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.
(Psalm 2 NIV)
With all of the news and social media up in arms about what’s going on in the world, I often yearn for a fresh perspective from all the tired “us vs. them” rhetoric that gets tossed to and fro. Everyone’s talking, and no one is listening. It seems that the world has forgotten how to participate in civil discourse that leads to solving problems and making forward societal progress. Instead, the problems perpetuate and all people suffer the consequences of selfish political agendas, bitter rivalries, and inaction on the part of those who are charged with making this world a better place.
Verses 1 – 3 sound so much like our world today, don’t they? What a mess!
I’m not espousing any particular view point here – left, right, or otherwise. I am simply pondering what God must think of all this mayhem.
When I re-read this Psalm recently, I was reminded of God’s perspective on all this. Verses 4 – 6 capture such a refreshing reminder of God’s view.
First, we see God having a sense of humor, as He laughs at the situation at hand (v. 4). Next, he reminds everyone that He alone is sovereign and that He has set His ruler in place over all the kings and kingdoms (v. 6). And what is the reaction of all the earthly rulers squabbling like little children over their “piece of the pie”? They are rebuked and terrified by God’s display of power and holiness (v. 5).
So what is the psalmist’s response? To remember what God has said, to be dependent on Him for provision, blessing, and protection (vv. 7 – 9).
And what are the psalmist’s words of advice to us? To serve the Lord with fear (deep respect), to celebrate His sovereignty, and take refuge in Him (vv. 10 – 12).
It’s easy to dismiss this Psalm by rationalizing that you and I are not kings or rulers in the political sense, isn’t it?
However, I think there are two important applications of today’s text as it pertains to us:
- While we may not be kings or rulers, we are responsible for our own lives and also accountable for how we interact with and treat others. We must be under God’s sovereignty for those interactions and relationships.
- For those in office and positions of human responsibility over us, this is certainly a great way to pray for them. God is sovereign, whether they like it or not. The sooner that those in authority realize God’s authority and place themselves under Him, the better life will be for them and those under them.
May we practice living under God’s sovereignty and authority and pray for those over us.