Rightly Worship the Son who Reigns Over All
Jesus of Nazareth on the week He died rode into the City of Jerusalem amidst great pomp, it was the coronation day of the King of the nation of Isreal. The nation responded correctly to the Lord and King this day but they never imagined how great this King is. This Kingship stems from a promise made many years before and this King, Jesus was foretold long before Jesus rode in to Jerusalem on a donkey and this morning we are going to a Psalm that is definitely considered a Royal Psalm and can even be thought to be a coronation psalm for the coronation of a King. The King rode in on the Sunday just prior to the events of His crucifixion on Friday night but the promise of His coming to take His throne stems from a promise made by God to King David. As we look this morning at Psalm 2 which is considered to be an anonymous meaning no one is sure who wrote this Psalm but it is believed it has a Davidic style especially since it goes from an earthly King to a Heavenly Davidic King. Also in Acts 4:25 we have verse 1 of psalm 2 quoted.
who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said, ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, And the peoples devise futile things? ‘The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ.’
Peter and John had just been released from being before the council and told not to teach in Jesus’ name any longer and once they came together with their companions this is what they said. Notice how they attribute this to David as being a David Psalm. It also makes sense this Psalm would be written my David because of his own attributing God’s selection of a King and if you read through 1 and 2 Samuel David has the deepest understanding of the Kings Anointed, more so then any of the other Kings who reign after Him. Now I understand the Psalms have a divine author but the characteristics and the language is very Davidic.
What the Apostles understood the deep truth of what the Holy Spirit was saying through this psalm. The deep truth is this psalm pointed to the True King of Isreal who rode into His Holy City on Palm Sunday knowing full well that in order to sit on His Throne victoriously He will have to die in less then a weeks time. This King is Jesus Christ and Psalm 2 will paint a wonderful picture of the attitudes of man and the demeanor of God when it comes to installing His King. We will learn this morning from Psalm 2, that we are To Rightly Worship the Son who Reigns Over All.
With all that said lets go ahead and take a closer look at this psalm and how it points to the King who deserves all glory and praise this day because He has been established on His Throne.
Psalm 2 reads;
Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!” He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying, “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.” “I will surely 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 surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’ ” Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the Lord with reverence And rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!
As we look at this psalm we see right away there is a pointing to the attitude of man, they way the nations look to God and to the nation of Isreal. The attitude is a negative attitude it is an attitude of Pride.
Verses 1-3 we find the psalmist presents a rhetorical question, he writes “Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the Lord and against His Anointed. So here we have the psalmist who as I have said it is believed to be David. The Psalmist observes the nations of the earth are against God and not only God but God’s Anointed, the term here in the Hebrew is the word for Messiah which means very simply God’s chosen One. By God’s divine decree through the work of the Holy Spirit the Psalmist is pointing to Jesus Christ, Christ being the Greek translation of Cristos which is the Greek form of Messiah which means God’s chosen One.
The Psalmist, however didn’t have this in mind when he wrote it. This is a common word used throughout the History books of the Old Testament which can mean a general selection of God to do a work. David the King of Isreal understood this very well. If you read through 1 Samuel you find the first King of Isreal is Saul and he was chosen by God and he was also anointed with oil, which was a means of consecrating or dedicating this man in to the service of King and ruling under God’s authority. Now David understood this selection very well because God chosen Saul to lead the people as King because God was appeasing the peoples cry for a King. They had refused God as their King and chose a man like all the other nations.
Saul was given this position but Saul was not a faithful man. Saul chose to do things his own way instead of God’s way and refused to listen to God so God chose a young man, a teenager to be king. This teenager was David. He was also anointed by Samuel, consecrated with oil with the promise of one day ruling Isreal. David waited patiently for his opportunity to the reign as King because Saul was King at the time. Saul was threatened by David and wanted David dead. So Saul would hunt David down. David spent many years running and hide from Saul. David even had two opportunities to kill Saul and take the throne. David refused to kill Saul himself. Do you know why? Because David understood God had chosen Saul and David was not about to take out God anointed, God’s chosen one. David trusted God was in control and God would take Saul out in God’s timing not David’s. David was faithful to God in this respect.
