Reading Time: 8 Minutes
Psalm 2 partners with the first psalm to introduce the entire Book of Psalms. Psalm 1 began by identifying the blessed and fortunate person, who does not walk, stand or sit in the counsel of those who oppose God. Psalm 2 describes the nature of those of those who rebel against God and his anointed ruler.
Nations in Revolt
It is almost like a large convention was held. The rulers and the citizens of their countries have come. They have one purpose, to throw off the rule of God and his anointed leader. The first three verses describe their rebellion.
Why do the nations conspire,
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and his anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds asunder,
and cast their cords from us.” (Psalm 2.1-3)
Everyone who lives independent of a relationship with God and his directions can consider themselves to be a part of this gathering.
Jesus summarized what God wants from us when he said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22.37-40).
People stand against God, because they love themselves more than they love God and other people. Paul describes these rebels and writes, “their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things” (Philippians 3.19).
Psalm 1 is entirely correct. The blessed or fortunate person does not live their lives according to the so-called wisdom of these rebels. Instead, people are blessed when they live in a relationship with God and learn his will so it can be put into practice.
God’s Response to Rebellion
God reacts to the rebels by laughing in their face. He is perfectly aware of his power in comparison to the nations that conspire against him. Isaiah described God’s power:
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure,
and weighed the mountains in scales
and the hills in a balance?
Even the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
and are accounted as dust on the scales;
see, he takes up the isles like fine dust.
All the nations are as nothing before him;
they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.
(Isaiah 40.12, 15, and 17)
I believe God laughed, not at the tragic mistake of the rebels, but rather to encourage his people. After all, the rebellious world is the opponent of God’s people.
Here is how King David expressed his confidence in God.
He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord has them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.” (Psalm 2.4-6)
As we pray verses 4-6, let’s incorporate the offer that Jesus gave us into our prayer. He invites us to a way of relationship and life, rather than one of rebellion and death.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11.28-30).
The church has seen the next verses of this Psalm as a reference to Jesus, who is the Messiah. The Messiah is God’s anointed leader to fulfill his purposes on the earth.
The Anointed One is called “Son.” As we read this, we recall that Jesus is God’s Son by virtue of the virgin birth.
As you read the next section, note that the iron rod is a poetic way of speaking about Jesus’ rightful rule.
I will tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron,
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” (Psalm 2.7-9)
A Gracious Offer to Rebels
In the face of rebellion and hostility by world forces, the Anointed One of God, Jesus, offers refuge. Refuge is a place of shelter and safety from danger. In a turn of events, the nations who conspire against God’s Anointed are offered shelter and safety from him. What a picture of God’s grace!
Paul makes it clear that every human being starts off as s rebel in relationship to God. He wrote, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3.23).
Rebels can take God’s warning and serve the Lord. In this instance the word “serve” is not that of a day laborer who has no relationship with his boss. Rather, it describes someone who has a close, friendship relationship with a superior in which the person is happy to do his will.
Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
with trembling kiss his feet,
or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way;
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Happy are all who take refuge in him. (Psalm 2.10-11)
How to Pray Psalm 2
Psalm 2 may be difficult to put in the form of a prayer. Here are some suggestions that may help you as you pray this Psalm.
(1) Before you begin, ask the Holy Spirit to guide your prayer time and to give you a sense of God’s presence. This is a good practice for any time you pray.
(2) Use your Bible or a Bible app on your phone and turn to Psalm 2.
(3) The first three verses speak of how people don’t want to follow God’s direction in their lives. Ask God to help you come to Jesus and to follow his direction. If you know the AA Third Step prayer, you may consider praying it very slowly and thoughtfully as you consider these verses.
(4) As you pray verses, 4 and 5, read Isaiah 40.12, 15, and 17. Tell God that he is greater than any problem that you will face today. Tell him that you will laugh with him at your problems, rather than being afraid of them.
(5) Think of Jesus as you read and pray verses 6-9. Ask him to rule you today. Praise him for the fact that when he thought of his inheritance it involved you being his friend. Ask that people come to Jesus all around the world.
(6) As you conclude the Psalm, thank God that even though you were once an enemy, he conquered you through his love. Close your prayer in praise and thanksgiving.
Can We Pray For You?
Maywood Baptist Church has a prayer team. They would be honored to pray for any concern that you may have. Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or use Facebook messenger to share any prayer request you may have. I will be happy to give them to the prayer team.
When God answers your prayer, please let us know. Thanks.