PSALM 72—CHRIST GAINS THE EARTH BY WATERING
Now we come to the last Psalm of Book II, Psalm 72. The Psalms are like a great mountain with many peaks, and here we have another peak. Psalm 72 tells us how Christ shall reign over the whole earth and how the saints shall be glorified and blessed with Him. Firstly we see that He will reign with righteousness and justice, by which peace will be ushered in (vv. 1-5). When Christ returns, He will be the King, ruling over the entire earth with righteousness and justice. Hence, the earth will be full of peace. People today speak much about peace, but there will be no peace until Christ returns. Under His rule, real peace will begin its reign. “He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. The mountains shall bring peace to the people” (vv. 2-3).
Secondly, this Psalm presents Christ in His rule like rain watering the earth; so the saints shall flourish. “He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him” (vv. 6-11). Even at the time when Christ returns for judgment, He will be like rain upon the mown grass, as showers that water the earth. This is the way Christ gains the earth! He gains it by His watering, not by fighting, not by condemning, not by judging. Praise the Lord!
“He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.” This river is the same as the one mentioned in Psalm 46: “There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God.” It is really meaningful. That river signifies the flowing out of the Triune God. This indicates that the Lord’s kingdom and reign is spread to the ends of the earth by the flowing of the Triune God. His dominion is by Himself as the watering river, and He gains the dominion by watering. Whether you say watering or flowing, rain or the river, they are the same. The rain is the river, and the watering is the flowing. The Lord will recover the entire earth, not by examining, not by judging, not by smiting, but by watering! Undoubtedly the Lord Jesus will return to exercise His righteous judgment upon this earth. But that is only one aspect of His return. The other is that He will come back as the rain to water the earth.
Today the entire earth is as a dry and barren wilderness. Many evil and sinful things spring forth from this drought and dryness. Men are sinful because they are disappointed and dissatisfied. If you merely judge them, smite them, and condemn them, the problem will not be solved. Of course, the Lord Jesus in His righteousness must exercise His judgment upon all sinful things; but this is not the main aspect of His return. The primary feature is that He will come down as showers to water the dry and thirsty land. He will have pity on this earth, and thus His dominion will not be by judging and smiting, but by watering. Such a Christ will have dominion from sea to sea and will flow as a river to the ends of the earth. Where the flow is, there also is the dominion of the Lord Jesus. In that day all people—black and white, yellow and red—will be rained upon. They will be so happy under Christ’s dominion. O the watering, O the satisfaction, O the peace, O the security when Christ returns! The Lord Jesus will return to satisfy people. He will be the King, not by exercising power to subdue others, but by supplying living water to satisfy the thirsty. All will be satisfied by His living water. Hallelujah! He will reign from the river to the ends of the earth! He shall have dominion over the whole earth.
When I was a young Christian, I was given much teaching concerning the second coming of Christ. All these teachings set forth Christ as a judge. I was taught that He would blast and smite the people in His anger. Never did I hear a message saying that the Lord Jesus would come back so graciously as showers of rain to water the barren land and satisfy the depressed and empty people. But from the Psalms I have assurance to say that, while in one sense He will come back to judge, yet even in His judging the earth will be watered. The river will be there. He will come to possess the earth not only by exercising power, but by the flowing of the Triune God. He will take the earth by means of that river, the river which flows from Jerusalem. Jerusalem in that day will be the center of the earth, and in the center of Jerusalem will be the house, from which the river flows. I believe that this river will reach all the earth in four directions, as in Genesis 2. His dominion will be from the river unto the ends of the earth—not just by power, but by watering. Praise the Lord!
In that day all the nations shall worship and serve Him (vv. 8-11). He shall deliver the needy and have compassion on the poor, and deceit and violence shall vanish away (vv. 12-14). These evil things will disappear, not by being judged, but by being watered, by being satisfied. People steal because they are not satisfied. But when the Lord Jesus returns, all will be satisfied; so there will be no more deceit and violence. They will vanish by the Lord’s satisfying riches.
He shall live forever, the earth shall be restored because of Him, and men shall be blessed in Him and bless Him (vv. 15-17). Do you still remember how Psalm 1 begins? It says, “Blessed is the man.…” But here it says, “Blessed be the Lord.…” This is a real improvement. God’s name is blessed forever, and His glory is manifested in the whole earth (vv. 18-19).
Psalm 72 gives a glorious picture of what it will be like for the Lord to recover, possess, and reign over the earth. “Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.”
There is no “Amen” in Psalm 1. But here we have “Amen, and Amen.” Praise the Lord for such an improvement. Praise Him that we may now be in the house within the city in anticipation of that soon coming day when the Lord will take the earth in such a way.
(Christ and the Church Revealed and Typified in the Psalms, Chapter 11, by Witness Lee)