Bible Studies on the Messianic Psalms
Psalm 72 – The regeneration realised

By I Gordon

Introduction

Last time we looked at the zeal of the Lord. We saw that the Lord Jesus had zeal for His Father’s house when He was on earth 2000 years ago and He has zeal for His Father house today. And we (Christians) are the temple of the living God today. We looked also very briefly into a glimpse of the future where we read the following:

Isaiah 9:7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

I mentioned last time that that which was lost will be restored and even more so. And it is the zeal of the Lord – the intense fervour, passion, and inward burning desire of the Lord that will see this accomplished. The earth is the Lord’s and no ISIS, no Islam, no human force or kingdom will stop this from happening. He will reign from then on and forevermore – The zeal of the Lord will accomplish this! So today I want to look at the next Messianic Psalm. Some Messianic Psalms speak of Jesus’ life, some His death and resurrection. This one speaks of the age still to come when He reigns as King on this earth. It is Psalm 72.

The beginning, the end and then what?

I listened to a message a few weeks back from a Jewish believer called Amir Tsafarti. The message was called ‘The beginning of the end’. He gave the simple thought that there is a beginning and there is an end, and there is a beginning of the end. Things began back in Genesis with these words ‘In the beginning…’ The word Genesis means just that – ‘beginning’. So there is a beginning. But there is also an end. This is what the disciples wanted to know about.

Matthew 24:3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"

Matthew 24:6 "You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.

Matthew 24:14 "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

So there is a beginning and there is an end. And there is a beginning of the end. So what does the end look like? How does it end? When the Christian is down town on the street corner with the sandwich board around his neck saying ‘Repent for the end is nigh’, what does that mean? As we have seen, Jesus and the disciples spoke about the end of the age. It is the end of this current age of man’s rule on planet Earth. But the good news is that the end is also a new beginning [1] . It is the start of the Messiah’s rule.

Psalm 72

So after that extended introduction let’s look at Psalm72 for it gives a glimpse of what the coming kingdom age will be like. This Psalm is one of the longer and more detailed passages concerning this time. We see first of all that it is a Psalm of, or for, Solomon. Scholars aren’t completely sure whether it was written by Solomon or David. It matters not, for while it was initially about Solomon’s rule, it finds its ultimate fulfillment in the coming reign of Jesus Christ [2] . If you are familiar with the life of Solomon you will know that he went off track in his later life with countless women and worldliness, but his early reign is definitely a type of the coming Messianic Kingdom. We’ll contrast some of these points as we go through.

An age of righteousness and justice

Psalms 72:1-4 A Psalm of Solomon. Give the king Your judgments, O God, And Your righteousness to the king's son. (2) May he judge Your people with righteousness And Your afflicted with justice. (3) Let the mountains bring peace to the people, And the hills, in righteousness. (4) May he vindicate the afflicted of the people, Save the children of the needy And crush the oppressor.

I’m not sure about you but I’m getting sick of this world and where it is going. Man’s rule on this planet has been a dismal failure since the fall, characterized by oppression, injustice and corruption. Money and power talk on this planet, not righteousness, wisdom and justice. I was reading an article the other day written by an American Christian commentator who was summing up where things are and where they are going following the American Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage. He wrote:

“The world is upside down, inside out, sideways, crazy, nutso. Bad is good; up is down. Left is right; right is wrong. Evil is good; insanity is sanity. Abnormal is normal. Circles are squares... Common sense is uncommon... Dissent is "hate." Diversity means conformity. The good guys are the bad guys... debauchery is glorified; the holy is debauched.”

The Western world especially is moving quickly away from its foundations. Christians who believe that God instituted marriage between a male and a female and have the gall to suggest that the best environment to raise children is when they have both a mother and a father are now labelled crazy hate-filled bigots. What a crazy world! Common sense is uncommon and the call for diversity means conformity to only one opinion.

