Across the pillared
courtyard, the chant rises in pulsating rhythm.
"Time to pick up the guns. Off the pigs! Off the
pigs! Time to pick up the guns. Off the pigs! Off
the pigs!" A crowd of perhaps 200, clenched fists
raised, cries, "Power! Power! Power!"
In the shade of the elms
at the other end of the beautiful green grassy
knoll, four pairs of elderly town folk play
checkers, undisturbed and seemingly as unconcerned
as the fat pigeons at their feet.
Two thousands miles away
in another part of the world a similar crowd marches
down the street shouting, "Fuera de aqui! Fuera de
aqui! Fuera de aqui!" The distinct onion smell of
tear gas becomes more ominous with the chanting as
the crowd gets closer and closer.
Down through the silent
passing of time you can hear the faint chant growing
louder and louder, "Crucify Him!" "Crucify Him!"
"Crucify Him!" "Crucify Him!"
Psalm 2 opens with the
enemies of the Lord God in open rebellion against
Him and His Anointed One. It also describes the
ultimate victory of the Lord's anointed over His
rebellious enemies. It reaches beyond king David to
the glorious reign of the one who can fulfill every
aspect of the eternal kingdom as promised to David
in II Samuel 7:13, 16. "He will build a house for my
name, and I will make his dynasty permanent. . .
Your house and your kingdom will stand before me
permanently; your dynasty will be permanent" (NET).
It is only when the
Davidic family is viewed as centering in Christ,
that the words can acquire their full truth. In this
Psalm the Lord's Anointed comes forward with the
divine power and glory that is attributed only to
the Messiah in the writings of the prophets. It
reaches its climax in verse 11, "Worship the LORD
with reverence, and rejoice with trembling" (NASB).
The NET Bible reads, "Serve the Lord in fear! Repent
There is no internal
evidence in the Psalm itself to tell us who the
author is. However, Acts 4:25 tells us that King
David under the power of the Holy Spirit was the
author of the Psalm.
Psalm 2 has four
speakers. The first voices we hear are the enemies
speaking against the Lord God and His Anointed One.
The second strophe records the calm words of
assurance of Adonai, the Sovereign Lord of all in
the midst of the opposition. The Anointed King
speaks. Finally the Psalmist speaks with exultation
because the Lord's anointed comes forth with divine
power and glory.
Our Psalm opens with
Gentiles in an uproar. Perhaps II Samuel 8 or 10
would fit the local situation under the reign of
King David. The hostility of neighboring nations had
displayed itself. First, we hear . . .
THE VOICE OF THE
The rebellion is not just
against David. "Nations" and "peoples" refers to
Gentile nations who are in an "uproar" against the
Lord God and His Anointed One (v. 1). The Psalmist
says, I hear a "noisy riot that seethes in
antagonism" against God. People of various
nationalities are in rebellion. They have a common
bond of hatred against the Lord. They meditate on
how they can overthrow God.
The Psalmist expresses
his outrage that the gentile nations would rebel
against he Lord God. "Why do the nations rebel? Why
are the countries devising plots that will fail? The
kings of the earth form a united front; the rulers
collaborate against the Lord and his anointed king"
(Psalm 2:1-2 NET).
The gentile nations are
in an uproar, but it amounts to nothing more than
devising a useless, worthless plan. The political
leaders take their stand against the LORD God and
his Anointed One, the Messiah.
representing their rebellious nations, act as a
group taking their stand in opposition to God in
verse two. They are devoid of all reason as they
take up their defiant position. Their rebellion is
already underway. They have already devised their
plan. You can hear them in the distance raising
their fists in defiance as they shout, "Let’s tear
off the shackles they’ve put on us! Let’s free
ourselves from their ropes!" (v. 3 NET).
History is full of men's
opposition to God. However, they devise a "vain
thing." Their plot to overthrow God will be empty.
It will come to nothing. They are "devising
emptiness." Their rebellion will fail.
How odd that men
conspire together against God.
Adam was the first to
rebel against God in the Garden of Eden. "The heart
is deceitful above all things and desperately
wicked," declared the prophet Jeremiah (17:9).
Before the Deluge of the
Earth man's heart was only continuously full of
rebellion and wickedness (Genesis 6:5). It was so
bad God had to destroy mankind from off the face of
the earth. Out of His grace He saved Noah and his
Even after the flood
mankind was still in rebellion toward God (Genesis
11:4). Men plotted together saying, "Come, let’s
build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in
the heavens so that we may make a name for
ourselves. Otherwise we will be scattered across the
face of the entire earth" (NET). Consequently, God
confused their language.
