There are lots of buzzwords in the English language today. In fact, “buzzword” is one of them. But there are others, words like “online,” “down time,” “market driven,” “politically correct,” and others. One of my favorites is “paradigm shift.” A paradigm is a fully worked out conjugation of a verb or declension of a noun, showing the word in all its forms. It is a complete framework. So a paradigm shift is a radical change from one system or way of looking at something to another. In other words, it is a change in a person's world or life view. Asaph had such a paradigm shift, and Psalm 73 is his record of it.

Each of the preceding stanzas has contributed to the ideal blessing that this kingdom will experience. Because of its righteous character, prosperity will flow from the mountains and the afflicted will be rescued (stanza one). Because of its endless duration, the righteous will flourish and wealth will increase (stanza two). Because of its universal expanse, peace will prevail and treasure will flow to this realm's sovereign (stanza three). Because of its compassionate nature, all who are needy or afflicted or in danger will be helped (stanza four).

So the rule of Jesus extends not only over all times, that is, from age to age. It also embraces all places and all peoples. None can escape his righteous rule. 

The second stanza of Psalm 72 (vv. 5-7) describes the duration of Christ's kingdom, and the idea here is that it is eternal. It is a kingdom that will never end. David was a great king. He ruled in Israel for forty years. But at last David died, and the kingdom passed to his successor Solomon. Solomon reigned another forty years, but he died. So also with all the rulers of this world. No matter how powerful, how just, how good, how beneficial their reigns over their subjects may have been or how loudly their subjects may have cried out, “O King, live forever!" in the end all these earthly rulers die and their kingdoms pass to others. Not so with Jesus Christ! He is an ever-living king and his kingdom an everlasting kingdom.

The first four verses of the psalm lift up the essential character of the kingdom being described. It is righteousness, a word that occurs three times (in vv. 1, 2 and 3). Verse 1 asks that the king might be endowed with righteousness. Verse 2 predicts that, so endowed, the king will judge the people in righteousness. Verse 3 speaks of the fruit of righteous judgment which is prosperity, a theme to be developed more fully in stanza 5.