When Solomon began his reign, the Lord appeared to him in a dream and basically said to Solomon ‘Ask of me... I’ll give you whatever you desire’. Solomon asked for wisdom to judge righteously. God was so pleased with Solomon’s request that He said to him ‘I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.’ Except one that is! The one in whom Solomon’s reign was just a mere shadow. The age to come under the Lord’s reign is characterised by justice and righteousness. Isaiah’s prophecy of the Messiah’s rule [3] includes the following:

Isaiah 11:3-4 And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make a decision by what His ears hear; (4) But with righteousness He will judge the poor, And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth;

An age of peace

Psalms 72:5-7 Let them fear You while the sun endures, And as long as the moon, throughout all generations. (6) May he come down like rain upon the mown grass, Like showers that water the earth. (7) In his days may the righteous flourish, And abundance of peace till the moon is no more.

The coming of the Lord Jesus is often likened to the coming of the rains upon the Earth. Israel had two great times of rain in connection to their yearly harvest, in March/April and October/November. These two periods of rain are a type of the two comings of the Lord Jesus.

Hosea 6:1-3 Come, and let us return to the Lord; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. (2) After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight. (3) Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth.

The Lord’s coming will be like rain to a terribly dry and barren world. And I liked how this passage spoke of the abundance of peace. How long has this world been waiting for true peace? The United Nations was setup after World War II to resolve disputes and bring peace. Do you know how much peace there has been since WWII? If you were asked how many day, weeks, months or years there has been since WWII when there has been no national or civil wars going on somewhere on Earth, what would you say? Answer in the fine print. I’ll let you think first. [4] But look at what it says about Solomon’s reign…

1 Chron 22:6-9 ‘Then David called for his son Solomon and charged him to build a house for the LORD, the God of Israel. David said to Solomon: “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the LORD my God. But this word of the LORD came to me: ‘You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign .’

Peace, glorious peace. The name Solomon actually means ‘peaceful’ and he was given peace and rest from all his enemies on every side. Why is this? Because his reign was but a small picture of that which is to come in the Messianic Kingdom. Imagine a time when nation will not lift up sword again nation anymore. Imagine a time when they will not even learn about war anymore. (Isa 2:4) There will be no need, for their will be no one to fight. Imagine a time when all of the animal kingdom is as peace both with man and each other [5] . It is coming!

The extent of Jesus’ rule

Psalms 72:8-11 May he also rule from sea to sea And from the River to the ends of the earth. (9) Let the nomads of the desert bow before him, And his enemies lick the dust. (10) Let the kings of Tarshish and of the islands bring presents; The kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts. (11) And let all kings bow down before him, All nations serve him.

We see here that Jesus’ rule will not be limited for it will extend to the very ends of the earth. All nations, all races worshipping the One true King! No more worship of Buddha or Baal, Mary or Muhammad. No more Atheists, no more talk about evolution and how we are really just supped-up monkeys. The prophet Zechariah tells us And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.’ Zechariah 14:9. We read in Psalm 72:10-11 that the kings of the earth will go up to see Him. Tarshish, they believe, is southern Spain. It was where Jonah boarded a ship for to get as far away as he could! Sheba is a kingdom in southern Arabia (modern Yemen) and Seba, a North African nation. How amazing will that be when the mystery of God is complete and the nations will be able to go up to Jerusalem and see the King of kings, the creator of us all! This of course was pictured during the reign of Solomon and is as it will be during the Messianic Kingdom:

1 Kings 4:29-34 Now God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand that is on the seashore. (30) Solomon's wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. … (34) Men came from all peoples to hear the Wisdom of Solomon, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.

Isaiah 2:3 And many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths." For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

An age of compassion

Psalms 72:12-15 For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help, The afflicted also, and him who has no helper. (13) He will have compassion on the poor and needy, And the lives of the needy he will save. (14) He will rescue their life from oppression and violence, And their blood will be precious in his sight; (15) So may he live, and may the gold of Sheba be given to him; And let them pray for him continually; Let them bless him all day long.

