The Lord’s King

Psalm 2

Spock: “Humans are such illogical creatures.” Behave in illogical ways, given the believer’s ability to see and evaluate from God’s perspective. Persist in doing what is self-destructive or harmful to others. Even when given good counsel, they often reject it as foolish. They try and try to achieve their goals, become more and more frustrated when they fail. Happens on a larger scale, too, involving kings and nations not just individuals.

David, author of present Psalm, understood these things even though he didn’t always put into practice personally. Had ability to look at the world and see, at least with eye of faith, the true situation. He knew even greatest earthly king not the king in an ultimate sense.

a 16th century Scottish preacher named Andrew Melville believed that his king (James VI of Scotland [James I of England]) was seeking to usurp the authority of God, he said to him:

“Sir, we will always humbly reverence your majesty in public; but since we have this occasion to be with your majesty in private … we must discharge our duty or else be traitors both to Christ and you. Therefore, Sir, as diverse times I have told you, so now again I must tell you. Sirrah, you are God’s silly [feeble] vassal. There are two kings and two kingdoms in Scotland: there is King James, the head of this Commonwealth, and there is Christ Jesus the King of the Church, whose subject James the Sixth is, and of whose kingdom he is not a king, nor a lord, nor a head, but a member.”

Before diving into the text, good to answer question, “of whom does it speak?” Is it autobiographical, speaking of its author David (Acts 4:25f)? David was indeed king anointed by God through Samuel (1 Sam. 16:12), and called “man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22). Or is someone else in view? One who would have the nations for his inheritance, the ends of the earth for is possession? Answer is: …Yes. …to both.

“He begins to speak of an earthly king, and his wars with the nations of the earth, but his words are too great to have all their meaning exhausted in David, or Solomon, or Ahaz, or any Jewish monarch.” J. J. S. Perowne

A. the King conspired against v.1-3

survey of world scene – tumult, commotion, upheaval (1)

Philistines, Amalekites, Edomites, Moabites, Arameans all trying to overthrow kingdom of Israel

pressure from all sides, turmoil even within kingdom

real target of attack: Yahweh and his chosen king [anointed] (2)

David’s sight enhanced by Holy Spirit – able to see beyond temporal

rebellion not simply against David, kingdom of Israel

ultimately against God and one he had placed in charge

greatest fulfillment found in Lord Jesus – according to apostles!

see Acts 4:23ff

rebellious mindset not limited to David’s day or even that of Christ

Jarchi, who flourished in the 12th century, says: “Our doctors have expounded this Psalm of the Messiah; but that we may answer the heretics (Christians) it is expedient to interpret it of David’s person, as the words sound.”

underlying attitude: God’s rule and Law are unbearably confining (3)

“I don’t despise religious people, I despise what they stand for.”

“Science makes us see what we couldn’t see before. Religion does its best to snuff out even that light which we can see.”

[referring to scientists who are atheists] “They think that religion is just simply boring. They’re not going to bother to even stand up and oppose it.”

“Ask them, …if they say they’re Catholic, do you really believe that when a priest blesses a wafer it turns into the body of Christ? Are you seriously telling me you believe that? Are you seriously saying that wine turns into blood? Mock them. Ridicule them. …in public.”

“Religion makes specific claims about the universe which need to be substantiated, and need to be challenged, and if necessary, need to be ridiculed with contempt.”

Richard Dawkins, at the Reason Rally, 03.24.2012, National Mall, Washington, D.C.

