Down through the silent
passing of time you can hear the faint chant growing
louder and louder, "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 2 Samuel 7:13, 16. "He shall build a house for My
name, and I will establish the throne of His Kingdom
forever. . . and your house and your kingdom shall
endure before Me forever: your throne shall be
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 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."
There is no internal
evidence in this Psalm 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
THE SOVEREIGN OF THE
The Psalm 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 thick of the opposition. Then 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 the
Gentiles in an uproar. Perhaps 2 Samuel 8 or 10
would fit the occasion under the reign of King
David. The hostility of neighboring nations had
displayed itself. However, 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). It is a "noisy
riot that seethes in antagonism" against God. The
common bond among the nations is hatred against the
Lord. They meditate on how they might overthrow God
History is full of
opposition to God. However, the plot to overthrow
God is empty. Adam first tired it in the Garden of
Eden (Genesis 3). Before the Deluge the man's heart
was only continuously full of rebellion (Genesis
6:5). Even after the flood men plotted in their
selfishness (Genesis 11:4). Pharaoh tried genocide
and infanticide. Finally, "Jesus came to His own and
His own received Him not." Cf. Matthew 21:33-42. The
pulsating chant gets louder and louder. "Crucify
Him!" "Crucify Him!" The vain thing was the
crucifixion of Christ (Matthew 26:3-5; 27:1).
Their goal had come to
nothing. Peter stood and preached his finest sermon
using passages from the Old Testament including
"Men of Israel, listen to
these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to
you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which
God performed through Him in your midst, just as you
yourselves know––this Man, delivered up by the
predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you
nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and
put Him to death. And God raised Him up again,
putting an end to the agony of death, since it was
impossible for Him to be held in its power (Acts
Man is still in his
rebellion (2 Peter 3:3-4; Isaiah 1:18; Romans 3:23;
6:23). He still toots the same horn, and sing the
same song, "Let us tear their fetters apart, and
cast away their cords from us!" (Psalm 2:3).
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. Someone said, "He who sits is the
Sitter in the heavens." All attitudes toward Him are
absurd and ridiculous.
However, God will not
always be patient with their rebellion. "Anger" in
vv. 5, 12 describes God's righteous indignation.
God's plan will not be
defeated. Listen to the emphatic firm voice of God
(v. 6). "But as for Me, I have installed My King
upon Zion, My holy mountain." The anointed King is
set firmly in place (Cf. 2 Samuel 7:13, 16). Cf.
Hebrews 1:3-5. Zion is the hill of God's holiness.
He holds his office by direct appointment of God.
History makes no mention of a king of Israel being
anointed on Zion. Zion is mentioned as the royal
seat of the Anointed One. It is there He will be
installed, and He may reign and rule from there.
The Sonship implies world
dominion (v. 7). 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, with which the messiah
appears in the prophets. The Old Testament knows no
other kingship to which is promised the dominion of
world power. Revelation 19:15 describes Christ when
He returns. Only with the words of Revelation
11:15-18 does it find resolution. "The kingdom of
the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of
His Christ (Messiah); and He will reign forever and
DO HOMAGE TO THE SON
Where is the evidence
that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of this
On three occasions, the
Gospel records these 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
dead (Hebrews 1:5; cf. Acts 13:33-37; Romans 1:3-4).
Psalm two is cited more
frequently in the New Testament than any other. The
Apostles saw it as fulfilled in Jesus Christ and in
no other person. Jesus appears exactly as this Psalm
The LORD God has
appointed the dominion of the world to His Son (v.
9). No other king has been promised world dominion.
It is fulfilled only in Christ.
At His Second Coming of
Christ will manifest His sovereign authority and
power. At a point in time in the future He will
demonstrate His sovereign control for the entire
world to see. He will return in judgment and will
establish righteousness in the earth. Cf. Revelation
11:15-17; 19:11-16. He will return and reign as King
of Kings. Calvin said: "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."
Jesus came the first time
as the suffering servant of God, He will return as
the sovereign God to reign in triumph over His
enemies (Philippians 2:10, 11). Luther reminds us,
"For He slays our will in order to establish His own
will in us. He puts to death the flesh and its lusts
in order to make alive in us the Spirit and the
things that He desires."
Applications in the Psalm
go beyond David or possibly Solomon. Verses 7, 8, 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 himself.
"Show discernment" (v.
10). "Take warning" is the highest form of wisdom.
Turn from your self-will and put your faith in the
Lord Jesus Christ.
"Rejoice with trembling"
(v. 11) is the exulting shouts of jubilation in
worship. It is rapturous manifestation of joy at the
happiness and honor of being permitted to be the
servants of Yahweh. Do you get excited about the
prospect of His coming? Oh, Lord Jesus will I see
you today? Even so, come Lord Jesus come!
"Do homage to the Son" is
literally, "kiss." Cf. Hebrews 10:12, 13; 1
Corinthians 15:25. "Blessed are they that put their
trust in Him." That is the true kiss. It is the kiss
of reconciliation. It is no kiss of Judas. We were
all by nature rebels of God. The message of the
Gospel is the message of reconciliation. Cast down
your weapons of rebellion and trust Him, rely upon
Him, depend upon Him. Trust in the finished work of
Jesus. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you
shall be saved." There is no other way.
However, there is also a
serious warning in v. 12. The office of the Messiah
is not only that of the Savior, but also of divine
Judge. Our God is also "a consuming fire." (Cf.
Moreover, there is also
the greater picture of people gathered from all over
the world worshipping the Son of God in Revelation
7:9-12. Oh to be a part of that great throng who bow
in humble submission to the King of Kings!
If you need help in
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Title: Psalm 2:1-12
The Reign of the Sovereign Son
Series: Christ in
the Old Testament