Psalm 2 is not a long psalm, but when I was researching this psalm I came across a quote from the late great Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who said “There is scarcely a more relevant passage of Scripture that we could hear at this present time than this psalm”, that was almost 80 years ago and that is true today.
Now you may have noticed how the twelve verses of this psalm are neatly divided into four quarters, each of three verses. In which Gods view of the world is explain to us, the world God made but which now has rebelled against Him.
The living Christ, the Messiah and King of kings, Jesus, appears in all four scenes, and he holds everything together.
- Jesus is referred to as the ‘Anointed One’ in verse two.
- And God’s chosen ‘King’ in verses seven and twelve.
- And also as God’s ‘Son’ in verse twelve.
But at first it is not an easy psalm to follow as the speakers in each of the sections are all different; in fact it is what can be called a trinitarian Psalm
In the first three verses we have God the Farther and he sounds to say the least a bit upset; In the second three verses we have the Holy Spirit; In the third three verses the speaker is Jesus. And in the last three verses the speaker is the author of the psalm.
Now the name of the author of this psalm is not noted in the psalm, but the New Testament ends that silence. In Acts chapter 4 verses 25-26 we are told that it was God, through the mouth of his servant David, who said these words. The words of Psalm 2 were written by David; they were inspired by God. David composed them; God gave them to him. Through David’s mouth God spoke. All the authority of heaven lies behind these words.
And here we are confronted with a world and life view which all of us should make our own because it’s the one true approach to life. It is real, up-to-date and very important. We live in a world of upheaval, of Islamic revolution; we see a world in confusion and in worry, will there be nuclear war, when and where will the next terrorist atrocity happen. And we in this country face an uncertain future, a future that may not be easy. The first three verses of this psalm define the scale of the mess that mankind is in. The final verse calls on us to take decisive action. King David pleads with us. God urges us to consider what we have heard.
- THE MUTINY OF MAN, AND CHRIST REJECTED (v.1-3)
1 Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, 3 “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.”
I could stand here and recite what we all know of the man-made leaderships that are working against Gods will and Gods law. The Psalm begins with the word ‘Why?’ It is the word written across our civilization today. “What is it all about?” says a world which has turned its back on God.
This ‘Why’ reflects the bewilderment, the anxiety and the fear of a human race in rebellion. Why is our world in such turmoil? Why the increase in crime and the full prisons in an age of undreamed of prosperity?
Why is self-harm so common, with men’s hearts failing them with fear? Why are drugs and alcohol indispensable for millions to maintain the status quo in life? Why? Why.
What do we have in these verses? It is as if we are looking down on a gigantic battlefield as men do battle with God. Verse one describes the troops assembling for war.
Verse two describes the generals preparing for the conflict and planning their strategy. And we cannot avoid being involved in this conflict.
We cannot be a neutral, we too are drawn into the conflict described in this psalm, because for too many the enemy is Jesus. We are drawn in because this Lord says he actually is our God; he created us ; he is going to judge us ; yet he is prepared to become our Saviour. We have to respond to these claims. We are part of a rebel people. What criminal insanity! “Why?” What monstrous madness. It is outrageous. We are immoral and corrupt. We are thankless and disgraceful. Whatever is going to become of us? That is the beginning of this psalm.
- THE SUPREMACY OF GOD, AND CHRIST APPOINTED (v.4-6)
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. 5 He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, 6 “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.”
Now we turn from looking at the mess of this earth to look above to the one divine figure who is there. There is only one God; the Father is God; the Son is God and the Spirit is God. These three are one God.
The world is full of turmoil; and then, this next scene is very different; it focuses on the living God in the dignity and peace of his throne room. The King of Heaven, he sees the world he has created and sustained, the world he loves, shouting out its hatred at him?
In the year 360 ad the emperor Flavius Claudius Julianus reinstated pagan worship in the Roman Empire. He persecuted many Christians. He taunted one of them before his death, a man called Agaton; “How is your carpenter of Nazareth? Is he finding work these days?” Agaton replied, “He is building a coffin for the Emperor.”
The Roman Empire is long gone and Christ is still alive and with us today and preparing a place for each one of his people. V6 said Christ has been installed on God’s “holy hill”.
Everything associated with Jesus is holy, how he has dealt with us, how he showed us what to do, how He showed us how to behave, how he will deal with us on the Day of Judgment – it is all holy. You can’t bribe him or fool him. There will be no miscarriage of judgment on that day.
And what Jesus is it, that is presented to us in this psalm? He is no little lamb of the Mother’s Union. He’s no would-be Lord, frustrated by man’s indifference. To him belongs the world; the future is Christ’s; of him and through him and to him are all things. To him is glory for ever and ever. He will reign until all his enemies are lying down before him.
- THE AUTHORITY OF CHRIST, AND CHRIST COMMISSIONED (v.7-9)
7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father. 8 Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. 9 You will break them with a rod of iron, you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
Here again is the throne room and it is full of serenity and dignity; there is a sense of determined authority in all you hear. A new figure makes an appearance and our attention is drawn from God to the Lord’s ‘Anointed One” Jesus, the King, crowned and installed on Zion.
This section is filled with the words of Jesus. The Lord Jesus is the actual spokesman, but what he is doing is to repeat to us the words that God had said to him at his coronation as he was commissioned as the newly installed King. This is what God said , ‘You are my Son . . .” and he says that to each one of us today.
And we hear Christ repeating to us the command God had given him, defining what his mission would be, the nations would be his inheritance and he would rule them in their rebellion, and there will be a price to pay for that rebellion.
All things have been dictated to Jesus; complete authority is his, yet the way he exercises that authority is by his intercession for us, for us who do not deserve that love. One day all things will be under the authority of Christ. So Jesus teaches us to proclaim and to pray. When you pray say, “Thy kingdom come.” One day our nation with all the others will be judged by this great King. This is the Christ who made a whip out of cords and drove the money-changers out of the temple and overturned their tables. This is the Christ who in his own body took the wrath of sin for all who follow Him.
4. THE POLICY OF THE GOSPEL, CHRIST RECEIVED (v.10-12)
10 Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. 11 Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. 12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Be wise all you rulers, be wise everyone with any influence or authority at all. “Be wise,” says David, “let me warn you. God is so great that he should be served with fear. He can put you in hell, so serve him with faith with fear and with rejoicing.”
Serve him. Yes, serve him. Don’t serve self. Spend your days serving God, and then for ever and ever serve our Lord. We will always be his servants; being a servant is never to cease so develop a servant’s mind and heart now. Let the mind that was in Christ be also in you.
Jesus took the form of a servant and we must take that form too. Jesus is Lord; He is a demanding Lord. He wants us to totally serve Him in every area of our life. He wants us to hold no area back. If we do that then we will know the great promise at the end of the psalm; “Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (v.12).
Let’s pray: Lord thank you for your love for us for your grace for us, Lord Help us through your Holy Spirit to totally serve you in all we do every day. Help us to forgive, help us to serve, help us to be more generous with our time and our money and other resources that you have given us for your Kingdom hear on earth. In Jesus name we pray, Amen