Terrorist bombings, wars, and insurrections and coups have become commonplace topics. We hear of kidnappings, school shootings, and invasions of privacy on a massive scale. Does it seem like this world is out of control? Do you ever wonder, why are the nations in an uproar? And where will it all lead?
In just twelve verses, we can look at God’s plan for history from Genesis 3 to Revelation 21 (all of the chapters containing sin), including some mighty good news. David tucked it all into Psalm 2. We know that David wrote it because Acts 4:25 says so.
The Problem: Man Rages in Rebellion (2:1-3)
Why are the nations in an uproar
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!” (2:1-3)
Leaders and people–everyone of us has rebelled against God. We all reject the fetters of His commands and ways; we want freedom! Isaiah 53:6 says that “each of us has turned to his own way.” Someone might say, “But I’m basically a good person; I just mess up every once in a while.” Romans 3:12 says that “there is none who does good, no not one.”
The problem is: All have joined the protest march against God (Rom. 3:23).
The Solution: God and His Words (2:4-12)
God Speaks in Derision
He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying,
“But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.” (2:4-6)
God on His throne looks down from His heavenly window and laughs at the protest. He is undisturbed by puny men and rightfully scornful of their hubris. The world is on notice: God’s choice is set. Any who would attempt a coup, which is all of us, are knocking their heads against a granite wall (7-9).
Does the idea of God laughing derisively at us grate against our sensibilities? Do we never smile at the irony of a wailing babe or toddler beating the air with feeble arms in a furious demand to control adults many times its size, immeasurably wiser, and bearing rightful authority? Proverbs 1:24-32 teaches that a person can stubbornly reject God’s counsel until he goes too far. Then God removes His grace and allows stubborn rebels to have their way and the consequences that go with it without relief.
What a desperate situation! What can we do? Nothing. By definition, rebellion refuses to submit. Only God can solve the problem.
The Son Tells of the Father’s Plan
“I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.’” (2:7-9)
The Son informs us that in eternity past the Father planned what to do about man’s rebellion. He appointed His Son to carry out the plan. God gives all men to His Son as an inheritance. By eternal decree He sends the Son from the heavenly throne to quell the revolt. Hating sin like the Father does (12a), the Son will destroy all who do not bow to His rule.
Since every one of us has refused to bow, is the situation hopeless? Is there no way to escape a rightful demise?
The Spirit Counsels
Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
Worship the Lord with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! (2:10-12)
(Acts 4:25 ascribes Psalm 2 to the Spirit. In addition, the Spirit’s ministry to sinners fits this passage. He convicts and convinces them of sin, righteousness, and judgment in order to lead them to repentance for salvation from that judgment [John 16:8-11].)
“Therefore, take warning!” Since destruction (hell) looms before you by the judicial action of the wrathful Son, do something about it!
The Spirit counsels what to do:
- Worship Christ the Lord.
- Rejoice with trembling. In light of His justice, fear Him. In light of His mercy, take delight in His goodness.
- Kiss the Son. Do homage as a vanquished opponent. Devote yourself to Him.
In other words, surrender. Give up the protest, submit to the King’s rule, and petition for peace.
How? Take refuge in the Son. Why? “How blessed are all who take refuge in Him.” This is where the gospel comes in. The Son who will judge sinners is also He who died to pay the penalty for the rebellion of those enemies who will take refuge in Him (Rom 5:8). There is only one hope for salvation from God’s wrath–trust only in the Son.
Yet, salvation requires a faith that we cannot self-generate. By nature, rebels are rebels; they don’t surrender. So, we are totally dependent on His mercy. The good news is, God grants it by grace. “For by grace are you saved and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one should boast” (Eph 2:8-9).
God is sovereign. This world is not out of His control, but is right on schedule according to His decreed plan for His kingdom. If you have taken refuge in him, then in the midst of this world’s raging, keep following the Spirit’s counsel. Worship the King and seek to further His kingdom (Matt. 6:33).
If you have not trusted in the Son for salvation from His wrath, then plead for his mercy, that He would grant you grace to follow the Spirit’s counsel. There is only one hope– take refuge in the Son.
“How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” (2:12)