Psalm 2

Psalm 2:1-3. “Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His anointed, saying, 3 ‘Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.’”

This psalm doesn’t start out very encouraging, but they are words that have such applicability in our current political and social climate. It’s hard to believe that this psalm was written 3,000 years ago. Yes, the Word of God always rings true across all cultures and centuries!

The world is against God. Period. The world doesn’t want to submit to God. Here in these verses we see four overarching generalities of evil in this world.

1. The World is Angry (2:1a)
The psalmist says that the “nations rage.” The world is characterized as an angry bunch. Wow, can we relate to this in our own culture today? It seems as if our nation is just plain angry. And seemingly angry about nearly everything. Some anger is justified (as Paul says in Eph. 4:26, “in your anger don’t sin”), but anger should never turn into sinful rebellion, sinful outbursts of indignation, or sinful actions. And that is exactly what we are witnessing in our world today: anger!

2. The World is Divisive (2:1b)
The psalmist goes on to say that the world “plots a vain thing.” This is a natural progression from anger. To plot literally means “to murmur.” It’s like an internal mumbling under one’s breath, eventually getting louder so more people can hear just how upset one is. It’s the same word here that’s found in Exodus where the people were murmuring against God and Moses for their perceived lack and their perception that God wasn’t caring for them. Murmuring is contagious! When one gets riled up, you can almost always guarantee that there will be a crowd joining in. The sheer influence we have is incredible. Our personal anger isn’t only “our own personal problem.” One’s anger generally turns into a community event, getting more and more people involved in your personal vendettas. Anger turns into divisiveness. Divisiveness within your own family, and divisiveness in your community and nation.

3. The World is Prideful (2:2a)
Verse 2 continues the sinful characteristics with the concept of the world “setting themselves” better and higher than anyone else. People simply think that they are always right and what they think or believe is always right. They take their stand firmly in concrete, immovable from their position. The world feels justified to be angry, justified to rally their anger and their cause onto others. And now we see in this phrase that the rationale for this is their personal pride. The immediate context here in the Psalms refers to the “kings of the earth” that are doing this. And yes, once again we see this in today’s context. Politicians seem to be set in their agendas, immovable, and seemingly not listening to their constituents that they [should] serve. They are taking a stand against what is holy, good, and right. Politicians are setting themselves up as the world’s experts in things they have no business speaking into. That’s what pride does! Most horrifically in this context (and our culture today), politicians are setting themselves better than God and are taking a firm stand against His Word. We see this in their lifestyle, their vulgarity, their carelessness, and ostensibly the laws that they pass.

4. The World is Conspiring (2:2b-3)
The fourth and final evil characteristic is concerning the one (in this context, politicians!) who gathers people to their cause and begins collaborating together against anything that is noble and good. It’s another cataclysmic effect of gossip and murmuring (verse 1). Anger causes murmuring, which leads to widespread conspiring. The psalmist saw the government conspiring instead of truly leading! They seemed to be more concerned with pushing their agendas than doing what is good for the people. And they certainly weren’t thinking about what God would want! Evil takes counsel with each other, devising more evil and destruction. Once again, evil begets evil. One voice may not have much power, but a committee of them conspiring together will create havoc in a nation. The psalmist says that the politicians gather together to conspire laws and regulations that are directly contrary to the Lord.

And this is exactly what happened to our Lord and Savior, Jesus. You can read the account in Acts 4:1-32. The narrative starts with Peter and John being arrested because they were preaching “Jesus and the resurrection” to the community (in which over 5,000 people got saved!). So the religious and secular leadership got angry about it, murmured amongst themselves, and conspired against them. Peter and John called them all out! They accused the leadership and politicians of doing to them what they did to Jesus. In Acts 4:25-30 we see this very passage quoted, as the nations (both Israel and the Gentiles), kings (Herod), and rulers (Pontus Pilate) all conspired to kill our Lord Jesus. Our Lord was wrongfully accused by prideful, sinful, angry people who carried out an agenda and conspired against Him. Peter and John said, “If you did this to Jesus, you’ll do it to us too!” And they were right. And these words are still true today! The world is against God and against His people. Yes, history repeats itself! And we continue to see the effects of Psalm 2:1-3 in our world today.

