Weds 26th August - Psalm 2
1 Why do the nations conspire
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
3 ‘Let us break their chains
and throw off their shackles.’
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
5 He rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6 ‘I have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.’
7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:
He said to me, ‘You are my son;
today I have become your father.
8 Ask me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You will break them with a rod of iron;
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.’
10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear
and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
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Meditation on Psalm 148
The first two Psalms are untitled but give us an introduction to the whole collection of the Psalms.
Psalm 1 is a personal Psalm – ‘Blessed is the ONE…’, which relates to those whose ‘delight is in the Law of the LORD and the blessings that flow from that but also the warnings to those who don’t / won’t accept the Law of the LORD.
Psalm 2 is a national / international Psalm which relates to the kings and rulers during that period of history but also looks forward to the ultimate reign of the ‘King of kings and Lord of lords.’ This Psalm is often quoted in the New Testament.
Verses 1-3 The nations speak
Verses 4-6 The LORD responds
Verses 7-9 The LORD speaks
Verses 10-12 The Psalmist speaks
The nations speak. Isn’t this what is happening around the world today and has been happening for centuries? In the context of the Psalm, when a new king is installed in the ancient Near East, this was often the time for a peoples’ revolt.
What we see today is nothing new – as the saying goes, ‘what goes around, comes around.’
There is a deeper meaning here, for the conspiring, plotting, rising up, banding together is ‘against the LORD and against His anointed One.’
This points us to Jesus – the Messiah (the English word from the Hebrew for ‘anointed one.’)
Fast forward to Acts 4:23-28 when Peter and John spoke about what the chief priests and elders had said to them.
The people referred back to the Psalm and then to how ‘Herod, Pilate, the Gentiles and the people conspired against Jesus, God’s anointed One.’
The LORD responds. We think we have got everything worked out – who needs God?
In verse 4 we are reminded who God is - He is ‘the One enthroned in heaven.’
He is the Sovereign LORD.
He laughs, He scoffs, He rebukes, He terrifies.
There is a clear lesson for us all to learn in verse 6. The LORD makes it clear that He is sovereign.
“I have installed MY King…”
Again the context here is the Davidic line of kings but it also looks forward to the eternal kingdom that is yet to come as we read in Revelation 11:15 … ‘the kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our LORD and of His Christ and He will reign for ever and ever.’
The LORD speaks. The LORD confirms His sovereignty by recalling the Father’s words. Herein is the relationship between God the Father and God the Son and God has given all the nations to His Son – they are his inheritance, His possession.
Time and again we read through the prophets in the Old Testament and we are reminded that God is in control. Nebuchadnezzar realised that – read Daniel 4:34-35.
The rule of God over the nations has fierce implications for those nations who reject God because is the Holy One and He will judge in righteousness.
The Psalmist speaks. Therefore - a word to the rulers of the nations:
- There are encouragements to be wise and to be warned.
- There are challenges to serve the LORD, to celebrate His rule and to submit to His Lordship.
- There are warnings to steer clear of His anger and His wrath which will lead to destruction.
There is a final encouragement which comes in verse 12; ‘blessed are all who take refuge in Him.’
That’s the best place to be.
Thursday 27 August - Psalm 3
Friday 28 August - Psalm 4
Saturday 29 August - Psalm 5
Sunday 30 August - Psalm 6
Monday 31 August - Psalm 7
Tuesday 1 September - Psalm 8
(The series will recommence with Psalm 2 and following from Wednesday 26th August)