Pharaoh tried to defeat
God’s purpose with the people Israel. Genocide and
infanticide didn’t work. God delivered His people
with the death angel the night of the first
Jesus "came to His own
and His own received Him not." He gave an excellent
illustration in Matthew 21:33-42. He concluded his
parable by quoting Psalm 118:22-23, "The stone which
the builders discarded has become the cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s work. We consider it amazing!"
I can hear the pulsating
chant rising in the distant past. It gets louder and
louder. "Crucify Him!" "Crucify Him!" "Crucify Him!"
Their vain thing was the crucifixion of Christ
(Matthew 26:3-5; 27:1, 2).
What will be
outcome of this rebellion? (V. 1b)
Their goal will come to
nothing. Acts 2:22-24 explains that God raised
Christ up from the dead.
"Men of Israel, listen to
these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man clearly
attested to you by God with powerful deeds, wonders,
and miraculous signs that God performed among you
through him, just as you yourselves know – this man,
who was handed over by the predetermined plan and
foreknowledge of God, you executed by nailing him to
a cross at the hands of Gentiles. But God raised him
up, having released him from the pains of death,
because it was not possible for him to be held in
its power" (NET).
Men are still in
rebellion against God.
Second Peter 3:3-4 tells
us man is still in his rebellion. "Above all,
understand this: In the last days blatant scoffers
will come, being propelled by their own evil urges
and saying, 'Where is his promised return? For ever
since our ancestors died, all things have continued
as they were from the beginning of creation'" (NET).
He still toots the same horn, and sings the same
song, "Let’s tear off the shackles they’ve put on
us! Let’s free ourselves from their ropes!" Read for
yourself Isaiah 1:18; Romans 3:23; 6:23 and you
discover the same tragic story.
What is God’s reaction to
all this? Is He asleep? Why does He remain silent?
Is He defeated? Is He helpless?
THE VOICE OF THE
The Lord God is
sovereign and He is in complete control.
The Lord "laughs" (v. 4)
in unbelief at their powerless threats. He "scoffs"
at them. The NET Bible reads, "laughs in disgust."
It is "derisive laughter." He is not even moved to
rise from His throne. "He who sits" is "the Sitter
in the heavens." He is "sitting enthroned" in
the heavens. He is characterized with calm and
serene dignity. All attitudes of rebellion against
Adonai, the Sovereign God, are absurd and
"The Lord taunts them"
has the idea of "scoffs at," "derides," "mocks." You
re messing around with the wrong person.
God will not always be
patient. He may be laughing now, but when the time
is right his anger will blaze forth like lightening.
"Anger" (vv. 5, 12) describes God's righteous
indignation. It will be unspeakable terror. The word
is used of God’s displeasure against rebellion. He
will "terrify them in his rage" or "furry." You will
never know when His anger will flash forth. He will
overthrow them in a word.
God’s plan will not
Listen to the emphatic
firm voice of God. "I myself have installed my king
on Zion, my holy hill" (v. 6 NET). The anointed King
is set firmly in place. He is God's Anointed One,
the Messiah. Hebrews 1:3–5 speaks of that day.
"The Son is the radiance
of his glory and the representation of his essence,
and he sustains all things by his powerful word, and
so when he had accomplished cleansing for sins, he
sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Thus he became so far better than the angels as he
has inherited a name superior to theirs. For to
which of the angels did God ever say, 'You are my
son! Today I have fathered you'? And in another
place he says, 'I will be his father and he will be
my son'" (NET).
"Zion" is God's "holy
hill." It is literally "hill of My holiness." God
has firmly set in place his King. It fulfills 2
Samuel 7:13, 16. He holds office by direct
appointment of God (cf. Psalm 89:26-28). It is
interesting that history makes no mention of a king
of Israel being anointed on Zion. Zion is mentioned
as the royal seat of the Anointed One. He will be
installed on Mt. Zion and will reign over the
kingdoms of the earth from there.
What is the reaction of
the anointed one to the Sovereign? Listen to
THE VOICE OF THE SON
OF THE SOVEREIGN (2:7-9)
The declaration of
the Son of God (v. 7)
This sonship implies the
dominion over the entire world. These words find
their full truth only when the Davidic family is
viewed as centering in Christ. The Lord's Anointed
comes forward with the divine power and glory, as
the Messiah is described in the prophets. The Old
Testament knows of no other kingship to which is
promised the dominion of the world. History looks in
vain to find one who fulfills this lofty position.