We see here that it will also be an age of compassion. I’ve recently been going through the Gospels looking at different ‘Jesus encounters’ and one thing that stands out in so many of the stories was the compassion that Jesus had for the sufferer, the down-trodden, the afflicted, the poor and needy. So when the leper asks in desperation ‘Lord if you are willing you can make me clean’, He answered ‘I am willing.’

In the kingdom to come there will no longer be tens of thousands paying all the money they have, to board dodgy boats in the sometimes vain hope of reaching a land that will take them in. There will no longer be the millions of refugees enduring freezing temperatures in tents and basic food needs because they had to flee their home from militant Islam and war-torn homelands. I read that from Syria alone there are over 4 million refugees who have fled their homes and left the country with next to nothing, to escape the war. That is basically like everyone in my own country having to leave with nothing and flee to another country!

No... we read He will deliver the needy when they cry. He will have compassion on the poor and the afflicted. Finally, finally earth will find its ‘Utopia’. [6]

An age of prosperity and no curse!

Psalms 72:16-17 May there be abundance of grain in the earth on top of the mountains; Its fruit will wave like the cedars of Lebanon; And may those from the city flourish like vegetation of the earth. (17) May his name endure forever; May his name increase as long as the sun shines; And let men bless themselves by him; Let all nations call him blessed.

Today, apparently two thirds of the world’s population live below the poverty level with a large percentage of these suffering from a lack of food. A lot of this is due to the greed of man and the corruption of the nations rulers. These verses picture the abundance that will flow on that day. The mountain tops are rocky and stark. You don’t grow things up there. But this verse pictures a time when even the mountain tops will be like a fruitful field with an abundance of grain. Such will be the conditions when the curse is removed and the earth is restored as it was initially in the garden.

Isaiah 35:1-2 The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; (2) It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, Even with joy and singing…They shall see the glory of the Lord, The excellency of our God.

The current groan of creation that is spoken of in the book of Romans will be replaced by a song of praise

Isaiah 55:12-13 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (13) Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD's renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed."

Conclusion - Praise the Lord!

Psalms 72:17-20 May his name endure forever; May his name increase as long as the sun shines; And let men bless themselves by him; Let all nations call him blessed. (18) Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who alone works wonders. (19) And blessed be His glorious name forever; And may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen. (20) The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

This Psalm ended the prayers of David. It would have been the fulfilment of all that he wanted. The Psalm ends with praise and blessing for His name! For the glorious name of the One who will do all these things. May His name endure forever and increase. That will occur in the Messianic Kingdom but may it also occur in our lives today. We see through a glass dimply today. Then face to face. We get little glimpses from time to time, as in this Psalm, of what things are meant to be like and what things will be like but they are easily overwhelmed by the reality of a world that is out of control. I said at the start of this message that scripture says that there is a beginning and an end. Thankfully, as we have seen, it also speaks of a whole new beginning. Let’s just end with one passage where Jesus spoke of this.

Matthew 19:27-30 Then Peter said to Him, "Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?" (28) And Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (29) "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name's sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. (30) "But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.

In looking forward to the time when He returns to earth and puts all things right, Jesus used a very interesting word. He said ‘In the regeneration...’ This word is only used twice in the entire New Testament. It is used by Paul in the book of Titus to describe what happens within Christians when we are saved:

Titus 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

It speaks of ‘restoration, renovation, rebirth’. The only other time it is used is here where Jesus used it in a far wider sense – a regeneration of the whole planet. And when you look at the Greek word used, it becomes far more instructive. The Greek word used is pal-ing-ghen-es-ee'-ah. This is derived from two Greek words – Palin – meaning ‘once more or again’, and Genesis. So how Jesus described the conditions that exist when He sets up His kingdom on this Earth is ‘Genesis Again’ or ‘Genesis Once More’. So there is a beginning. There is an end. And there is a new beginning once more after the end. The end is simply the end of man’s rule before Jesus’ rule begins.

