7. Every Man a King
This chapter focuses mainly on one aspect of the king that appears to have been comparatively neglected. Admittedly most of the psalms conventionally known as the Royal Psalms have fairly self-evident messages. Even when the historical circumstances they are referring to are uncertain, there is no difficulty in identifying the intention.1 Thus, Ps. 110 is clearly a prediction of victory for the king going to battle2; Ps. 72 is a paean to the king – most likely, to mark his ascent to the throne; Ps. 132 is a prayer for the king’s well-being; and Ps. 45 is a psalm in honor of the king’s wedding.3 But there are psalms where the king is mentioned, or perhaps even one of its primary elements, and yet are still not regarded as “Royal Psalms” – either in terms of the subject itself or in the manner in which the speaker refers to the subject. A re-examination of these psalms may shed light on the nature of the experience in which the king is presented. Let us begin this examination with Ps. 61: (1) Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. (2) From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (3) For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. (4) I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.4 1...
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