By Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry Jr
In Psalm 72 the Lord ties Messianic victory to pre-consummational history, i.e., before he establishes the eternal new heavens and earth. This is exactly what postmillennialism expects. Note what he says:
Let them fear Thee while the sun endures, / And as long as the moon, throughout all generations. / May he come down like rain upon the mown grass, / Like showers that water the earth. / In his days may the righteous flourish, / And abundance of peace till the moon is no more. / May he also rule from sea to sea, / And from the River to the ends of the earth. (Ps 72:5–8)Psalm 72 is a “glowing description of the reign of the Messiah, as righteous (vv 1–7), universal (vv 8–11), beneficent (vv 12–14), perpetual (vv 15–17).”1 It speaks of the social (vv 2–4, 12–14) and economic factors of his reign (v 16), as well as the spiritual benefits (vv 5–7, 17). The image of pouring rain reflects Christ’s spiritual presence through the Holy Spirit (Ro 8:9; Jn 14:16–18) poured out upon the world from on high (Isa 32:15; 44:3; Eze 39:29; Joel 2:28–29; Zec 12:10; Ac 2:17–18).
According to the Psalmist, kings of the various nations will rule in submission to him (vv 10–11). Because of his beneficent reign, population will increase (v 16b; Zec 2:4). The flourishing of the righteous (v 7) in the city (v 16) indicates a rapid population increase under his beneficence, because depopulating wars and pestilence cease. Prophecy frequently associates population increase with Messiah’s reign (Ps 110:3; Isa 9:2; 49:20; Zec 2:4). This harmonizes well with the Cultural Mandate (Ge 1:26ff) and covenantal blessing (Dt 28:4; Lev 26:9).2
1. Alexander, Psalms, 301.
2. See also: Ge 9:1, 7; 17:6; 28:3; 35:11; 48:4; Ps 128:3; Jer 23:3.