As believers, I think we would ask the same thing that the psalmist does, as he begins this poem: “Why?”

  • Why would the world be so angry at a loving God who desires to save them?

  • Why would people be so divisive against the Lord and His people who desire to reconcile and bring peace?

  • Why would governments be so prideful in their own wisdom, taking such definitive stands against that which is good, righteous, beneficial, and holy?

  • Why are they so self-serving and prideful?

  • Why do so many politicians conspire and figure out ways to push their own agendas that are so anti-God and against the good of the people?

  • Why?

The rest of Psalm 2 gives us some insights into the answers to these questions. But it’s good for us to settle in and reflect on these very questions that the psalmist raises before moving on to more verses here. We should wrestle with these things in our own culture, allowing the tension of these verses to sink in. We must allow time with the Holy Spirit to ask ourselves these very questions, not only about our world, our city, and our government, but honestly about our own personal lives. Yes, you too can get angry, divisive, prideful, and gossipy. We certainly need to pray for our nation, to pray for our government and leadership, and to pray for those around us who are illustrated in these first three verses. But we need to be praying for our own selves as well, that the Lord would help us control our own anger, our pride, and our occasional murmuring. We cannot let these characteristics be descriptive or illustrative of our own lives. Be honest before God and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal anything that doesn’t reflect His character. I’ve put a sample prayer below, and I’d encourage you to reflect and to pray through this over the upcoming days.

“God, if I have a tendency to any of these characteristics in this passage, please help me change. Help me see the errors of my thinking and my behaviors so that I would be more Christlike in this dark world. I truly repent of my anger and my self-serving pride. I don’t want to be a person who murmurs and gossips. Help me, through the Holy Spirit’s power, to be a person who is compassionate and caring, not divisive or angry. May I use my influence on social media, texts and personal interactions with others to point them to our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ. For His name’s sake. Amen!”

Psalm 2:4-6. “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.’”

Psalm 2:1-3 described four characteristics and actions of the evil world. And now we see God’s response in the immediate next verses. The psalmist counters the four evil characteristics with four of God’s own characteristics and actions in verses 4-6.

1. God is Enthroned in the Heavens (2:4a)
While the world angrily conspires against God, the psalmist assures us that God is above it all. The first response we see is that of God being in complete control of all circumstances. He is “in the heavens” and He is “sitting on His throne.” The evil world may think they are in charge, but the reality is this: nothing gets past God. We emphasize the imminence of God, being that He is close, He is near, and He is here with us at all times. But we cannot diminish the other side of that coin, that He is transcendent. He is perfectly holy. He created all things and is over all things. While He is deeply concerned for us, He is far above human the circumstance. While the world plots and schemes, the psalmist shows us here that God is above it all. He is not concerned one bit at the evil plots and schemes! To be clear, God is passionately concerned for you and this world! But the world’s sinful actions and their conniving against Him do not cause God or His plans to be shaken, alarmed, or moved. He is firmly in charge. This should bring us peace today, knowing that whatever stress you feel, heartache that you’ve experienced, or sinful plotting that others are doing, God is perfectly in control! The world doesn’t understand how we can have such peace during stressful times. We love the transcendence and the imminence of God!

2. God is Laughing (2:4b)
While the world sinfully plots against God and His ways, God’s response is simply to laugh at it. God is not laughing at people’s pain; He is laughing at evil’s plotting. The anthropomorphic language of God “laughing” and God “holding them in derision” illustrates the silliness of the sinful world to plot against a holy God. It was God who created all things, God who upholds all things, and yet mankind rebelled—and continues to rebel—against the loving care of the Heavenly Father. As God watches the sinful creation attempt to supplant Him, He giggles at their pointless plotting. To illustrate, have you had a 7-year-old grandson, son, or nephew challenge you to an arm-wrestling match? I’ve had three of my boys each do this in their lifetime, each serious in their attempts to “take me down.” My response: laughter, giggling. It’s actually cute and funny, somehow to think my little guy will take me down. And that’s what God sees when evil attempts to plot against Him. If we could put this verse into a contemporary cultural meme, it would go something like this:

The World: “I hate God! I don’t need God! Let’s put laws and regulations in our country that defy God!”
God: smh

The illustrative language here shows the absurdity of the sinful plots against God. It’s silly and pointless. So, instead of getting in arguments and shouting matches on your social media with the sinful world, might I encourage you to take a step back from the tension of the moment and think about what God is seeing, how God is reacting, and God’s larger perspective in all of this. Take a deep breath and don’t allow the sinful plotting of arrogant and prideful people rob you of the joy of being a child of the Most High God who has everything under control.

3. God is Angry (2:5b)
While God is higher and above all of this plotting, amused at their revolting, the psalmist reassures us that God is not passive in all of this. God is angry at their rebellion. Our God can be angry and not sin. A perfect and righteous God sees their rebellion and fumes in holy anger over the sin, hurt, and pain that they are causing Him and His creation. Let’s be clear, God will act! God will take care of the sinful plotting of mankind. He is not pleased and will do something about it. There is way too much to discuss when it comes to the subject of “God and Anger,” but here’s a helpful reminder: God is not angry with the ‘sinner’ (e.g., “For God so loved the world”), but He is angry at the rebellious and treacherous schemers that make it their sole aim to take down God and all that is holy. Take some time and search “anger” in the Bible and you will find that the references to God and His anger are directly addressed to those who are in conniving defiance and rebellion against God (note again, so much to unpack in specific terms, but stay with me in these generalizations). The minor prophets talk much about God’s anger at the rebelliousness that He sees; it’s an anger directed at willful intolerant schemers. God is—and has been—patient, but in due season, God will judge the sinful acts of a rebellious people. He always does. In the New Testament, we see Jesus watching the sinful plotting of the religious priests as they were taking advantage of the people, and He drove them out of the Temple (Matthew 21:17-23). Hebrews 10:31 says, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” While we love the grace of God, we also must respect that the continuous rebellion of sinful mankind will come to a halt, and it won’t be pretty or graceful for them. God continues to show grace to those who are in rebellion against Him. There are days that I catch myself asking why God won’t come and remove some of these heinous and mindless people who are acting so violently. I see His grace and His patience and sometimes I have to say that I don’t always like His patience. Just being honest here. Oh, that I would have the love and grace that our Lord demonstrates every day on this planet! But know this, there will come a day when His patience is spent and He will respond to the sinful plights of man.

4. God Speaks (2:5a, 6)
In this context, God’s anger is demonstrated—initiated—by His words. He speaks! And when God speaks, people better take notice! On one hand, knowing that God speaks before He acts shows how caring He is. Yes, He is angry and will do something about it, but before He dispenses final judgment, He speaks! His love is so immense that He is giving sinful mankind one last opportunity to repent. God will judge sin, but He is making the continuous plea to change one’s ways before it’s too late. The psalmist says that God will “distress them” by speaking to them, the content of which they will dread! And what is the action of His anger? Sending a holy King in their midst! Yes, in His anger, He promises to bring restoration! In the larger context of Scriptures (cross-references this verse in Hebrews 1), God says to the rebellious people, “I am sending My Son, King Jesus, to the world!” (Psalm 2:6). Yes, God is angry and will do something about it. What does He do? He sends His Son! So, He will judge sinful mankind, but before He does, He will send His Son to provide the prospect of reconciliation! Jesus is our True King! He sent His Son to ensure that rebelliousness could be redeemed should they repent! God’s anger will always be justified because He first lovingly, patiently paved a way for salvation out of the darkness! God speaks and He provides salvation to all who call on His name. His heart is to redeem. His heart is to help you see a need for a Savior of your sins. Can you see how God’s holy anger and His holy love are nearly inseparable, two sides of one coin.

