The world we live in seems to be turning upside down. One year ago we would not have imagined what we are seeing, hearing and experiencing today. It seems so surreal and many sit dazed by what now exists. Present is a unique global pandemic which has motivated millions to dramatically change the way they live life. Many people are living with such anxiety that they seem afraid to step outside their homes lest they be attacked and destroyed by Covid-19. Added to the fear of this disease are the endless television and the internet clips, showing rioting in city after city accompanied by looting and destruction. More clips record the defacing and destroying of monuments and statues, and much more media communications, which indicates that our way of life is unexpectedly changing. The rising prominence of groups such as Black Lives Matter (which is really not about people with black skin but is a Marxist movement bent on bringing down capitalist America), Antifa and others which have come out of the shadows to brazenly declare their goals. And added to all this, real leadership is lacking on so many levels. Many too many politicians use all of the above to advance their personal agendas, and especially their all-consuming lust for power and control.
So what do we do with all of this? We are to do what believers have done throughout the ages, and that is to shift our focus off of the events swirling around us and refocus back on the great Creator-Savior God that we know and serve. Many portions of Scripture help with this, but Psalm 2 does it as well as any. So take a moment and open your Bible to Psalm 2 and we will take a brief stroll through this powerful portion of Scripture. It is designed to give great clarity and peace to our lives as we are reminded of important truths.
PSALM 2 is a psalm that is referenced numerous times in the New Testament. It was, according to Acts 4:25-26, written by King David. The Psalm itself informs us that the Son (the Anointed One/Messiah) will receive His inheritance, which is said to be all the nations of the world. His reign will be on this earth and He will rule from Zion, after His enemies have been defeated. The Psalm has four distinct parts to it.
In 2:1-3, David speaks. He is amazed at the amazing lack of wisdom seen in the kings of the earth who actually believe they can successfully resist and defy God. David just cannot believe they hold to the foolish idea that they can break free from the Creator and His Anointed, and to somehow remove His rule and influence from the earth. What David observed is much the same we are presently witnessing. Most all of the world’s rulers do not want God’s standards and laws to dictate their decisions or their actions. These rulers of men are badly deluded into thinking that the earth belongs to them and that they can dismiss God’s rule. They are, of course, simply following the philosophy of their “father”, the devil. Their attitudes and actions are deliberate and are not the result of a lack of information. It is also clear that they have a particular hatred for the Father’s Anointed One, none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. In their arrogance and hate, they are determined not to be bound, in any way, by His rules, and they have no intention of having Him rule over them. Isn’t this description by David being replicated today in our world today?
2:4-6 records the words of God the Father who breaks the silence by laughing at these pathetic “powerful” kings. God in heaven is clearly not threatened or intimidated in the least by their arrogant boasting, and is unfazed by their threats. And as we witness our world in the grip of this spiritual insanity (which could be preparatory for the end of the end times), we really should listen most carefully to this inspired Psalm. God has displayed extraordinary patience with sinful mankind and their opposition to Him (remember 2 Peter 3:9-10). But David sees a time when God’s patience is exhausted and His righteous wrath is dramatically displayed. These who so aggressively opposed the Lord God will then be stricken with total terror as they hear the words of the angry God and experience His almighty hand of judgment. They thought they could thwart God and keep Him from fulfilling His covenant promise to David (2 Sam. 7). But this they cannot do. He will place His King (the Messiah, son of David) as ruler on the Temple Mount; that is, Mount Zion. This is how all of this will eventually end and that is great news.
2:7-9 are the words of the Anointed One as He proclaims God’s word. The “decree” of the Lord is a reference to the Davidic Covenant which states that the great descendant of David will indeed rule forever. We should remember Psalm 89 where God took an oath that nothing would prevent the Son from ruling over the entire earth. God said in 89:34-35, “My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of my lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness, I will not lie to David.” The fulfilling of this promise by God is an absolute certainty, even if the power brokers of the world deny that such things will ever happen.
Now, the Anointed One (the Lord Jesus) declares that His right to kingship is based on His sonship. And while His eternal sonship is implied, the sonship that is in view in this psalm is the one linked to His incarnation, death and resurrection. It is this aspect of His sonship based on the Davidic Covenant, which is the basis for asking the Father for His inheritance. His inheritance, as it turns out, is not just ruling over Israel, but it is over all the nations on this present earth, even over all the nations currently in rebellion against Him. These nations will be forced into submission, and the Anointed One will crush all rebellion and resistance. These insolent, arrogant kings of the earth will come to their end as they hear the laughing of God in their ears. It is said that the Son will rule with a rod of iron, which is a phrase used several times in the Book of Revelation to tell us that in the coming kingdom of Jesus there will be zero tolerance for any overt sinning and rebellion. It is important to note that no such ruling by Jesus has yet taken place, and the “rod of iron” is certainly not in evidence today. So theological positions which present Jesus as ruling in His messianic kingdom now, just do not align with Psalm 2, nor with the numerous scriptures like it.
But back to the point concerning today. All these rulers and all these groups which boldly pronounce that they are independent of any god, especially the Creator God and His Anointed One, will be bowing the knee to Him (Phil. 2:9-10). This does give perspective, does it not? The rioters, the supposed brilliant people of this world and the politicians will all bow before Jesus, the Anointed One.
2:10-12 gives the final counsel of God (maybe God the Spirit?). The leaders of the nations of the earth are told to take this coming reality of the Son’s installation as king most seriously. God prefers to save rather than judge. But when His appeals are rejected, the severe judgments of God will surely come. (We should remember the important revelation of God in Exodus 34:6-7 where God’s patience and consistent love is seen, and yet, if mankind will not respond to that, then His holiness requires that He judge). Here in Psalm 2, these leaders are told to worship God with reverence. In the Scriptures, reverential awe of God is always evidenced by obedience and submission to God. So much better for all if the leaders of these nations gladly submit to Him. Millennial blessing will be theirs.
There is simply no question as to how things are going to come out, sooner or later. Our all-knowing, wise and good God will, at some point, decide to end the present domination of the earth by the “god of this world”. We take great comfort in the truth of Psalm 2 that His wonderful purposes will not be thwarted by these rulers of the nations of the earth. This reality is to be our focus and our perspective.
In a time of oppression and persecution long ago, the Apostle Paul reminded Timothy that living life afraid and intimidated is not appropriate for the child of God. He stated that “God has not given us a spirit of timidity (fear) but of power and love and discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7). Now as we view our present world, we may think that such things can’t exist in us. But they can, as these attitudes are produced by the all-powerful Spirit of God who dwells within each and every believer. He can produce in us these supernatural attitudes. And the Spirit does so in close connection with the truth found in the Word of God and applied in our lives; truth such as Psalm 2.