B. the King confirmed v.4-6

God laughs (4)

ridiculous to think they can succeed

real force / power / authority nations rebel against is God himself

harder they work at achieving own ends, more firmly God directs that to accomplishing his purpose

Eph. 1:11 Paul speaks of “the one purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will”

God speaks (5)

in anger and with authority – at his appointed time: “then”

contrast to all the tumult of heathen – God simply speaks

his speaking communicates volumes: wrathful anger, furious displeasure

God does not have wonderful plan for those who remain stubbornly unrepentant

no opportunity for discussion or negotiation

God declares authoritatively how it will be, there are no options; example – Luke 19:11-27

God confirms (6)

the true Sovereign, the one of God’s choosing is enthroned as king

“God’s Anointed is appointed, and shall not be disappointed.” C. H. Spurgeon

enemies plotting, moving to install their own sovereign; God says “too little too late”

Abner tried to set up Ish-bosheth as king (2 Sam 5) but God had already decided on David

more significantly, has set his Son on the throne, will never allow him to be dethroned

Luther: “Who thought, when Christ suffered and the Jews triumphed, that God was laughing all the time?”

C. the Son confirmed v.7-9

his relationship (7)

king would be a son to him, Yahweh would be a father to him

certainly could be David speaking here – received similar promise regarding Solomon (2 Sam. 7:14), could have had similar personal experience

however,… 2 reasons to understand text to refer in its fullest extent to Christ – use and application of text in Hebrews and Acts

Heb. 1:5 declared superiority of Christ over angels, uses this verse (7) to prove it

Heb. 5:5 uses v.7 to show how “Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest”: “You are My Son,” testified to the Father’s acceptance of Him in the discharge of all the work which had been committed to Him. This solemn approbation by the Father intimated that our Redeemer undertook nothing but what God had appointed. …Christ’s “call” by God consisted of the formal and public owning of Him as the incarnate Son. Psalm 2:7 describes the “call.”

prayer of Peter and John in Acts 4:23-31 identifies the “Anointed” one as Jesus

his reward (8)

here David speaks beyond himself for sure – a king with a global kingdom, a greater David

the king who is son will also be priest

work as mediator – “ask of me” – prayer in the Garden (John 17), ongoing work in heaven

guaranteed inheritance – there will be redeemed from all nations

another “promise” that work of evangelism will succeed; when Christ’s servants go in Christ’s power to proclaim Christ to the nations, Christ’s inheritance will respond

inheritance includes creation as well as creature – preview of Romans 8:21, “creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay”

his rule (9)

not only can he not be dethroned, cannot be resisted in his rule either

clay pots no match for an iron rod; so man of any status no match for King of kings

promise applied by Christ to himself in letter to Thyatira: Rev. 2:26-27

“And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations – ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’ – as I also have received from My Father;”

D. the Son contemplated v.10-12

listen up: you have one chance (10)

call to repentance – here is true wisdom, contrary to what you’re thinking, attempting

worthy of service (11a)

it’s universal requirement; should be accompanied by proper reverence – he is most worthy of our worship and service

source of joy (11b)

genuine heart-felt worship produces and accompanied by joy; also raises awareness of true need – seeing more clearly great distance between God and man that Lord Jesus bridges

to be honored (12a)

must honor the Son if we are to honor God – “He who hates Me hates My Father also.” John 15:23

to be trusted (12b)

not mere belief, in existence, etc…

entrusting every aspect of person and existence to God’s keeping

“take refuge in him” – tornado shelter, fallout shelter

E. application

example of apostles Acts 4:23-31

they understood Psalm 2, its meaning and its application (27)

saw present circumstances with spiritual eyes, were convinced of God’s sovereign control of all things (28)

passion to see Christ glorified and worshiped (30) through proclamation of the word (29)

already had demonstrated great courage (18-21), prayed for greater boldness, in fact, all boldness

“the courage that stands up to all those who would limit the right to reveal the truth”

importantpoint: was the church gathered together for corporate prayer

God’s response – filled with the Holy Spirit and boldness (31)

“These men were filled with a new consciousness, and a new actuality of the presence and the power of the Spirit; with the result that they went out, and spoke the word of God with boldness.” G Campbell Morgan

O that we would have an unquenchable desire to see Christ glorified, commitment to praying together as a church, resting in the character and promises of God, seeking courage from him to speak the word of God boldly. If we truly believe Christ is King, we can begin by giving all glory to Jesus, then boldly and courageously introducing others to him.


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