Look at the book of Revelation for another amazing example of this. Revelation 18:1-8 is the end of sin, the chapter in which sin is judged thus becoming the end of all things sinful (the beast, the woman, the harlot, the devil, all judged!). But just before God’s crushing blow on the sinful rebellion, God speaks! And He says this:

“Come out of her, people, lest you share in her sins” (Revelation 18:4). Wow!! Did you catch that? God speaks, giving every single person on the planet one last opportunity! Come out of her! These are God’s final words to the sinful people! He so desires all people to repent!

Look at the contrasting parallels of Psalm 2:1-3 and Psalm 2:4-6:
Mankind is prideful, elevating self over God (2:2)
God is enthroned in the heavens, over all things and fully under control (2:4)

Mankind is angry at God, leading to rebelliousness (2:1)
God is angry and will judge in holiness and righteousness (2:4)

Mankind is divisive (2:1)
God laughs at their feeble attempts (2:4)

Mankind speaks and conspires with one another against God (2:3)
God speaks and sends His Son to redeem and restore (2:6)

For every sinful, evil, intolerant, and rebellious act stands in contrast a holy, loving, caring, compassionate, righteous God who—despite mankind’s efforts to destroy—will bring the offer of salvation to all who will hear and receive, through His Son, the King of all Kings, Jesus Christ. Take refuge today, dear ones, that God is on the throne, high above the earthly stressors and tensions that our world faces. He hears you. He responds. He will take final action in due time. Rest in His patience. He knows what He’s doing! Trust in Him and His plans. And thank Him today for sending His Son Jesus who will deliver us from the bondage of sin and will come again soon!

Psalm 2:7-9. “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’”

Here is a simplified outline of Psalm 2 thus far:
Psalm 2:1-3 – The Evil Nations Speak
Psalm 2:4-6 – God Speaks
Psalm 2:7-9 – The Son Speaks

Psalm 2:7-9 is a fascinating little paragraph because we get to peer into a small conversation that the Father has with His Son. Now, the immediate historical context is God rebuking the sinful nations and coronating (“begetting”) a king (“son”) to ensure Israel’s safety and longevity. But the greater fulfillment of this psalm is that of Jesus Christ. This section of the Psalms is the most quoted passage in the New Testament (the Gospels, Acts, and Hebrews). I think this particular section will inspire some awe, because it is here that we get an inside view of God talking to Jesus and its amazing implications for us! We get an all-access pass into the heavenlies to hear a conversation between God and Jesus. This section of verses is divided into two main parts: Psalm 2:7-8a, the Son Recounts the Father’s Encouraging Words, and in Psalm 2:8b-9, the Son Recounts God’s Promise.

Psalm 2:7-8a – The Son Recounts the Father’s Encouraging Words
In this section, Jesus speaks and He says, “I will declare the decree.” Imagine sitting down with Jesus and Him saying to you, “Let Me tell you what our Heavenly Father told Me and thinks about Me.” Well, you get to read it here. In this little paragraph, there are three encouraging statements that the Father coveys to Jesus. We get to hear and experience Jesus Himself telling you what God said.

First, God lets Him know that He is “My Son.” This concept of sonship is such an important and vital biblical theme. It is not about some notion that God literally birthed or created Jesus. The biblical concept of sonship is primarily about status. The immediate context is about God putting (“begetting”) a godly king on the throne to keep Israel spiritually vibrant and to protect Israel from its surrounding enemies. God promised that a godly king (a “son”) would rule Israel. The status of “son” means that He is highly prized and appointed. The king was considered “God’s son” (in the broad sense) because he was acting as God’s authority to the people. But the larger context of Scripture shows us that the Greater Son is Jesus Christ. Throughout the New Testament, this idea of sonship is predominant. We see throughout the Gospels, the phrase, “Son of Man” or “Son of God.” This phrase is confusing in our English language and our contemporary culture. We generally, and erroneously, read this as the writer emphasizing the humanity of Jesus, and many religions today see this as a reason to believe that Jesus was a created being by God. But that’s not at all what this phrase intends. In the original language and the culture in which this was written, there was no confusion as to this meaning. Simply stated, the Son of Man (or Son of God) was a kingly title, one that bore a supremely kingly position. This was the key title for Jesus that got Him crucified, as the term equated Him with God the Father! Where Israel’s kings failed, Jesus Christ didn’t! Where Israel’s kings were tempted into the evil schemes of the nations, Jesus wasn’t! Where earthly kings fell into pride, lust, and greed, Jesus never will! Jesus is the Perfect Son of God, fully God and King of all kings. Not only is God calling Jesus “Son,” He adds the personal pronoun, “My Son.” This signifies the deep love and care He has for Jesus. He will always be, “Mine.” God also said these very words at Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3:13-17, “This is My Son in whom I am well pleased”) and at His transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8, “This is My Son, listen to Him”). Jesus is telling us that He is highly prized by God, and that He is only one who could fully and perfectly carry out the Father’s will.