Notice also that what we do for the Lord in this life has a direct bearing on our rewards in the next. As someone said, we are in training for reigning. How we use our gifts for His name, how we long for his coming, how we endure through difficulties, how we serve His people... it is all recorded and rewarded. May we be motivated by what is to come in serving Him today!


[1]  This hope, of either the coming of the Lord and His Kingdom, or our going to Him, was the great hope of many of the old hymn writers. They would often end their hymns with this hope. As a quiz, see if you can say which hymns these are as we look at their last verses:

1. But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so...

2. Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease;
I shall profess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace.

3. Great things He has taught us, great things He has done, And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be, Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

4. When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation, And take me home- what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration...

5. And He shall reign forever and ever, King of kings! and Lord of lords!
And He shall reign forever and ever, King of kings! and Lord of lords!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

They all express the ultimate hope that Christians have longed for throughout the ages - for the Lord to return. And He shall reign forever and ever as King of kings and Lord of lords. The zeal of the Lord of hosts shall accomplish this!

Wants some answers to these hymns? Here they are:

1. It is well with my soul (a fantastic hymn!)
2. Amazing Grace, the original final verse.
3. To God be the glory
4. How great thou art!
5. Hallelujah Chorus (from Handel’s ‘Messiah’)

Do you get them all? Got thrown off by the original final verse for Amazing Grace didn’t you? I hope so. That was its purpose. I don’t want you getting 100% and all proud, now do I?

[2]  The Believers Bible Commentary (Big Blue) states: This Psalm starts out as a prayer for an earthly monarch, possibly Solomon, but before long we realize that the writer is looking beyond Solomon to the glories of the reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. It will be a wonderful time for this weary, warring world. The golden era for which mankind has yearned will then be ushered in. Creation's groan will be hushed, and peace and prosperity will flourish.’

[3]  This period of time when Jesus will rule in His kingdom and the earth will be liberated and at rest, has been spoken of and pictured in types and prophecies throughout the Bible over thousands of years. It is first pictured in Genesis in the 7 th day of creation – the day of rest. It is pointed to in the Law of Moses with the feast of Tabernacles that God got the Israelites to celebrate each and every year. Nearly all of the prophets spoke about this coming age. A glimpse of it occurred on the Mount of Transfiguration where Jesus was seen glorified and Moses and Elijah were back among the living. And of course it is viewed in Revelation as the 1000 years where Satan is bound in the Abyss and believers reign with Christ. And with how things are going it may not be that far away!

[4]  The University of Munich published a paper stating that since the Second World War the globe has only been without a war for a few days. There were only 26 days (between 2 and 29 September 1945) when there was no war waged the whole world over. The significance of 2 September 1945 was the formal surrender of Japan. Others have said that both Vietnam and Indonesia had wars during September 1945 so it is possible that the number of days of peace on the earth since WWII stands at 0 days. So if you answered between 0 and 26 days of peace over the last 70 years you are right. What an indictment on the heart of fallen man!

[5]  I’m a bit of a sucker for cute animal YouTube video’s and was sent one of a dog the other day doing a synchronized dance with a young girl. It basically looked like whatever move she made, the dog would make. To make it even harder, the dog was ahead of her so he (or she, probably a she) was doing the moves without actually seeing the girl doing the same things! Pretty impressive. Ok… the dog did take a couple of sneaky looks backward to make sure she was still in sync. But it was very cool and way better than I could do. This dog was very clever and almost did everything apart from Michael Jackson’s ‘Moonwalk’ - Probably working on that no doubt. It just reminded me of how amazing it will be when all of the animal kingdom is freed to be in completely harmony with each other and mankind once more. The effect of the fall affected all of creation. All of it will be released back to how it was meant to be in the beginning.

[6]  As mentioned previously, this term ‘Utopia’ is a term was coined by Sir Thomas More in Greek for his 1516 book Utopia (in Latin). It described a fictional perfect island society in the Atlantic Ocean. Utopia is Greek for – ‘No place’, ‘Not a place’. So while this perfect place cannot be found on the modern day earth, it will be a place in the coming Kingdom age!