesus was sent to transform hurt into healing and despair into deliverance. That Greater than Solomon Son of David came to water the earth with His grace, mercy and salvation so that we might experience abundant life. Hallelujah!
Prayer: Dear Father, during this Advent season help us to remember that if we turn to You, during those difficult moments when we feel cut down by the tribulations of life, Your indwelling presence, like a cool, refreshing rain, is there to soothe, comfort and revive us. Thank You for the Gift of Your Son, Jesus, our Hope and Well-Spring of Life, in Whose Name we pray. Amen