Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Psalm 2 – The Son Is Sovereign

“I will 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 make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession’.” ~Psalm 2:7-8 (NRSV).

As Christians, we are apt at getting worried about the vast number of injustices, little and large, that occur in our world. This is understandable to anyone with a moral conscience. But we can learn a lot about the Sovereignty of God—even in the midst of tyranny—to set the record straight.

As we read through Psalm 2, and we re-read it, meditating over the imagery painted for us, we are reassured of the fact that the King of kings, Jesus, observes and rules over all earthly monarchies, eternally.

This psalm is commonly attributed—with Psalm 1—as part of a dual introduction to the Psalter (the complete collection of the 150 canonical psalms). It has great significance throughout the Bible, not least of which in the New Testament.

Why Do The Wicked Rulers Bother?

The psalmist commences in the mood of incredulity—‘Why on earth would the nations conspire and peoples plot in vain, against the Lord?’

It makes no sense to the psalmist. The nations’ leaders brag about their (temporary) sense of sovereignty without understanding the Lord’s eternal Sovereignty.

As we watch on, within our unique worldviews, disturbed perhaps by the corruption, inequity, and abhorrent injustice that sickens us, we must know God will have the final say. In that we rest in faith.

From this position, we can understand the plight of the psalmist; they wage war against a most powerful foe, but, though they suffer many indignities, there is the assurance of faith that a mightier force, in the Lord, will prevail—and not with delay.

The Lord Is Not Slow in Bringing About Justice

There is vision, here, of the past deeds of the Lord—the faithfulness of eternal Sovereignty. Verses 10-11 speak of such confidence and, fairly, of warning for the nations’ kings to be wise; to fear the Lord. Their revelry is short lived.

In what is a refreshingly translucent reminder of the gospel message, the kings are warned to turn from their wicked ways, for God’s “wrath is quickly kindled.” (Verse 11d)

Repentance, then, runs like a golden thread in this psalm connecting its theology to that wrought by Jesus.


Psalm 2 is hauntingly messianic with its echoes reverberating from a voice that’s both prophetic and revelatory. It foreshadows Jesus’ coming into the world and his coming again at the Parousia (end time).

Whenever we’re tempted to become anxious about our world, we ought to be reminded of the truth: God is Sovereign and absolutely in control; justice always comes, eventually. The Lord Jesus possesses the whole earth, even the wicked. They will soon see!

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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