In Old Testament times, Psalm 2 was used to celebrate the crowning of an Israelite king. This psalm is also referred to as a Messianic psalm and is prophetic because it represents the crowning of the eternal King, Jesus Christ. This psalm describes the power struggle of earthly kings who rise up against the Lord. Psalm 2 is attributed to David by Luke in Acts 4:25-26.
The power struggle
“Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.” (Psalm 2:1-2, NIV)
Psalm 2 starts with a question. It was difficult to understand why rulers of the world conspired against the Lord. Fighting against God is fruitless and people will be held accountable for their actions. The Anointed One refers to the reigning king at the time but ultimately points to the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
In today’s world, it may be easy for Christians to wonder why people conspire and fight against God. People use the Lord’s name in vain and put Him down. Satan is actively seeking people to stand and fight against the Lord. It is a never-ending battle which will never be won. The good news is that Christians have the Lord on their side to fight the battles for them.
“‘Let us break their chains,’ they say, ‘and throw off their fetters’” (Psalm 2:3, NIV).
The rulers were mocking the Lord and His believers. In their ignorance, they perceived those who served the Lord as being in bondage. The only thing they saw was the believers serving the Lord in humility. The earthly kings did not want to serve anyone else. They wanted to be in control of everything. The rulers desired the power more than the Lord.
In the world, people think they are free and it is Christians who are held in bondage to God. They mock God and Christians in their ignorance. If they do not serve God, they are in bondage to someone or something else. Sinners do not realize that true freedom comes from Jesus Christ. “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” (John 8:31, NIV)
The Heavenly King has power over all
“The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, ‘I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.’” (Psalm 2:4-6, NIV)
The Lord in heaven is the One who has the last laugh. He realizes man’s confusion about power. In their pride and arrogance, rulers may think they are all-powerful. However, God is the only One who is all-powerful. God will respond to those who mock Him in His anger and wrath. “The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.” (Psalm 37:12-13, NIV)
It can be frustrating to Christians who see others mocking the Most High God. However, the day will come when the mockers will face God’s judgment. The rulers of this age will be held accountable for their actions. Christians can continue to stand for Him and witness with the power of Almighty God with them in all they do.
The coming King
“I will proclaim the decree of the Lord: He said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.’” (Psalm 2:7, NIV)
This is a prophetic reference to the coming King, Jesus Christ. “We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.’” (Acts 13:32-33, NIV)
Christians have the good news of the Almighty King. Each individual is called to share this good news about Jesus Christ with others. The truth of God’s Word will shatter the misperceptions of earthly rulers.
Ruler over all
“Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” (Psalm 2:8-9, NIV)
“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.” (Psalm 22:27, NIV) God is the ultimate ruler who rules over everything. There is no ruler or king above Him. The Lord rules over all.
“To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations – ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery’ – just as I have received authority from my Fathe.r” (Revelation 2:26-27, NIV) When the Lord Jesus Christ returns, those who have remained faithful to Him will be victorious and reign with Him. The Lord will be the judge of evil.
The proper response
“Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 2:10-12, NIV)
The rulers of the age were warned against their mocking of the Lord and His followers. The rulers were disobedient. They were directed to serve God with fear and trembling. The rulers were warned of their upcoming destruction by the Almighty One if they did not change.
As Christians serve the Lord in awe and reverence, they can be ready for His coming. Christians are to surrender fully to the Lord’s will for their lives. Christians can find refuge in the Lord every day. Those who choose to turn against the Lord will pay the price for their choice.
Psalm 2 has been fulfilled by the kingship of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Christians can praise God because He is in ultimate control of everyone and everything. People can choose to mock and turn their backs on the Lord and will pay a high price for their actions and choices. Christians can take refuge in the Lord and look forward to His return.