Theme: The last laugh
Scripture: Psalm 2
David reigned as king in Jerusalem (from 1010 BC – 970 BC). Not many people were enthusiastic about him as king. There were continuous conspiracies against him. But the Lord dominated and David remained as king in spite of all efforts to dethrone him.
And in Psalm 2 he writes about his experiences in this regard.
David though, was a foreshadowing/prefigure to the Greater David who was to come, the Messiah, Christ Jesus. God’s will was that, by looking at David, the coming Messiah would be seen behind David. Many of the things that happened in David’s life, were foreshadowings and pictures of what – 950 years later – would happen to Christ. Therefore, when David writes in Psalm 2 about people who are opposing his kingship, we must see how Jesus would be opposed, and how humanity would reject His kingship.
When David explains that – whatever people do – he SHALL remain king, we must see how firm and secure Jesus’s kingship will be, despite humanity’s plans to do away with Him. Three times in the NT we are reminded that this specific Psalm is really about Jesus. Not once does it say that it is about David – although it is about David in the first place! And yet it is actually a picture of Christ and man’s attitude towards Him.
If one thinks about the Lord Jesus, one would imagine that everyone would desire to subject their lives to Him. He opened eyes of the blind and raised the dead. One would think that everyone would like to have Him for King. After He raised Lazarus from the grave, one would think that EVERYONE would like to serve Him. Innocently He died on the cross in the place of hell-deserving sinners. One would think that everyone would want to serve such a king. Just imagine: The KING – who laid down His life for His enemies..
FACT IS HOWEVER that Jesus’s kingship is bitterly opposed from A-Z. Not one person on earth wants to have Him having his say over their lives as their King. Not one single person! That is the shocking fact that Psalm 2 is showing us.
The shallow sentimental idea that all people are basically good and that most people are on God’s side, is contradicted and crushed by Psalm 2. When God looks at the world, He sees how the entire humanity is unanimously opposed to the kingship of Jesus Christ. There is not one person who (by nature) seek the Lord, not one, says Psalm 14:3. The one thing that binds the entire humanity to unity, is opposition to the true God and the Truth of His Word. It is true of nations, world leaders, but also of the individual. Did you know that a person must first profoundly acknowledge this fact about yourself before you will form a realization of how much you need a Saviour?
The idea that people are good in principle and are on God’s side, is the exact lie that keeps people away from God!
Look at Psalm 2 and you will see it. There is an invisible universal threat against which humanity conspires/makes plans/is in revolt (verses 1-2).
And what is the threat? Difficult to believe, but Psalm 2 says: The threat is God and His anointed King – the Messaiah – Jesus of Nazareth.
In the OT, the prophets, priests and kings were anointed with oil for their task in the Lord’s Name. Jesus was/is all three in one. God anointed Him at His baptism. Therefore He is called CHRIST (anointed). Humanity is in opposition against God-and-His-anointed. God the Father and Jesus Christ.
But what is it about the true God that all people – one-and-all – hate so much? Psalm 2 shows absolute divine insight into the human heart when He shows us why man so hates Christ’s reign as King. Verse 3: Every person on earth thinks that God wants to rob him/her of their freedom. “Let us break the chains, and throw off their fetters.”
We know very well how people will fight to the bitter end when their freedom is being threatened. Behind humanity’s resistance against the Lord, is a struggle for freedom. Instinctively all people feel that the Lord is a treat to them, because He wants to take their independence away from them. Instinctively all people want to be free from any form of control. Man sees the Lord as a monster whose aim is to put people in irons. “He wants to restrict me! He wants to confine me!”
“Yes, I may still want Jesus to save me, but I want nothing to do with His Kingship over me. I do not want Him to tell me how I should behave. He must not decide my sexuality. He must not tell me how I should spend my time and money. Nobody must come tell me what to do – least of all God!
Because what will happen when I repent and turn to Him and place my trust in Jesus’s death on the cross? He will come and smother me and take my freedom away! He will plunge me into a miserable life of “no for this” and “no for that”. Restrictions from morning till night. He is the great spoiler of fun. It is aweful, because if I serve Him, I’ll loose my liberty. It is like death.”
People forget that we are made for God. We are made by Him for Him. There can be no true life without serving Him. But people see the Lord as someone who fetters and chains you and makes your life miserable.
That is how the snake made Adam think that God was the great bully, a monster – who planted a tree in the garden the fruit of which he could not eat. So serious is humanity’s freedom-struggle against the Lord, that the entire human race (not only the Jews) murdered Jesus on the cross when He dared to come stand too close to them.
When God looks at the world, then it is this struggle and rebellion that He sees. To look at the world through the lens of politics, newspapers, internet, TV, opinions – is senseless, because it does not show us what the real struggle is!
Wherever on earth you find human beings – everyone is opposed to the mere thought that Jesus might reign over them. That is the problem with your colleagues/friends/family/school friends (perhaps your own). Wherever you find man – there is this opposition against the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Look at the reaction when you mention JESUS in ordinary conversations, His Name/His claims/His resurrection.. You may still talk about “God” and people might join in or express an opinion. But talk directly about Jesus and watch what happens.
Although people know full well in their conscience that the Christian faith is the absolute truth, they still resist it. Verse 2: Kings and rulers take their stand against the Lord. They made their decision. It is the invisible and unspoken universal spiritual action in the world: to leave Jesus out of everything. That is why you can go through an entire day at the office/school without anyone saying anything meaningful about JESUS. As if He does not exist. The average person lives as if He does not exist. Practical atheism.
And yet, it is an absolute waste of time to be against Jesus, because you cannot win the battle. Millions of dogs throughout the centuries have barked at the rising of the moon, and all of them are gone and forgotten and the moon still rises and sets as always. Look at verses 4-6: The Lord God’s reaction at the resistance of humanity. He laughs at them. He scoffs at them.
