What does Psalm 37:29 mean when it said "The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.” Does this mean an earthly paradise that God has promised to restore?
Theologically speaking, the first two verses of this Psalm give away the whole point:
1 Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; 2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
It is so tempting to see "the wicked prosper," and forget that even Jesus said that his Father causes "the rain to fall on the just and unjust alike." The author of Ecclesiates frets that the wicked propser. The author of Psalm 73 cries out with the same question.
Habbakuk even demands that God answer, "How long, O Lord?!"
How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? 3 Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. 4 Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.
The Psalmist is not blind to the present situation. Indeed, he is all too aware of the problem that doing good doesn't seem to help out! As we would say nowadays, no good deed goes unpunished.
But the Psalmist also knows what Peter will put into words later on (2 Peter 3:8-9)
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
It may not be today, but it will happen. There will be a time when the evil are defeated. And when that occurs, it will be as Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount:
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
The righteous - the meek - those who could match injustice with power, but will not - they will eventually get it all. In God's time, the unrighteous will be destroyed, and the just will have everything that's left.
Is the planet on which we stand? Well, that might be part of it - but the point is that evil will be defeated, and the righteous will prevail, if only we stick to God.
It's going to feel like an eternity, but justice will be served.
Yes , yes it does mean that the righteous will reside on a paradise earth . Notice verse 10 and 11 of the same chapter . There is certainly by no means an abundance of peace upon the earth now . Especially considering the wars and famine that pervade . However the time is soon for Jehovah to restore the earth to the paradise it once was as seen in the garden of Eden . In doing so Jesus will crush satan and the wicked ones forever as promised at Genesis 3:15 . I hope you will note that this answer was by no means drawn out and vague but concise .
Psalms 37:10 -> "And just a little while longer and the wicked one will be no more; And you will certainly give attention to his place and he will not be,"
Psalms 37:11 -> "But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, And they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace." See also (Proverbs 2:21, 22)