Been thinkin’…


…about Psalm 2. (From Carta del norte of 17 Dec 2007. It’s a bit early to talk about Christmas–‘way too early, for that matter–but this column was the next in line.) 

I’ve begun to use the methods of Michael Travers (Encountering God in the Psalms) to do my own analysis of the Psalter in the coming months (or maybe years—we’ll see how long it takes). Today I read Psalm 2 and realized that it has a great deal of bearing on the Incarnation. In fact, were I in pastoral ministry right now, this would be my Christmas sermon. Admittedly, it’s not the usual sentimental, warm-and-fuzzy, isn’t-that-cute fare that is often served up in our churches at this time of year. It deals with the reality of man’s age-old desire to get rid of God and of God’s sovereign implementation of His eternal plan despite humanity’s Satan-inspired attempts to undermine it.   

                The language of the psalm fluctuates between vivid imagery and stark, unadorned declarations:   

INTRODUCTION: THE BIG QUESTION (1)

THE REBELLIOUS CONSPIRACY OF THE NATIONS (2-3)

  1. The subjects of the conspiracy: the LORD and the Son
  2. The object of the conspiracy: to be released from submission to God

THE UNALTERABLE PLAN OF GOD (4-9)

  1. His derisive laughter
  2. His deep displeasure
  3. His solemn decree

THE SOLEMN WARNING TO THE RULERS OF THE EARTH (10-11)

  1. The warning to be wise
  2. The warning to serve the LORD
  3. The warning to kiss the Son

CONCLUSION: THE BLESSING OF THE ONE WHO TRUST IN GOD (12)

 Why would I say this is a Christmas message? Because it opens with the question, “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?” Immediately, the psalmist puts his finger on the key to understanding the human heart, human history and every culture in the world: man’s desire to make God go away so he can live as he chooses. (A NT companion passage is 2 Peter 3.1-4.) The redemption of these very people constitutes the sole purpose for the Incarnation. Further, the psalm speaks both historically and prophetically of Satan’s many efforts through human history to prevent the coming of Messiah and then to do away with Him once He was born. God on His heavenly throne laughs Himself silly at the notion that man could thwart His eternal plan with his puny and deluded attempts at mutiny. Then, the image of Christ smashing an earthenware vessel against a wall as an illustration of the ultimate destiny of the conspirators is truly frightening, as it was intended to be. So this psalm gets right down to the sinister side of Christmas, reiterates the sovereign omnipotence of Jehovah, predicts His final victory over sin and Satan and gives a word of encouragement to the one who trusts in Him.

Advertisements

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s