Psalm 2 (CSB)
1 Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth take their stand,
and the rulers conspire together
against the Lord and his Anointed One:
3 “Let’s tear off their chains
and throw their ropes off of us.”
4 The one enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord ridicules them.
5 Then he speaks to them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath:
6 “I have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”
7 I will declare the Lord’s decree.
He said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have become your Father.
8 Ask of me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance
and the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You will break them with an iron scepter;
you will shatter them like pottery.”
10 So now, kings, be wise;
receive instruction, you judges of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with reverential awe
and rejoice with trembling.
12 Pay homage to the Son or he will be angry
and you will perish in your rebellion,
for his anger may ignite at any moment.
All who take refuge in him are happy.
Psalm 2 was a royal psalm and used at the coronations of the Davidic kings but it is also more than that as the psalm prophetically speaks of Jesus, the King of kings. It is quite easy to see how this psalm speaks of Jesus, the Son of God who was born in the line of David. The day will come, at Christ’s triumphal return, when He will reign over the earth forever. What this means is that there are some serious implications for those who rule over the nations of the earth today.
What drew me to this psalm today was the opening section. The psalmist begins by asking the rhetorical question, why do the nations rage and people plot, why do the rulers conspire? Why do they seek to overthrow what they see as God’s “oppressive” authority? Do they realise how futile this is? The topic of conspiracy is one that raises its head regularly at the moment. As people question the policies of their governments, the regulations and restrictions that have been put in place during this pandemic. I listened to a Christian radio host speak about the these rumours of conspiracies and he gave quite a startling answer: “Of course there is a conspiracy! To this day the devil has been conspiring against God’s people.”
He’s quite right. Satan has ever been opposed to God’s work since the very beginning in the garden of Eden. He is constantly scheming, making use of those who give into their sinful nature to bring about his wicked purposes. Are some of those people in power? Are some of them members of governments and organisations? Certainly. We know all to well of the corruption that can be found in the positions of power. But… Jesus has overcome the devil, He has overcome death and sin. Satan’s fate is already decided and he loses. Those who conspire against God’s Son and His rule are foolish for they will not escape God’s judgement and wrath.
This is why the final section of the psalm advises the kings and rulers and leaders of this world to be wise. It is God who has placed or allowed them to be in positions of power, He will hold them accountable. There is stern warning that God’s patience with their arrogance and waywardness could run out at any moment. Dare they take the chance?
There is however a comforting word that ends off the psalm, both for our leaders and for us. “All who take refuge in Him are happy” For the leaders, faced with such difficult decisions as they strive to do what’s best for the people, they can find comfort in trusting in the Lord. They can find assurance in Him as they commit their ways and the ways of their land to God. For us the people, we too can be happy as we take refuge and comfort in the knowledge that no matter what the schemes, the plots or designs of our leaders, God is sovereign. He will call them to account. We can trust in that.