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PSALM 2 (Kent Smith Notes 11/12/23)

A PSALM FOR TODAY’S WORLD

Psalm 2

What the Psalmist has to say to a world in conflict

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I’m glad I live in the United States of America

I’m glad I live in South Carolina

I’m glad I live in Spartanburg County


In many ways we have been sheltered from the violence and hatred rampant in many nations, and in several of our own cities.

For the most part we live securely.

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GLOBAL, NATIONAL, AND SPIRITUAL CONFLICT

Rebellion has been our pattern since the fall of Adam.

Rebellion against God is the natural bent of every human.

Rebellion permeates all nations and their peoples.

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International conflict is one of the perpetual byproducts of mankind’s rebellion.

Just as every individual is prone to sin and rebellion, so too every nation is sinful and rebellious against God’s plans.


It seems as if more and more people and nations are willfully turning from God.

Europe has become largely secular, and the United States is increasingly moving in the same direction.


In 1976 91% of the population in the United States claimed Christianity as their religious belief system.

In 2022 the percentage dropped to 64% of the US population.


In the most recent census, the religious preference that showed the greatest growth in the past 10 years is the “NONE” response.


Church statistics have shown a steady decline in this century, with most Southern Baptist churches having less than 50% of their membership attending more than once a month.

and fewer and fewer Christians EVER sharing the gospel in their lifetime.

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We read in this opening part of this Psalm: Spoken by the author, likely David


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, saying, 3 “Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!”


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Mankind (and most Christian) reject the yoke of Jesus Christ upon themselves.


The psalmist is specifically talking about the kingdoms of his day – likely in the time of King David.

Nations often revolted on the occasion of the coronation of a new king. The people would seize the opportunity to cast off the shackles of a government or new ruler before they could establish their authority and rule.


Not much has changed. Look at our last two presidential elections. Those on the side that lost called into question the validity of the election, and many promoted forms of resistance against the leadership of our own nation.


Those in power nearly always seek to remain in power. It is our nature.


The Psalmist writes :

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!”


Where is the leader, where is the king, where are the people who seek to honor God?


I must say I was encouraged by the news of our new House Speaker – Mike Johnson.

From all that he has said, and by the testimony of others – he seems to be a devout follower of Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior.


In a day when most politicians give lip service to faith and Christianity, he’s the real deal.


Most other politicians profess their faith only as an exercise in political expediency, while leading and voting in ways that are contrary to the ways of Christ.


But let us consider God’s response to those who would seek to defy Him.

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GOD’S RESPONSE TO MAN’S REBELLION

God laughs!

God scoffs!

God is angered! God is furious!

God speaks, “I have installed my Kin in Zion, My holy mountain.”

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THE REACTION OF GOD


v.4-6

He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying, 6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”


First response: Chuckling at the futility of trying to take a stand against Him.

Second, He holds those who would willfully come against Him in contempt.

Thirdly, He is angered, deeply angered to the point of fury.

  • Righteous indignation at their rebellion.

  • Anger at their defiance of their creator.

  • Incensed at their willful rebellion against His power and authority, His grace and His mercy!

His fourth response is a declaration of power and sovereignty!

He declares – I have set My King in Zion, on My holy mountain

He has done this, and all the world is powerless to rescind it or to overcome it.

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THE TESTIMONY OF GOD’S ANOINTED


The Anointed King (Jesus) recalls the words of God:

You are My Son!

You are begotten!

Ask of Me all the world as Your inheritance / possession.

You shall break them.

You shall shatter them like a clay pot.

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THE WORDS OF JESUS


“I will surely tell of the [e]decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8 ‘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.’”


You are My Son! – Unique relationship

Begotten – ‘the only one of its kind within a specific relationship’

- the only one of its kind, completely unique, as the one and only one”

- begotten not made (Nicene Creed)

Ask of me – the authority and power of the Father to dispense of all creation as He chooses.

All creation will be His inheritance and possession

Prophetic words of God regarding the activity of His Son:

Regarding the rebellious nations / peoples

“You shall break them.”

“You shall shatter them.”


Revelation 19:17-21 17 Then I saw [f]an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.”

19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs [h]in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

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THE PSALMIST’S COUNSEL TO LEADERS

Now… “wise up!”

Head the warning!

  • Worship the Lord

  • Rejoice with trembling

  • Do homage to the Son

(WARNING: Otherwise, He may become angry, and you will perish in His wrath.)

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Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. 11 Worship the Lord with [l]reverence And rejoice with trembling. 12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may [n]soon be kindled.

He addresses kings and judges: These are the leaders of people - the rulers, politicians, and national officials

Show discernment: Wisdom

Heed the warning


Change your behavior (having been conspiring to rebel against God and His anointed,)

Worship the Lord with reverence

Rejoice with trembling

Do homage to the Son

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The Psalmist’s counsel to the reader:

BLESSED ARE ALL WHO TAKE REFUGE IN HIM!

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God has declared what will be.

No man, nation, army, or entity can stand against Him.

In a world of conflict and rebellion against one another, and against God, by political leaders and nations: Fear NOT!

He is our refuge.

Our shelter / Our protection

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

Do not look to our national leaders for your protection,

nor even to our military.

Nor to the police of civil authorities – they are not always with you,

They can punish the perpetrator, but they cannot fully protect you.

Ezra 8:22 For I was ashamed to request from the king troops and horsemen to protect us from the enemy on the way, because we had said to the king, “The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who forsake Him.”

Is 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

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