Because WHO exactly is the One against whom humanity is so resistant? The One enthroned in heaven (v4).
But, where is heaven? Is it somewhere up above? Then heaven is in a different place for the Australians!
Heaven/the spiritual realm is situated in a different direction. Not up/down/left/right. The spiritual realm is another dimension that moves parallel to the temporal dimension in which we are living.
Isaiah saw the throne room of God without leaving the place where he stood (Is 6). The same applies to John on the island Patmos (Book of Revelation). And Stephen too (Acts 7:56).
If we had eyes to see this dimension, we would see the throne of God right here where we are now. And in London people would see it exactly the same. The spiritual realm is right around us. It is the true eternal world. The dimension in which we live, is transient. The place where God lives, is a parallel dimension with the one in which we live. That is why He knows so well what the hostile world is up to. That is why He is inviolable. Nobody can do Him any harm. So great is His power and strength that He can easily get rid of His enemies. He does not panic or get upset by humanity’s opposition. Every insignificant effort to dethrone Him is absurd. If we had ears to enable us to hear it, we would hear Him laughing at the rebellious humanity.
Nothing that people do or say against Him, causes Him any distress. He remains untroubled. He cannot be robbed of His authority and power. He simply scoffs at humanity’s plans. In His eyes the most powerful nations are like drops in a bucket (Is 40:15). And He is angry/wrathful at the rebellion of the people (v5). And He is able to terrify people (v5).
You can shake your fist at Him if you like, but there is one thing that nobody can change: David remained king in spite of all the attacks against him. God determined that our Lord Jesus shall be King for ever. Period. READ VERSE 6: I HAVE INSTALLED MY KING ON ZION, MY HOLY HILL! God Himself gave Jesus that position. He did not take it for Himself. Therefore nobody can take it away from Him.
Just like David was acknowledged and honoured as king only in Zion/Jerusalem, Jesus is also acknowledged in only one place – in the lives of Christian-believers, that is: the true church of Christ all over the world. Because Zion/the place where the temple was, is fulfilled in the NT church.
In verse 7 we find an interesting revelation: the Lord is mentioning here an eternal decree (declaration that someone makes that something will happen and then it does happen) that God the Father is still making every moment: “You are my Son, today I have become your Father”.
We would not have known anything about this decree if the Lord God did not make it known to us in Psalm 2. God the Father is speaking to the Son in the present tense. “You are entitled to rule 100%. You are qualified to rule.” Add to that verses 8-9: “I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.” The day will come when the only rule there is, will be Christ’s (Eph 1:10; 1 Cor 15:24-25). The day will come when literally all opposition will be destroyed and we shall SEE Him rule with our very own eyes.
The future of our world is not determined by what is happening today. Do not read the newspaper and think: “What happens today, shall decide what happens tomorrow. If this person do/say this or that, this or that may happen in the future”.
No! Our future is not determined by what happens day by day. It is determined by God’s decree. Everything happens according to His Divine Plan (Eph 1:11). And God is busy with a great plan. He is working towards the day when there will be no other rule but Christ’s. See Daniel 2: The rock struck the statue and smashed it, and became a mountain which filled the whole earth for ever. That is no fairytale. God has decided upon it.
It is very interesting. One would expect that after verse 4, a terrible catastrophe must follow. After God laughed at humanity, He would judge catastrophically. One expects it. But there is written nothing like that. All which follows is one single word! “I have installed my King on Zion!”
God’s reaction to humanity’s resistance is only this: “I have anointed My Son as King. And He shall remain King. And every tongue shall confess that He is King” (Phil 2:11).
What people still need today, is only to hear this Word. That is enough. It places the rebellious person at checkmate: “My Son shall remain King and your knee shall bend to Him”. All opposition against Him is utterly pointless.
Therefore, in the world it is actually about a word against a Word. A word from humanity: “We want to be free from God’s yoke”. And a word from God: “I have anointed my Son as King. “
Question is: Which one of these two words will have the final say?
The wonderful thing about the Bible is: it says ahead of time which word will be victorious – to the end!
A few minutes after the Fall took place, God already said which word would win – when He promised the snake that a Male Saviour shall be born out of Eve who will crush the head of the snake (Gen 3:15). And He brought it to fulfilment when Jesus rose from the grave.
Verses 10-12: It is an absolute waste of time to put up resistance against the Lord. The Lord may play second fiddle in your private life, but not in His universe. People who resist Him, are going to get badly hurt. That is why it is better to be wise NOW and allow yourself to be taught. It is better to give up all resistance and to begin to serve Him with fear and devotion. Take the whip with which He disciplines you and kiss it, and you will find that He is not a monster, but that He is an infinitely loving Shepherd.
Along with that, keep in mind who He is, and who you are. How great He is and how sinful you are. It is time to stop playing cat and mouse with the Son of God. Kiss Him (v 11). “Kiss the Son”. As it was in the culture of those days to kiss someone as a sign of: a) welcome, and b) honour.
God is angered when His Son is not honoured, because He alone is worthy. Only a tiny drop of His wrath is enough to destroy you before you have even realized any of your wonderful ideals.
But why would it be necessary? It is so unnecessary. Why hurt yourself? It is so blessed to take refuge in Him. Verse 12. To completely bow down to His will is such an absolutely breath-taking experience. God sees such a person as a perfectly righteous human – enclosed in Jesus’s perfection. Completely acquitted from all sin, forgiven, adopted. Power of the Holy Spirit brings a change of life. Assurance of the love of God. Peace in spirit and mind. Joy that cannot be joined to circumstances. When he dies – ushered into the presence of the Lord.
Translated by Marthie Wilson