So now when it comes to Psalm 2 and the psalmist, who I believe is David because of his deep understanding of the King being chosen by God, writes this here, “Against the Lord and against His Anointed,” The original meaning points to the king chosen by God. Of course looking back in hind sight we see this Anointing or Anointed One points to the ultimate and perfect Anointed One Jesus Christ. The King of Kings.
The nations are very proud here. They are going up against the Lord, the God of Isreal which is a picture of their deep pride. These people think they can take down God and take down God’s King. Look at what they say in verse 3 which is an expression of this deep pride. They say, “Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!” They see themselves as being in bondage to God. They see themselves as being enslaved to the God of this world. This is true arrogant pride.
Now anyone who has read through the Old Testament and most Christians know when I say the book of Leviticus they is always this sense of, “oh that book” I just skip that one it is full of rules and laws that aren’t for me. Well that is what the nations would have thought too, even in this day. Those rules and laws were hard to follow, they were designed that way to show the nation how much they needed a perfect Savior. Now if they nation of Isreal allowed other nations to live after conquering them they would have had to become proselyte Jews. That meant they would have to give up their own religion which involved all sorts of hedonistic practices that involved honoring their fertility gods. I am sure I don’t need to tell you how they would honor their fertility gods. Now they didn’t want to give these things up and they didn’t want to be controlled by God or by the nation of Isreal. The saw themselves as being enslaved to them.
Man’s Pride caused them to want to fight against God and God’s anointed which when I thought about that it is no different then today. Think about it, you are sharing the gospel with a friend, coworker or a family and they are fully tracking with you they are hanging on your every word and they are asking great question that seems as though they are getting it. Then comes the end, the person you have just been talking to turns to you and says, “yeah that sounds great but I’m just not ready to give up the way I live just yet.” Jaw hits the ground and your just like, “what just happened?” Man’ Pride. That’s what.
People see Christianity as just rules when it is more then just rules. They see it as binding when it is actually liberating. This is not true people are not free they are actually bond to sin. It is in a sense Stockholm Syndrome. Those who know what Stockholm Syndrome is know it is when a prisoner grows some attachment to their capture, well that is sin. People have grown an attachment to their captor.
Jesus says this in John 8;
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. “The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
Do you see the bondage people have they are bond to sin, salves to sin. It is only through Jesus that man can be set free.
Paul teaches exactly what this means to the Roman church in
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This is truth, you are either obedient to sin or obedient to God there is no in between. If you see God is being an oppressor then you don’t know God you are still trapped in your pride. And look at what the psalmist says about those who are proud and don’t want to obey God.
The psalmist in psalm 10 writes this;
For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire, And the greedy man curses and spurns the Lord. The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him. All his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
The “haughtiness of his countenance” is another way of saying “man’s pride.” The proud do not turn to God they turn to themselves they believe they have liberty in doing things their own way but they don’t. Man’s Pride keeps them from coming to God believing God is an oppressor not a liberator and this is man’s attitude but now let’s look at God’s Power.
Verses 3-6 read, He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. 5 The He will speak in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying, “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.” Here are the nations coming up against God in their Pride thinking they can take God out and thinking they can be freed from oppression and God is sitting in heaven, high above all mankind laughing. He is the One who created all things, He is the One who brought the nation of Isreal out of Egypt and brought the ten plagues on Egypt. He is the One who has given the land to Isreal. He is the All Powerful God who spoke the world and everything that exists in it in to being. He is the One who breathed life into the nostrils of Adam. And the nations believe they will defeat God and God sits in His throne room, heaven laughing at them and scoffing them. Why because He is the One with the power and He knows all.
God will also judge these people, I mean seriously they think they can take on God, He is the creator of all things and He is the judge of all. God is the One who has the power to create and the power to destroy. Look at what God says through His prophet Isaiah;
Thus says the Lord, “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? “For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord. “But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word. “But he who kills an ox is like one who slays a man; He who sacrifices a lamb is like the one who breaks a dog’s neck; He who offers a grain offering is like one who offers swine’s blood; He who burns incense is like the one who blesses an idol. As they have chosen their own ways, And their soul delights in their abominations, So I will choose their punishments And will bring on them what they dread. Because I called, but no one answered; I spoke, but they did not listen. And they did evil in My sight And chose that in which I did not delight.” Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at His word: “Your brothers who hate you, who exclude you for My name’s sake, Have said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy.’ But they will be put to shame. “A voice of uproar from the city, a voice from the temple, The voice of the Lord who is rendering recompense to His enemies.