However, Revelation 19:15 describes Christ when He
"And from His mouth comes
a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the
nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron;
and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of
God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh
He has a name written, 'KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF
Only with the words of
Revelation 11:15-18 does it find resolution.
"Then the seventh angel
blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in
heaven saying: 'The kingdom of the world has become
the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he
will reign for ever and ever.' Then the twenty-four
elders who are seated on their thrones before God
threw themselves down with their faces to the ground
and worshiped God with these words: 'We give you
thanks, Lord God, the All-Powerful, the one who is
and who was, because you have taken your great power
and begun to reign. The nations were enraged, but
your wrath has come, and the time has come for the
dead to be judged, and the time has come to give to
your servants, the prophets, their reward, as well
as to the saints and to those who revere your name,
both small and great, and the time has come to
destroy those who destroy the earth.'"
"The kingdom of the world
has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ
(Messiah); and He will reign forever and ever."
Where is the evidence
that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of this
On three different
occasions, the Gospel writers recorded the words
from heaven, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am
well pleased." It is not "one of my sons, but "My
Son, My only one."
The proof of that
declaration is the resurrection of Christ from the
"that this promise God
has fulfilled to us, their children, by raising
Jesus, as also it is written in the second psalm,
‘You are my Son; today I have fathered you.’ But
regarding the fact that he has raised Jesus from the
dead, never again to be in a state of decay, God has
spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holy and
trustworthy promises made to David.’ Therefore he
also says in another psalm, ‘You will not permit
your Holy One to experience decay.’ For David, after
he had served God’s purpose in his own generation,
died, was buried with his ancestors, and experienced
decay, but the one whom God raised up did not
experience decay" (Acts 13:33-37 NET).
The Apostle Paul, himself
a Jewish scholar, said concerning Jesus in Romans
"concerning his Son who
was a descendant of David with reference to the
flesh, who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power
according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection
from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord" (NET).
The writer to the Hebrews
interpreted this great song of the Messiah with
For to which of the
angels did He ever say, "THOU ART MY SON, TODAY I
HAVE BEGOTTEN THEE"? And again, "I WILL BE A FATHER
TO HIM AND HE SHALL BE A SON TO ME"? (Hebrews 1:5
This Psalm is cited more
frequently in the New Testament than any other. The
Apostles saw it as fulfilled in Jesus Christ and no
other person. Jesus appears exactly as this Psalm
The Lord God reigns
(vv. 8, 9)
The LORD God has
appointed the dominion of the world to His Son. "Ask
me, and I will give you the nations as your
inheritance, the ends of the earth as your personal
property" (v8 NET). He needs only to appropriate to
Himself that which is allocated to Him. The
omnipotent rod of iron He holds in His hand will
utterly smash all opposition of the rebels. "You
will break them with an iron scepter; you will smash
them like a potter’s jar!" (v. 9). It is the Hebrew
instrument of punitive power.
The Old Testament knows
no king to which is promised the dominion of the
world but the Davidic, and it is fulfilled only in
the coming of Jesus Christ. This universal dominion
can only be fulfilled by the Messiah King. The royal
scepter represents this sovereignty.
At the Second Coming,
Christ will manifest His sovereignty. At a time in
the future, He will demonstrate His sovereign
control. It will be demonstrated for the entire
world to see. He will return in judgment and will
establish righteousness in the earth. Revelation
11:15-17; 19:11-16 describe for us these events.
Moreover, He will return and reign as King of Kings.
Calvin wrote: "The meaning is that the Father denies
the Son nothing that bears upon the extension of His
kingdom even unto the uttermost parts of the earth."
He came the first time as
the suffering servant of God, He will return as the
sovereign God to reign in triumph on His enemies.
Philippians 2:10, 11. "At the name of Jesus every
knee will bow – in heaven and on earth and under the
earth – and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ
is Lord to the glory of God the Father" (NET).
Shall we sing with the
sweet singer of old? "Strap your sword to your
thigh, O warrior! Appear in your majestic splendor!
Appear in your majesty and be victorious! Ride forth
for the sake of what is right, on behalf of justice!
Then your right hand will accomplish mighty acts!"
(Psalm 45: 3, 4 NET).
Here is perfect security
for the believer. Listen now as . . .
