If Psalm 1 is about men choosing the way of righteousness or wickedness, this Psalm is about God’s choices. This psalm is traditionally grouped with other psalms celebrating the coronation of a king in Israel, but its message is also clearly prophetic.
It speaks of God’s choice in setting up his own King — the King who rules on Zion, God’s holy hill. (Psalm 2:3)
In this sense, it is clearly a messianic psalm, for it points forward to the Lord Jesus Christ. Luke takes this psalm in Acts 4:25–26, and specifically applies it to “your holy servant Jesus, who you anointed” (Acts 4:27). “Though you, Holy God, made man — why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain against you?” David cries. While Luke attributes this song to the human author, David, he clearly sees a deeper truth with this coronation psalm. “Sovereign Lord, you made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of your servant, Our Father David ”. . . he then records the first two verses of this psalm. (Acts 4:24)
This is not the first time we are given a glimpse of the Messiah King in Scripture. Isaiah speaks eloquently of the Suffering Servant.
He endured the suffering that should have been ours, the pain we should have borne. All the while we thought that his suffering was punishment sent by God. But because of our sins he was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. My devoted servant, with whom I am pleased, will bear the punishment of many and for his sake I will forgive them. So I will give him a place of honor, a place among the great and powerful. He willingly gave his life and shared the fate of evil men. He took the place of sinners and prayed that they might be forgiven.
(Isaiah 53:4, 5a, 11–12)
Seven hundred years before the birth of Christ this was penned by the faithful prophet of God, declaring the plan of God to give up his Son, Christ Jesus, for the forgiveness of the sins of the people he loves.
So what can we learn that is practical for life in Psalm 2? Let me suggest five brief thoughts:
1 God is in control. He who made the heavens and the earth still controls all that he has made. Yes, within the finite order of things, man has freedom, even freedom to do evil, but even this does not usurp God’s power over him. As both the prophet Isaiah and the poet David confess, God is on his throne. God is bringing his purposes to pass.
2. God loves us. This is plain in the text of Psalm 2 when God entreats the rulers of the earth to serve him with fear and trembling (the thought here is with humility and awe). God wants to have peace with man whom he has created for his glory. His will is to bless his people and not to harm them.
3.In life, there are no accidents. Can I explain the suffering in the world? I won’t even try. Can I have confidence in a God who allows suffering for a time for His own purposes? If I can’t- if I refuse to trust Him in the minutia of life, then I need to examine what, or who, I am trusting. God, in the Old Testament, brought suffering upon his own people, consequences for their disobedience. He also lets the innocent suffer at times ( yes Jesus is the supreme example, but Jesus also said a man was born blind so that the glory of God could be known.) We are also part of a fallen world, and we are caught up in the brokenness of a fallen world. We are not exempt from suffering in this world. Even a cursory knowledge of Scripture bears this out. Difficult teaching to be sure.
As a Christian, I have experienced multiple surgeries, depression, divorce, disappointment, death and despair. I wish it could be otherwise.
4. I can choose to submit to this loving God. There are too many promises given to his children to start naming them here- but if you can measure the wonder of the Grand Canyon or the volume of water of the Niagara Falls, this would not begin to fathom the wonder of God’s love to us. It is so long, so wide, so deep, so high that we cannot begin to grasp the love of God- for it surpasses knowledge. Of course, we are talking about the infinite God, without beginning or end. We can say the words- we do not comprehend those words.
In the daily living out of my life, the question will always boil down to trust: Will I go God’s way, or seek to fulfill my own desires in whichever way I choose?
5. Finally, would you join me in affirming that you, too, want to learn to worship the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and bring honour to the Son He supremely loves. He gave Him up that we might know forgiveness of our sins, reconciliation to the Father, peace with God, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, and the hope of life everlasting in the kingdom of God. Though we need to pass through many hardships, e live to please the one who gave Himself up for us- and we can call it GAIN, can’t we?
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