Wednesday, July 6, 2022
A desire for fame, power, or wealth has led numerous nations, peoples, kings, and rulers to disregard God’s word, and commit evil acts. These acts are questioned by the author of Psalm 2, likely David. He asks, “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?” (Psalm 2:1). Further, the “kings of the earth” and “rulers” are against not only God, but against “His anointed” as well (Psalm 2:2). Those that God anoints, ultimately and most significantly referring to Jesus, share a common desire and goal with God, so those that go against God’s anointed ones go against God Himself.
David continues the Psalm by describing how pointless it is for the earthly rulers to act against God. Back in verse one he mentions how the plotting is in vain, so the people are constantly unsuccessful in overthrowing God’s plans. David suggests that God even laughs at them for trying (Psalm 2:4), as He is omnipotent and already had a plan for a new king. God’s plan involved David as King and his eventual descendants. He promised to David that “[his] house and [his] kingdom will endure forever before [God]; [his] throne will be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:16). David paraphrases this prophecy in verses 6-9 of Jesus coming as a descendant of David to rule over the world. There will be a time when evil is destroyed, and God and Jesus will reign forever in the Kingdom of God.
Most of the rest of the chapter is a warning to kings, rulers, and leaders to follow God and those he anoints: specifically, Jesus, the Son of God. Following God requires dedicated service to God and His Son. David uses the phrase “Serve the LORD with fear” (Psalm 2:11), which could be interpreted as genuine service to God with knowledge of His amazing power, mercy, and grace, and not simply an action to check off a list. The idea of serving God is modified to include serving and following God’s Son who would come after David.
The chapter ends with a reflection of the beginning of Psalm 1. The book of Psalms begins by stating “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD and who meditates on His law day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2). Psalm 2 questions the logic of the nations and kings that don’t follow God, but rewards those that do follow God by explaining that “Blessed are all who take refuge in Him” (Psalm 2:12).
Psalm 2 was written mainly as a reminder for the people in the time of David to follow God and “take refuge in Him” (Psalm 2:12), but it has many applications to other people. For example, in Acts 4, believers quoted the first two verses of Psalm 2 after Peter and John were told by the Sanhedrin to not “speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:18). They recognized that those in charge of the Sanhedrin were going against God’s word, and Peter and John decided to continue following God’s way. They, and all the believers with them, prayed for God to “consider their threats and enable [God’s] servants to speak [God’s] word with great boldness”, in addition to prayers for healing and miracles (Acts 4:29-30). God quickly responded to their prayer and “the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly” (Acts 4:31). God gave them the courage and strength to continue serving Him, even with threats against them.
In today’s society, there are some who “conspire”, “plot in vain”, “rise up”, and “band together against the LORD and against His anointed” (Psalm 2:1-2), but it is still possible to remain faithful to God. Prayer can help to develop a relationship with God and “take refuge in Him” (Psalm 2:12). Those that do will be blessed and the nations will be the inheritance received according to Psalm 2:8. Similar wording is used in Revelation 2:26-27 when Jesus states that, “To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations – that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’” (Revelation 2:26-27). Following God and Jesus throughout persecution while others are rebelling against God will result in a blessing in the Kingdom of God of eternal life ruling under God and Jesus after evil has been destroyed.
- At whom or what do you think God may currently be laughing – scoffing at their actions? (In other words, what in today’s world is evil, rising against God? And is God scared?)
- How will you serve the Lord with fear amongst those who rise up against the Lord?
- How will the story end?