THE VOICE OF THE
SPIRIT SPEAKS THROUGH THE PSALMIST (2:10-12)
"So now, you kings, do
what is wise; you rulers of the earth, submit to
correction! Serve the Lord in fear! Repent in
terror! Give sincere homage! Otherwise he will be
angry, and you will die because of your behavior,
when his anger quickly ignites. How blessed are all
who take shelter in him!" (vv. 10-12 NET).
There is urgency in
these words of the Psalmist.
Applications in this
Psalm go beyond David or possibly Solomon. Verses 7,
8 and 12 can not possibly be fulfilled by an earthly
king and must refer to the Messiah King, Jesus
Christ. King David looks to one who is greater than
"Now." "Today is the day
of salvation." He does not want anyone to suffer and
would have everyone come to the King is obedient
"Show discernment" (v.
10). "Take warning" the highest form of wisdom. Turn
from your self will and put your faith in the Lord
"Repent in terror!" (NET)
The word translated "terror" consistently means "to
utter terror and fear" on other passages (NET
"Rejoice with trembling"
(v. 11 KJV, NASB) is the exulting shouts of
jubilation in worship. It is the idea of rapturous
manifestation of joy at the happiness and honor of
being permitted to be the servants of God. What is
the response of your heart when you think of His
coming? Do you begin to tremble with joy? Do you get
excited about the prospect of His coming? Oh, Lord
Jesus will I see you today? Come, Lord Jesus come!
Be reconciled to
the Sovereign by believing on the Son.
"Do homage to the Son" is
literally "kiss." (cf. Hebrews 10:12, 13; I
"Blessed are they that
put their trust in Him." That is the true kiss. It
is the kiss of reconciliation. We were all by nature
rebels against God. The message of the Gospel is the
message of reconciliation. Cast down your weapons of
rebellion. Trust Him, rely upon Him, depend upon
Him; leave off depending upon yourself, and rely
upon Jesus. Throw yourself flat down upon the
finished work of Christ. "Believe on the Lord Jesus
Christ, and you shall be saved." Put your trust in
Him. "Kiss the Son," and do it now.
It is the kiss of
allegiance and worship.
There is also a warning
of coming judgment in verse 12. The office of the
Messiah is not only that of a Savior but also of
divine Judge. Our God is also "a consuming fire." A
quote from Revelation 6:16-17 helps us here.
"They said to the
mountains and to the rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us
from the face of the one who is seated on the throne
and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great
day of their wrath has come, and who is able to
withstand it?'" (NET)
History has recorded that
emperors, governors and high officials in the Roman
Empire distinguished themselves in their zeal and
bitterness in persecuting the early Christians.
Historians have observed that of thirty of these
rulers in the Empire, one became blind. One became
speedily deranged after some atrocious cruelty. One
was slain by his own son, and one was drowned. The
eyes of one started out of his head, one was
strangled, one died in a miserable captivity, one
fell dead in a manner that will not bear recital.
Another died of a disease that several of his
physicians were put to death because they could not
abide the stench that filled his room. Two committed
suicides, a third attempted it, but had to call for
help to finish the task. Five were assassinated by
their own people or servants, five others died the
most miserable and excruciating deaths; several of
them having an untold complication of diseases,
eight were killed in battle, or after being taken
The infamous Julian the
Apostate was said to have pointed the dagger to
Heaven defying the Son of God whom he constantly
called the Galilean. However, when he was wounded in
battle, Julian saw that all was over with him. He
gathered up his clotted blood, threw it in the air,
exclaiming, "Thou hast conquered, Thou Galilean!"
However, there is a
marvelous picture of people gathered from all over
the world worshipping the Son of God in Revelation
7:9-12. Oh I want to be a part of this group who
worship in submission to the King of glory. And you
"After these things I
looked, and here was an enormous crowd that no one
could count, made up of persons from every nation,
tribe, people, and language, standing before the
throne and before the Lamb dressed in long white
robes, and with palm branches in their hands. They
were shouting out in a loud voice, "Salvation
belongs to our God, to the one seated on the throne,
and to the Lamb!" And all the angels stood there in
a circle around the throne and around the elders and
the four living creatures, and they threw themselves
down with their faces to the ground before the
throne and worshiped God, saying, 'Amen! Praise and
glory, and wisdom and thanksgiving, and honor and
power and strength be to our God for ever and ever.
Title: The Song of
the Messiah, Psalm 2:1-12
Series: Christ in the