Intro: Last week we took a closer look at an OT song (Psalm) that seemed to be on Jesus’ mind during His last week in Jerusalem. The 110th Psalm became a constant refrain in the teachings of the apostle’s as well.
There were other OT songs that prophesied of things to come. Psalms that unveiled the gospel message centuries before. One of those was the 2nd Psalm.
Read the 2nd Psalm
- We might notice first that there is no superscription in Psalm 2 – The author or circumstance is not provided by the Holy Spirit here. The Jews considered the author as David. This is substantiated when we view the use of the Psalm by NT Christians in Acts 4. There is no reason to doubt that David wrote this Psalm. There is less reason to believe that it is not a direct reference to Christ, the Messiah. \
- What is the message of this song? What does it teach us about Jesus?
- “Why do the Nations Rage…?” David begins the song by asking a question. V. 1 – Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing?
- The word for rage here means to assemble tumultuously; some translations (NIV) use the verb “conspire”. The companion question points to the same thing – the people are plotting (sit down together; take counsel together).
- What are they plotting? They are taking counsel against God and His Anointed. The people (nations) have a common enemy – God and His Messiah (mashiyach – maw-shee’-akh). To oppose one is oppose the other.
- The Psalmist clearly indicates in these opening rhetorical questions that their plotting and scheming are a vain thing (riq – reek). A single word that means a worthless thing; to no purpose; empty.
- “cast away their cords from us…” These nations are raging against the authority of God and His Messiah. They do not want to submit to Him. Do not want to be bound to Him. This is descriptive of the nations of the world in general. People are rebellious and governments fight against God’s rule.
- The NT application. These words are quoted by the early disciples in Acts 4. Peter and John were put in prison for preaching the resurrection. They are questioned by the Sanhedrin and then released. (we must obey God rather than men). They gather the disciples together and rehearse what has happened to them. The disciple pray, beginning in v. 24. In v. 25 the quote the 2nd Psalm. – ‘Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things? 26 The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ.’ How did they apply it?
- Acts 4:27-29 – 27 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.
- “Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles….” We might expect to see them included here. These sinful heathens were involved in the conspiracy. But notice v. 27“..and the people of Israel , were gathered together.” God’s own people where were expecting a Messiah plotted against Him!
- How Does God React? Psalm 2:4-6 – 4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. 5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: 6 “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.”
- This laughter is not the kind that comes from a good joke. It is expressive of incredulity. God is saying “you have got to be kidding me. Who do you think you are.” God mock their arrogance and becomes angry.
- He speaks to them in His anger. Jesus’ parable (Matt. 21) of the Vineyard Owner who sent servants to collect His harvest. They killed them, and eventually conspired against His own Son and killed Him. What will He do?
- He distresses them in His deep displeasure. He will bring judgment upon those who are Hid enemies.
- D. “I have set My King on My Holy Hill…” Notice the past tense. It is already done. God does not care what they think or feel. Jesus is on the throne. The view of God toward Jesus is that Jesus is the One He has chosen to be King, even if it means that the world will rage and oppose Him.
III. What Does the Anointed Say? – Psalm 2:7 – 7 “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.
- The Psalmist recounts the reaction of the Anointed One (Jesus) by telling us what the Father said to Him. The decree that He is going to proclaim. Here is what the Lord said to His anointed one: “You are My Son, today I have begotten You.” When is the “today” referenced here? When was Jesus begotten by the Father? Was it at His physical birth? John 1:1 tells us that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Messiah is also eternal.
- Again. The NT application give the Messianic connection. There are a few times in the NT where we read the Father saying to Jesus, “You are My Son.” [ Jesus baptism; the transfiguration]. But there are three places where we see the New Testament writers quote, “today I have begotten You.”.
- Acts 13:33 says, “God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’” Notice that it is the resurrection of Jesus that is promised in the Father saying to the anointed, “today I have begotten You.” It was not at Christ’s baptism, nor at His incarnation that He was begotten. He was declared to be the Son at the resurrection.
- Hebrews 1:5 – “To which of the angels did He ever say: you are My Son, today I have begotten You?” The context again is not Jesus’ birth, but the time when He purged our sins and sat down at the right hand of God. (v. 3-4) following His resurrection.
- Hebrews 5:5 also has the same quotation from our psalm. Here the context is the work of Jesus as our High Priest. When did Jesus become our High Priest? At His death and resurrection, just as the writer goes on to point out in verses 7-10.
- v. 8-9 describe more of what the Father says to the Anointed… “Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.” Despite the plotting of men and the resistance to the authority of the Anointed, the Father promises victory. He will defeat ALL His enemies and possess the nations. This victory is not some military objective realized in a future physical battle. It is the victory gained through His own resurrection, and the building of His church, His kingdom.
- In Mathew 4 Satan offered Jesus a way out – (have this without the suffering) He takes Jesus up to a very high mountain and shows Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. Bow down to me and I will give these to you. But Jesus believed the promise of the Father
- The Spirit’s Call to Repent: So far, in this Psalm we have viewed the work of Jesus (the Anointed) from 3 perspectives:
- 1-3; The world rages and plots against it
- 4-6; The Father laughs at the world and set Him up as King despite the rebellion
- 7-9; The Anointed One reacts by speaking the words of the Father to Him. He puts His trust in the words “You are My beloved son, today I have begotten you” and enunciates the victory.
- What follows at the end of the Psalm is a call for the nations and Kings of the earth to pay attention, stop raging and repent.
- Psalm 2:10-12 – 10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. 11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.ESV [wish you could preach this in the halls of Congress, to the leaders today
- 1. Be wise… Be warned… Serve the Lord with fear… rejoice with trembling. In view of the victory of the Anointed One and His resurrection, those who oppose Him need to do the smart thing. Serve Him with fear – do what He says because He is the King to be respected and feared. Rejoice in His victory but do it with great trembling in view of the coming judgment against Hid enemies.
- Kiss the Son… In the New Testament, one of the Greek words for “worship” is the Greek word “proskuneo.” Kudeo is a verb that means “to kiss.”; Pros is a preposition that means “toward.”The word for worship means “to kiss towards.” It carries the idea of blowing a kiss toward God. This is the call of the Psalm… bow to the Son. Worship Him. what Psalm 2 is telling us to do.
Conclusion: The text would point us to the resurrection (this day have I begotten you) as an advance warning to the coming judgment of God. The King is on His throne; He has been raised from the dead. The rebellion has failed. Judgment is coming, because His inheritance is the nations of the world. The resurrection changes everything. Since the Son rose from the dead, history is now racing toward judgment, like a freight train with a full head of steam.
- Paul in Acts 17 – Paul makes the same point in Acts 17:30-31 – 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” The resurrection has happened. “The times of ignorance” have ended, and the time for repentance has come. The resurrection, among other things, is the assurance that God means business. Judgment is coming. Let all peoples be warned. “blessed are all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 2:11–12).