Psalm 2

The Psalms

Psalm 2
Rebels against God defy reason

Psalms index

Psalm 2 (NIV)

1 Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and His Anointed One. 3 Let us break their chains and throw off their fetters.

4 The One enthroned in Heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then He rebukes them in His anger and terrifies them in His wrath, saying, 6 ‘I have installed my King on Zion, My holy hill.

7 ‘I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, You are My Son, today I have become Your Father. 8 Ask of Me, and I will make the nations Your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. 9 You will rule them with an iron sceptre; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.’

10 Therefore, you kings be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. 12a Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for His wrath can flare up in a moment.
12b Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.


Psalm 2

Rebels against God defy reason

(Verses 1-3) I heard a former atheist saying something like, ‘When I thought I was shaking my fist in the face of God I realised I was only shaking it at a tiny part of his toe nail.’ Psalm 2 is all about attitudes against God like his was before he came to Christ. How stupid it is to go against ‘the LORD’ and ‘His Anointed One’ (namely the Lord Jesus Christ.’). Many of earth’s rulers with big plans have tried and failed before. Here they want to break free of His ‘chains’ and ‘fetters’. Ironically, they have this upside down: it is our sin that enslaves us, and repenting of it and turning to Jesus sets us free! Jesus said, ‘everyone who sins is a slave to sin’ but ‘if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed’. He breaks our chains and fetters of sin when we ask Him to be our Saviour.

(Verses 4-8) show it is laughable for puny man to resist God. He scoffs at them from Heaven. When they grasp that He rebukes them in anger and great wrath, they are terrified and realise that the King of kings, the holy Lord Jesus Christ, is in Heaven. This joint rule of God the Father and God the Son (and God the Holy Spirit, though not mentioned here) is eternal. And God hates all sin. God the Father reminds them that He has gifted the nations to His Son who inherits the nations and all the earth.

(Verse 9) In His holiness and justice, Jesus will rule rightly but with ‘an iron sceptre’. His grace and love for us took Him to the cross to bear our sins and be punished for us in our place. He cleanses and pardons every sinner who turns from sin to receive Him in his life. He leads and guides in a new way those trusting Him as Saviour. He provides a home forever in Heaven for them. But Jesus will be Judge of those who refuse to repent, trust and follow Him. He is the King of Heaven, but also the all-knowing Judge in charge of Judgment.

(Verse 10-12a) That is why the kings and rulers are very seriously warned and told to ‘be wise’. They are told to approach God with godly fear. If they do trust Jesus as Saviour and so rejoice in sins forgiven, peace with God, and a home in Heaven, their rejoicing should also reflect their trembling at the eternal fate they have escaped through coming to Jesus. Though God the Son will accept them with their signs of affection, they know that His righteous anger and wrath, on those who refuse to turn from sins and trust Him, can ‘flare up in a moment’.

(Verse 12b) The Psalm’s final message of hope and blessing, having wisely stressed judgment, is that ‘all those who take refuge in Him’ not only will be ‘blessed’ eternally but are ‘blessed’ from that very moment of trust. They are ‘happy and to be envied’ as Psalm 1 teaches. Is that you?