Read through Psalm 2
I have a friend who is from Britain. We often have conversations about each other’s experiences growing up in different countries. One time we talked about the political state of our countries and I was embarrassed to admit that I did not know the name of their Prime Minister – Theresa May. She was shocked and I realized that I only know the president of America because I live here and it affects me. I want to know who the leader of America is because, in a sense, he is my king. People need to know who is ruling them. People need to know who is in charge. That is where Psalm 2 comes in. Psalm 2 tells us who the king is, and who is really in charge.
This psalm can be considered part two of the introduction to the whole Psalter that goes with Psalm 1. This psalm introduces the rest of the Psalter because it introduces one of the biggest themes of the psalms: the Davidic king. With this psalm specifically, the king plays a large role. There is an important structure of this poem that follows A-B-B-A form:
A) The “kings of the earth” rebel against the LORD (vv.1-3)
B) The divine king is “enthroned in heaven” and rebukes the earth-kings (vv.4-5)
B) The Davidic king is enthroned on Zion and he is the “son” that inherits the nations (vv.6-9)
A) The “kings” (earth-kings) are warned of who really is in charge (vv.10-12
This structure shows that kingship is the talk of this psalm. And there are conflicting reigns in this world. The psalmist says that it is “the kings of the earth” and “the rulers” (officials) that band together against “the LORD” and “his anointed” (v.2). There are two conflicting entities in enmity for the ruling of the earth. One would think that such a power struggle between two superpowers require war and fighting. But the psalmist presents the battle so one-sided. He says in verse 4 that the LORD “in heaven laughs” and “scoffs at them.” This isn’t even a struggle for the LORD and His anointed (king). That is why this psalm is a warning to the other entity, the earth-kings. In verse 10, the psalmist declares “you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.” He calls them to the wisdom presented in Psalm 1 – the way of the righteous. Those not in step with the way of the LORD leads to destruction (Ps. 2.12; cf., Ps.1.6). In verse 8, the psalmist declares that the same “nations” and “kings” that rebelled in verse 1 will be the king’s inheritance. God’s response to the rebellion of the earthly powers is the installation of the Davidic monarch on Zion.
So the basic question of Psalm 2 is: Who rules the earth? The answer is: God from heaven (v.4) who extends heaven’s will downward to our sphere through the work of Israel and her king (v.6-9). The whole world needs to know her king; the One who is in charge. This affects us as the psalmist says, “Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (v.12). The LORD rules the world. He rules the universe. Therefore, we ought to “be wise” (v.10) with the earth-kings and recognize His rule over all of life. That is where true wisdom lies, in the kingship of the LORD.
Prayer: Father, remind us of your kingship. Give us the power to live in the reality of your kingdom. Even though we cannot see you, you reign. Let us be blessed in this truth and take refuge in your kingship when the powers of this world overcome us. Help us to be wise by acknowledging your reign in the world and by walking in step in the way of your kingdom.
Read through Psalm 2