Our text is Psalm 2, verses 1 through 3, a Messianic Psalm, in which David describes the world’s opposition to GOD and to the Messiah. The word ‘anointed’
in verse 2 is ‘Mashiach’
in Hebrew which we have transliterated ‘Messiah’.
Note also who are opposing. It is the nations of the world, the people with their kings and rulers. And why the opposition? Because they resent the dominion of GOD and the Messiah over them. That implies that it is GOD’s will for the Messiah to be King over all the earth; over all mankind.
The standpoint of the writer, David, was that of one who noticed the tumult in the distance; (verse 1). As he drew nearer, he was able to identify the main speakers, (verse 2); and finally, he was able to overhear just what they were saying. They were revolting like those who tried to build Babel in order to fabricate a religious and social system independent of GOD.
Genesis 11, verse 6:
And the LORD said, ‘Indeed, the people are one, and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do. Now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Ever since Adam disobeyed GOD, man has been in a state of rebellion against Him.
In the next three verses of this Psalm, David described GOD’s response, verses 4 through 6:
He Who sits in the Heavens shall laugh; the LORD shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath and distress them in His deep displeasure. Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.
GOD remained unmoved though angry at their absurd behaviour, and reasserted His sovereignty in choosing the Messiah as the universal King. He had decreed that the Messiah should rule in Zion. Isaiah chapter 2, verses 3 and 4:
For out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations and shall rebuke many people. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
This announcement terrified them because it signalled GOD’s dominion over them and over all their affairs; the last thing they wanted, and the last thing most people want today. Their rage was all the greater for that reason, but resistance was to prove futile. Man and woman placed by GOD in a state of Paradise and perfection, felt that even Paradise was an insult to them because there was subjection to GOD. It was that original act of rebellion that led to all their troubles. That is the story of the Bible.
In the following three verses, it was the Messiah’s turn to speak. Verses 7 through 9:
I will declare the decree. The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son; today I have begotten You. Ask of Me and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
Resistance was futile. All that GOD had decreed would certainly come to pass. Notice that GOD said two things of the Messiah:
You are My Son and
today I have begotten You. The first statement reveals that our Messiah is called ‘the Son of GOD’; the second one refers to His installation as King. It may puzzle many to hear GOD saying He had begotten His Son, and the common mistake is to use the human analogy of procreation. But that is not the meaning here, because that very day Messiah was installed as the King of the world. It is a spiritual term describing a new relationship between Messiah and GOD; one that is analogous to the relationship of an earthly father to his son, when the father bestows honours and responsibilities on the son.
In Messiah’s case, this was to be world-wide rule. Daniel 7, verses 13 and 14:
I was watching in the night visions, and behold One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of Heaven. He came to the Ancient of Days and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom that all peoples, nations and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one that shall not be destroyed.
The last three verses are from David himself, who wrote the Psalm. They are an admonition addressed to the rebels; verses 10 through 12:
Now therefore be wise O kings; be instructed you judges of the earth; serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 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.
There was still time for them to reconsider and submit, since at that point their declarations, and GOD’s, had not yet been followed up by action. They would find, to their surprise no doubt, that there was joy in obeying and serving GOD. Their rage was futile and counter productive. It would be their wisdom to ‘kiss the Son, and to put their trust in Him, which amounted to homage and faith. If it had been a mere man they were exhorted to trust and obey, they would have sinned against GOD, because GOD forbids us to trust in anyone other than Himself. Jeremiah, chapter 17, verses 5 through 8:
Thus says the LORD, cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength; whose heart departs from the LORD. Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD.
To pronounce a blessing on those who put their trust in the Son, as the Psalm declares, is to announce that we must because He is Divine, and worthy of all the honours we owe to GOD. Just who is this Messiah, who is here called,
the Son of GOD? Do we need to tell you, or remind you? That would be no compliment to your good sense, but for the record, we are speaking about the only One in all our history that deserves this title: ‘YESHUA of Nazareth’ is the subject of this prophetical Psalm. He proved it by fulfilling the declarations of our prophets; that Messiah would lay down His life for sinners; and that He would rise again; that GOD would honour Him for His sufferings in our behalf by appointing Him as King over all the earth. In due time, this will come to pass as we read in Psalm 110, verses 1 and 2:
The LORD said to my LORD, ‘Sit at My right hand till I make your enemies your footstool.’ The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies.
Nathaniel was an Israelite indeed, in whom was no guile. Yet when his friend Phillip told him, ‘We have found Him, of Whom Moses in the Law and the prophets wrote, JESUS of Nazareth, the son of Joseph,’ he remained unconvinced until he had come and seen for himself. Then we hear him saying to YESHUA, Rabbi, You are the Son of GOD. You are the King of Israel. What Phillip said to Nathaniel, we may say also to you: ‘Come and See!’