Second, God lets him know that God has “begotten” Him. Once again, this is not about birthing. The Old Testament and the word in the Ancient Near East reflect the concepts of (a) “one who is on the same level as the other,” (b) “one who carries the same essence,” (c) “one who has a special and unique relationship as the other,” and (d) “one who has been coronated as supreme.” A great example is in Genesis 22:12 where God tells Abraham to “take your only begotten son,” Isaac, to the mountains of Moriah. We know clearly that Abraham had a son prior to Isaac, namely Ishmael. So this Hebrew word has nothing to do with literally birthing a first son. It has to do with the unique position Isaac has with Abraham in the family line and God coronating Isaac for this special task of being the seed in which Messiah would come. He is in his essence Abraham’s seed and He is also in function carrying out Abraham’s promise from God. So, when God says to Jesus, “You are begotten”, He is not saying that God birthed Jesus; rather, He is saying that Jesus has the identical essence of the Father and that He has been coronated to do the Father’s work. Jesus is the only begotten of the Father (here and John 3:16). This means that there is nobody like Him on the face of the planet because His essence is God, and it is only Jesus who can ultimately fulfill the Father’s assignment of saving mankind from their sins. There is nobody who could do and accomplish what Jesus did.

Third, God lets Him know that He can “ask of Me” anything. Ask! What a great word. What a relationship that is, to be able to know that God is always an “ask” away. Jesus has the privilege of asking God anything, and God promises to answer. We peer into God’s heart when He tells Jesus, “My Son, ask of Me anything, and I’ll answer.” It shows God’s heart of compassion and love. A heart that is willing to listen. A heart that is willing to answer. And when Jesus came to this earth, He definitely heeded the Father’s words, as we see numerous times in the Gospel accounts the kind of prayer life He had with the heavenly Father. Luke alone records 15 of Jesus’ prayers in his short 24-chapter gospel! We see just how much prayer to the Father meant to Jesus and how it strengthened Him.

There are such wonderful applications here in all three of the contexts of this passage:

The Original Context of Psalm 2. The nations are divisive against God. God will act by sending a king to rule the nations. But God would “beget a son” (“coronate a king”) who would have an all-access pass to ask God for wisdom, strength, direction, and clarity as he seeks to lead Israel. This clearly took place a number of times in Israel’s history. While there were clearly many evil kings during the “divided kingdom,” we also see good kings who called on the name of the Lord and set the Word of the Lord in high regard, calling for revival. Israel will always be “God’s children”, His special people of whom He created out of nothing. God has been with them throughout their horrific history of wars and enemy attacks on their nation. And they are always a prayer away from God, always having access to His listening ears. They will always be able to call upon His name and God will answer (Isaiah 65:24).

The Christological Context of Psalm 2. The world is angry and divisive against God. And God acted by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to save and offer forgiveness to all who put their trust in Him. He is the only begotten One who first suffered and died for the sins of the nations. He humbly submitted to the Father’s will, was led by the Holy Spirit during His lifetime and relied on a deep and intimate prayer life that brought His through the rough times. And God coronated Him as King at His resurrection—death has no power or dominion over Him! He is the King of all kings!

