Psalm 2 — Worship the Son
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,
3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
7 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
Lenin installed Stalin in the place of leadership because of his convictions and commitment to atheism. Despite Lenin’s later regret in giving a despot authority, Stalin remained true to his name, “steel.” When Stalin was in seminary, he read Nietzsche, and his dramatic plunge into godlessness was only countered by his meteoric rise to power. He became a world leader who ruled his nation with an iron fist, which he shook at God as his last gesture before he plunged into eternal consequence.
David, the likely Psalmist here, presented a rhetorical question regarding the commotion of leaders of nations (v. 1). One thousand years before Christ, the king of Israel observed the premeditated schemes of government leaders to enact unrighteousness. Leaders of nations stir up trouble in their quest to be gods and lead people to worship them.
The expansion of titles for leaders and their conspiracy is shown to be a group activity with God and His anointed as their opponents (v. 2). In their quest for personal gain, leaders employ other leaders in schemes to add power and authority to their wicked plans. The object in opposition to godless leaders, for whom they wish to overthrow, is YHWH, the God of Israel. The revelation of God’s chosen King for the earth is found here in the office of Messiah, the warrior King.
Anointing is done to kings, priests, and prophets in the Scriptures. It is a symbol of God appointed leadership, often performed publicly with oaths of commitment. Anointed ones are to be protected, “He let no one oppress them, he disciplined kings for their sake, saying, ‘Don’t touch my anointed ones! Don’t harm my prophets (1 Chr 16:21–22)!’” Jesus declared His appointment at Nazareth by quoting Isaiah 61:1–2. His baptism in the River Jordan, transfiguration on Mt. Hermon, and resurrection all serve as points of affirmation of Jesus’ position given to Him by His Father.
The attitude of the conspirators is the desire for liberation from the rule of God on earth through His vice-regent (v. 3). Pride keeps leaders of nations in bondage to King Sin. The intrusion of King Jesus into the life and administration of a leader is met with great resistance. Sin is killing leaders. It comes with all the pleasures of the world: fulfilled lusts that never satisfy; deceitful riches; position; power; and fame.
The Psalmist notes God’s response to the leaders as scorning laughter with mockery (v. 4). The viewpoint changes here. Most people cringe at the thought of a “loving God” scoffing at rebellious leaders; regardless, of their crimes against YHWH. The seat of scoffers was noted in Psalm 1:1; but there is One who sits high above the wicked. He laughs at the silly vanity of exalted human leaders. God’s deriding laughter becomes serious.
God’s mockery turns to furious anger against those leading rebellion (v. 5). The wrath of God is revealed against all unrighteousness of men. Blind leaders lead the blind into the pit. The people cannot discern between evil and good. Their sin nature applauds the increase and domination of sin. They cheer one another onto moral filth. God demonstrates His power by staying seated and speaking furious terror into the life of a nation. Kingdoms crumble. Revelation 6–18 reveals a wrathful judgment prepared for the whole world in the future, as rebellion against God reaches its pinnacle under the world leader known as the Antichrist (2 Thess 2).
God reveals His government on the earth originates from the King of Jerusalem (v. 6). The voice of God is heard in divine decree. God has a Man and a place to represent Him. The Man is God’s anointed King to rule with a rod of iron over the nations (Rev. 19:15). The King’s throne reveals His identity (Ps 45:1; Heb 1:5, 8). Zion is the ancient and spiritual name for Jerusalem, the city of God’s peace. No city in the world remains under more dispute than Jerusalem, today. Why? Manufactured religion seeks to dilute, divide, and conquer the city of David, the covenanted king with an eternal claim to an eternal throne by the eternal Son of God, who is the Son of man, Jesus Christ.
The sovereign vice-regent reiterates the divine decree of His relationship and entitlement (v. 7). One man in history has all the marks of Sonship. Here, it is the Son who speaks the decree of God revealing the universal authority of the King. Jesus is the Word of God revealing the plan of God to impose the Kingdom of God onto the rebellious kingdom of sin in the earth.
The decree includes a divine right to rule over all peoples and all things (v. 8). The Kingdom of God is at hand. It is near. It is in you, today, if you have forsaken allegiance to sin and accepted the peace agreement with YHWH, through Jesus’ acceptable sacrifice for your sin upon the cross of Calvary. The already present kingdom in the Spirit will someday soon manifest into the physical realm at the triumphal second coming of Jesus Christ. He will subdue the Antichrist and the leaders of nations in collusion with him.
The authority to quell the rebellion will bring a violent end to God’s opponents (v. 9). The prophet Micah uttered the intention of the God in avenging with a vengeance, “I will angrily seek vengeance on the nations that do not obey me (Micah 5:15).” The words of the Messiah reveal the disdain of God against the wicked, who are doomed to perish in hell and the lake of fire.
The Psalmist invites kings and judges to be wise and warned (v. 10). Every thought, word, and deed will be judged by the standard of God’s Law. The righteous man delights in the Law of God and meditates on it day and night (1:2). He needs no persuasion to know Jesus and the coronation power of His resurrection. The King of kings demands allegiance of every soul. The warning resounds and the wise give heed to obey all that He has commanded because all authority has been given to King Jesus in heaven and on the earth.
Service to the Son should follow repentance with fear and trembling (v. 11). Too many translations of the Bible into English dilute this verse. The words often seem to contradict one another, and the reader is left with an awkward interpretation. “Serve the Lord with fear and repent with terror,” captures the severity of the setting of the text.
The Psalmist closes with a contrast of the blessed who submit, versus, the rebellious who endure the angry wrath of the Son (v. 12). The ancient posture of homage was to kiss the noble in requisite humility. The Son of God demonstrated His anger in the temple as the Son of man. The pollution of the place of God’s presence is an abomination. God will clean the earth with fire in the last days.
The wrath of Jesus is not often spoken of in these days of tickled ears, itching for anything other than God’s severity against sinful rebellion. Sin ignites the anger of the Lord, who unleashes His just wrath against sinful scoffers at the appropriate time. In the fury of the wrath of the Lamb, there is a shelter from the storm. One must be on His side, blessed to be in the city of God, the city of refuge.
In sum, we encounter the rhetorical question in the spirit of amazement. The leaders of nations work together to oppose God’s divine rule over them, through the God/man Christ Jesus. God is displeased in laughter turned to anger. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the anointed King of the world. He rules and reigns from the center of the throne of God in heaven. The rebellion continues today, inviting the wrath of God and Jesus, who is the divine Warrior known as “the Messiah.”
You must lead by example in bowing your knee and confessing, “Jesus is Lord.” He is Lord of all, whether you like it or not (Acts 10:36). Your mouth will join in this eternal confession, in joy or regret, for eternity. You must align with the Lord of lords, today, for He is the Judge of judges. Repent and find your refuge in Him so as to join in the anthem of the ages sung by those who are called, “blessed.” To do so is to worship the Son.
Spokane Valley, Washington
May 20, 2021