There is no escape for the proud man who is an enemy to God. There is no escape from the power of God who sits in heaven. Look at what Jesus tells His disciples about whom to fear. Jesus says this in Luke;
“I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. “But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!
God is the One with all the power to provide life and to take life and to cast the proud man into hell for all eternity. That is whom you should fear is the One with Power, true power. There is still more Power God has we see it in verse 6 and it carries over into verses 7-9. This power God has is the Power to Pick the One who Reigns. Let’s go ahead and look at God’s Pick.
In verse 6 we see something very interesting it is a contrast to verse 3, in verse 3 the proud nations spoke in verse 6 God speaks. In God’s power God Picks who will rule. God says He will install His King. His Pick for King is spelled out in verses 7-9. Verse 7 says, “I will surely tell of the decrees of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.” This is clearly an allusion and foreshadow to Jesus Christ. In the authors original context, however, it is pointing to God’s promise to David about God’s pick of who will be King forever. This is found in 2 Samuel 7. David desires to build a house for God but God has someone else in mind for this task. So God speaks to Nathan and says this;
“Now therefore, thus you shall say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people Israel. “I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name, like the names of the great men who are on the earth. “I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly, even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. The Lord also declares to you that the Lord will make a house for you. “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” ’ ” In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.
This is the Davidic Covenant, the promise God made to David that from His lineage there will be a Righteous and Perfect King who will sit on God’s Throne for all eternity. This King will be as Samuel says he will be a son to Me. A foreshadow of who God will have take the throne for all eternity, His Own Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Holy and Righteous Chosen One of God. In Psalm 2 God will install Him and God will give Him the position of King. Today will look back on Jesus’ humble entry into His Holy City, riding on a donkey coming peacefully into His kingdom. But He was rejected by the nation He came to save and died on the cross a thief’s death. He rose victorious over sin which we will examine next week and He ascended to sit on His Throne in heaven. He will one day come back and claim His land and His earthly throne and that is what verse 8-9 point to.
“Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.” Jesus rode in to Jerusalem on a donkey but when He returns He will ride on the back of a war horse because He will come to claim His inheritance and to destroy His enemies. One of my favorite passage in Scripture provides this powerful hope;
And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
This is the King who God has Picked, His very own Son who will come back and destroy all His enemies, that is why when people think they wicked get away with everything they are wrong because Jesus will come back and destroy all the wicked and Rule rightly for all eternity on the Throne God has promised in 2 Samuel 7.
Man’s Pride pits man against God, God’ Power is not something to take lightly, and God’s Pick for a King is ruling with Grace and will return with Power. With all this before us how should we respond; with Praise
Respond with Praise
Respond with Praise
The psalmist is very specific in verse 10, he opens with, “Now therefore,” meaning take into account all that I have said in this first 9 verses. Next he addresses the kings of the surrounding nations and tell them to show discernment. He continues and repeats what he says in a different way and reverses it, “Take warning, O judges of the earth.” It is a call to listen up and take this to heart. This will happen and you will not win. So instead do this which is the opposite of verses 1-3, Worship the Lord with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Only the humble in heart can truly worship the Lord. True worship comes from focusing on God not focusing on self. True worship comes from an understanding that you are not worthy to stand in the presence of an all powerful and mighty and holy God. True worship is about God and it is never about you. The only thing about worship that is about you is knowing you don’t deserve to be in God’s presence but know that because of His grace and mercy you can. Still not about you. He makes you worthy. It is like the song by the Getty’s,
Two wonders here that I confess My worth and my unworthiness My value fixed - my ransom paid At the cross
That is exactly what happens and worship is never really about us. Coming before God should be humbling and it should be reverent.
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.
Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.