We live in a world that is growing increasingly hostile towards Christianity and its truth claims. Jesus predicted just this kind of opposition (John 15:18-20). Psalm 2 gives us God’s take on how he views the refusal of the world’s nations to acknowledge and submit to his divine authority. King David, the author of this Psalm, writes that the nations refuse to acknowledge God’s sovereign authority (vv. 1-3). This is exactly the situation we find ourselves in today. We live in a world that seeks to leave God out. From the very beginning, fallen man rejected God’s reign in favor of self-rule, where we, not God, decide what is right and what is wrong, what is moral and what is immoral. In doing so, we have rejected God’s wisdom in favor of our own. In verse three, the Psalmist puts words into the mouths of the world’s leaders. “Let us tear their (God and his Anointed One-Jesus) fetters (shackles) apart and cast away their cords from us!” Fallen humanity doesn’t want to answer to God; in fact, his ethical demands feel like fetters or shackles to us. When it gets right down to it, we don’t want anyone telling us what to do. We want to make up our own rules and change them when it suits us.
Psalm 2 sets before us this prevailing world view. We live in a world that, for the most part, is opposed to the God of the Bible. The rulers of the world—the opinion setters of the world, the academicians of the world, have rejected God and his wisdom. The official religion of our universities is atheism: the belief that there is no God. In the University, God is not just ignored, he is opposed. But God is not threatened by our rebellion. God’s rule over the universe is not in jeopardy. He works all things according to the counsel of his will. His kingdom—that is, his sovereign rule on earth—will be established in his time. According to the Psalmist, God mocks our rebellion (vv. 4-6). For those of us who have adopted a sentimental view of God, these verses may offend us. But this Psalm tells us that God is not threatened by our sense of self-importance. He mocks our rebellion and ridicules our flimsy displays of power. The truth is, God causes nations to rise and he causes them to fall. He exalts and he humbles.
As verse 6 assures us, God has installed his King. His name is Jesus, and one day, everyone will submit to Jesus’ Lordship (vv. 7-9). There are three keynotes to this divine decree: The legitimacy of Jesus’ reign (v. 7): God himself installed Jesus as the rightful king of the earth. The scope of Jesus’ reign (v. 8): God says that He will give the nations as Jesus’ inheritance. In other words, Jesus’ reign will be international; it will encompass all the nations of the world. When Jesus returns to set up his kingdom, every knee will bow to him. The force of Jesus’ rule (v. 9): When Jesus returns to set up his kingdom, he will not be welcomed with open arms. He will come back to a God-hating, Christ-defying world. The Kingdom of God, that is, His worldwide visible rule, will be established, not because the world welcomes his reign, but because Christ will impose it by force on rebellious people (Revelation 19:11-16).
In light of these truths, we need to call on our friends, our family, and our neighbors to respond to Jesus while they still can. And that is exactly what the Psalmist does in verses 10-12 of Psalm 2. Church, these are sobering verses. In Jesus’ first coming, he came to offer himself to humanity as our Savior. But when he comes again, it will be as humanity’s Judge and ruling King. God takes no pleasure in our punishment. We know that it was God’s great love for humanity that moved him to offer his Son as a sacrifice for our sin. But if we reject God gracious provision, divine justice demands our punishment. And so in these verses God is once again beseeching us to come to our senses, to Upcoming
heed this warning of coming judgment and embrace His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Application / Challenge
- Respond to Jesus while you can.
- Don’t be surprised at the anti-God rhetoric of our culture.
- Know that God’s Kingdom plans are not threatened by our rebellion and unbelief.
- God has established Jesus as king of the universe and one day be will bring an end to man’s rebellion.