The Contemporary Context of Psalm 2. The world continues to be angry and defiant against God. He sent Jesus to bring salvation. And for those of us who gave our lives to the Lord are now held in a new position. We are now God’s children, newly begotten by Him, uniquely adopted as His kids. (Ephesians 1:5). We too are called “sons and daughters” of the Most High God! We carry His status and a new identity as being “in Christ” (Romans 6). We are co-heirs with Him in heaven, having been begotten again to a living hope (1 Peter 1:3). And we have the amazing privilege of asking God anything that’s on our hearts. We have a full access pass to talk with Him anytime! Be encouraged today, my friend! In Christ, you are brand new!

You have:
(1) A New Identity – Sons and Daughters of God, adopted into His eternal family! God says to you, “You are Mine!”
(2) A New Status – Begotten by God to a living Hope. God says to you, “You have a new status!”
(3) A New Lifeline – Continuous communication with the Heavenly Father to get us through this earthly life. God says to you, “Ask of Me anything!”

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”
Ephesians 1:3-6

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
1 Peter 1:3-5

“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh…22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
Hebrews 10:19-20, 22

Psalm 2:8b-9 – The Son Recounts God’s Promise
We now turn to the last ½ of this section recounting God’s promise to the Son.
The first promise is about an inheritance. We know that when we get to heaven, God will be our inheritance (Ephesians 1:14). We will receive the “crown of life”, which is eternal life in the presence of God (James 1:2 and Revelation 2:10). He is everything we’ll ever need! Oh, the joy of seeing the Lord face to face! The burdens of living by faith will be removed as we will finally be able to live by sight, in the presence of the Almighty for eternity. It’s certainly a joy to have Jesus as our Savior now, but the Scriptures don’t promise us an easy life now as we live by faith. It is truly a trusting faith on earth. But someday, we will be in the presence of our Savior and with His saints forever! No more sin. No more pain. No more discouragement. No more drama. But here in this verse we find another fascinating element about heaven as well. While God is our inheritance, look at what the Father says to Jesus in Psalm 2:8, “I will give to You the nations for Your inheritance.” Yes, Jesus gets an inheritance too! And it’s you. Yes, you! You are God’s inheritance! While we can’t wait to get to heaven to get our inheritance, Jesus can’t wait for you to get to heaven to get His inheritance. You! There are 20 total references in the Scriptures that talk about the people of God being His inheritance. I hope that you feel so encouraged as you ponder this wonderful promise, knowing God loves you so much that He considers you as an inheritance! Here are a few of the verses to read, reflect and praise the Lord for His deep love for you.

“Save Your people and bless Your inheritance. Shepherd them and bear them up forever” (Psalm 28:9).

“For the Lord will not cast off His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance (Psalm 94:14).

“That the eyes of your understanding would be enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance which are His saints” (Ephesians 1:18).

The second promise in this passage is found in verse 9, and that being of judgment. God promises judgment on sinful mankind. While this promise shouldn’t cause us ecstatic celebration with jumping up and down, it does bring us encouragement on a couple of levels. First, Jesus is in complete control! Let this verse encourage you that nothing gets past God. He sees all and has everything under control. Recall Psalm 2:4-6 again as a reference! The nations may rage, but God is in complete control. Second, the trials and troubles from sinful people, the dissention and discouragement from the sinful world will come to an end. The simple truth is that the evil world is wreaking havoc on so many levels against Christianity, from the entertainment industry, news media, world governments, to our neighbors who mock our faith. It’s difficult to stand firm in our Christian convictions when we are living counterculture on a daily basis, being hammered on all sides about our faith. But take courage that this shall pass. Again, judgment of the sinful world shouldn’t cause elation, but it should give us a calm assurance and quiet confidence every day until Jesus comes. He’s got it all under control and the sinfulness will come to an end. Let’s put our trust and hope in Him!

Be encouraged, my friends. You are God’s prized inheritance and God’s got everything under compete control!

