Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Psalm 2 - The Inescapable Sovereignty of God

By Tim Miller
First Baptist Church of Roxana

These articles are the product of a labor of love. I write these in the fear of God and the love for the church. Since God has spoken and acted in history and has left us the inspired record of these events, it is our solemn duty and pleasure as His children to study to be diligent to present ourselves approved to God as workmen who do not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth (cf. 2 Tim 2:15). Find more resources at

The Psalms are full of Messianic expectation. Psalm 2 sets the tone for the Messiah as the future ruler who will reign over Zion. There is also an expectation of mercy for those who repent and worship the Son of God. Those who find refuge in Him will be eternally happy in His presence, for not only is this victorious Messiah a King, but according to later revelation, He is also a propitiation, having died once for all in the place of those who call upon Him. However, the hopeless condition of those who will not believe and who shake their fist in the face of God is highlighted, for they hope against hope that they can find a way to be free of Him; but none will be able to escape God on the day of judgment. Their fate will not be a happy one.

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2:1 Why are the nations in an uproar
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!”

David observes the common factor that unites the secular nations together: hatred of God and His Messiah. The picture is one of tumult, from the national governments to the individuals who comprise the state. They are all of one mind, crying out that they desire to be free of the bonds of God. They want no connection to Him. They do not want to be under His authority. They do not want to answer to Him. So they are seeking to break their ties to Him and to His Messiah and to be independent of Him. In Acts 4:27-28, the early church saw fulfillment of this, praying, “truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.” Among the nations in an uproar, we find that the unbelieving Jewish nation was even among those shaking their fists at God.

4 He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
5 Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying,
6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

God is not frightened by the violent plans men devise against Him. He does not pace back and forth in Heaven hoping He can win. Instead, He is seated confidently on His throne, knowing that everything that He purposes will come to pass. So He laughs at the futile efforts of men to free themselves of His rule. He scoffs at them. Then He speaks, and terrifies them in His anger and righteous fury. He declares that it is set in stone: He will install His King (His Anointed) upon Zion. The Messiah will reign victoriously in the midst of His enemies (cf. Psalm 110:2).

In the Tribulation, the sixth seal will bring a “great earthquake; and the sun [will become] black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon [will become] like blood; and the stars of the sky [will fall] to the earth…The sky [will be] split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island [will be] moved out of their places” (Rev 6:12-14). On that day, there will be great terror as “the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man [will hide] themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they [will say] to the mountains and to the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’” (Rev 6:15-17).

Sometime after this, the twenty-four elders will worship God at the sound of the seventh trumpet, saying, “We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came….” (Rev 11:17-18).

People would like to think of God as a little god. One who able to be avoided and appeased with trifling things. One whose power is limited and whose sovereignty is finite. One whose knowledge is incomplete and whose righteousness is diminished. How we must proclaim the majesty and the glory of the big and infinite God of Scripture who is seated on His throne, in absolute control of all things.

7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”

Here is the Anointed of the LORD, the Son of God Himself, Jesus, testifying to the decree of the Father to Him, claiming Him as His Son. As God’s only begotten Son, He receives as His inheritance the possession of the earth. The very nations that struggle against Him will be given to Him as a possession. God tells the Messiah to break them with an iron rod and shatter them like clay pots. So great is the power of the Messiah that His victory will be swift. The might of the nations is nothing compared to His.

With this information in hand, the psalmist now turns to the inhabitants of the earth with a warning:

10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
11 Worship the Lord with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
12 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!

He implores the people to show discernment and take warning, knowing that they could never win this battle against God. He pleads with them to worship and reverence the Lord, rejoicing in His favor with great trembling. He pleads them to kiss the feet of the Son so that they will not perish when He becomes angry. He warns them of the urgency of their repentance, for the wrath of the Son will quickly come. However, whoever does show discernment, whoever does take warning, whoever does worship, whoever does rejoice, whoever does kiss the Son and takes refuge in Him will be delivered.


The depravity of man has led him to reject God ever since sin was brought into the world in the Garden of Eden. However, God promised a redeemer who would deal with the sin problem and restore all things to their pre-cursed state. As revelation progresses, there is revealed the coming of the Messiah who will be born of a virgin, be rejected by His people, and be slain. It is also revealed that He will rise again and ascend bodily to heaven to sit at the right hand of God until the time when He takes up the ruler’s staff over the earth.

This is fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth. The New Testament looks forward to His return to establish His kingdom upon Zion and reign forever in fulfillment of all that has been written.

God has written the end of the story so that we will look forward to what is to come. In this way, we rejoice even as we sorrow in the midst of this perverse world. Let us not be disheartened, for we look for our Savior in the clouds, knowing that our future with Him is better than anything we ever dreamed. So let us be faithful to obey our Master, taking the gospel to the ends of the earth, even though depraved man shakes with rage against it. Let us call all people to discern the truth and worship the Father and the Son, knowing the power of the gospel to save sinners and transform their hearts and minds into conformity with the truth.

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