"I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world"
John 16:33

Psalm 2:10-12. “Now therefore, be wise, O kings, be instructed, you judges 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, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”

To complete Psalm 2, here is a simplified outline of what has transpired:
Psalm 2:1-3: The Nations Speak
Psalm 2:4-6: God Speaks Psalm 2:7-9: The Son Speaks
Psalm 2:10-12: God’s Final Counsel to the Nations

Psalm 2 ends with a rousing list of advices from God to the nations. This advice would allow a nation to prosper and is the key solution to any nation’s dilemma. This last section, God gives five stern commands to right the wrongs of an evil nation. Let’s look at these, with the hopes that we would, first and foremost live these out for ourselves, and that we would pray that these commands be heeded in our nation today. Each of these five commands successively builds on another, like adding a chain link to each one.

Command #1: Be Wise
One wonders if our nation’s leaders would take the time and read the Book of Proverbs, how different our country would be. Wisdom is the end result of good knowledge of real facts put into life experience and practice. This should be happening on a personal and political level. But of course, more importantly, it should be happening on a spiritual level. The Scriptures gives us good knowledge of real facts about our sinfulness and depravity and the practical ways in which we can get our lives turned around. Keep praying for our nation, that they would see the need for true wisdom.

Command #2: Be Instructed
To be instructed indicates that there is a humility and a heart attitude that is willing to be humble enough to receive advice and ask for others’ wisdom. The problem with the nation’s leaders is that many are simply relying on their own knowledge, their own “wisdom” (which is not from Above, James 3:17), and their own prideful arrogance in what they think is right, not taking into account God’s best nor the best of the people that they represent. To be instructed shows a willingness to change and a humility to accept when one is wrong. And I think there is a measure of application for us today with this; that we too would accept correction, admit wrongdoings, and to simply ask for directions in life! Be a person willing to receive advice, wisdom, and instruction from others.

Command #3: Serve the Lord
In the grand scheme, our nation would be transformed if they would be willing to heed the advice of the Word of God and serve the Lord and His loving agenda! What our nation would be like if leadership received the wisdom from Above and served the Lord, not concerned about anything but God’s moral and ethical best for the nation. Another word for “serve” here, is “worship.” Oh, that our leaders would worship the One and Only Living God, the God who loves them, the God gave His life for them, and the God who promises life eternal! There are over 300 references in the Old Testament about serving the Lord with one’s whole heart, with gladness, with purity of mind, with humility, knowing that in worshiping the Lord comes joy, gladness, contentment of heart, and peace! May we, too, find comfort in worshipping the Lord today, serving Him through living out the fruit of the Spirit today.

Command #4: Kiss the Son
This expression seems quite strange in our culture, but simply put, this is all is about humility and submission, giving honor and homage. Just as humility is needed to receive wisdom, so submission is needed for true, effective service to the Lord. Make no mistake, there can be no true service to the Lord without submission to the Son. If there’s no heart-felt trust in the Lord, then the “serving” of Him is merely works-based and is in the end a worthless endeavor because it has no lasting benefit. There are too many people trying to “serve” and do works to try to get right with God, but quite the opposite is true. God makes us right with Him, we give Him first place in our hearts, and THEN we serve. And there is such freedom with this. Allow Jesus to be on the throne of your hearts today and you will experience the freedom to serve and the joy that it brings.

Command #5: Put your trust in Him
The very last and climactic command ends with the call to the nation to put their trust in God alone. There are a few Hebrew words that have been translated as “trust” in our English language. This particular word, hosheh, has more of a connotation of “finding refuge in.” What is our nation finding refuge in? Once again, I wonder what our nation would be like if they would submit to the Lord and put their trust in Him. They would be less angry, less hostile, less discouraged. By taking refuge in Christ, they would be less worried about what others think, less confused about life’s issues (after all, God is not a God of confusion!). Let’s pray for our nation today, that they would put their trust in the Savior who loves them and gave His life for them.

And maybe, just maybe, each of these commands are good applications of advice for you as well. Keep putting your trust in Him. Let Him be your refuge and your hiding place as you face a world full of evil and strife. Submit to His ways, be willing to change your views to His perfect best. Take time to worship and give Him thanks for what He’s done in your life. Submit to His wisdom that far exceeds the wisdom of the world and its fake news that causes confusion to the real facts. And in doing this, look at what the final verse says: You will be blessed! Be blessed and encouraged today, and let’s keep praying for our nation!

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD."
Psalm 33:12