1 Why do the nations conspire
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth take their stand
and the rulers gather together
against the Lord
and against his Anointed One.
3 “Let us break their chains,” they say,
“and throw off their fetters.”
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
5 Then he rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6 “I have installed my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”
7 I will proclaim the decree of the Lord:
He said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have become your Father.
8 Ask of me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You will rule them with an iron scepter;
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
10 Therefore, you kings, be wise:
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear
and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry
and you be destroyed in your way,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Verses 1-3 are describing how the world views God and Christ. They try to tell us (Christians) that we are stuck in a religion that means nothing, and so they try to ‘break our chains’ and bring us out of Christianity. They do this by slander, torture, and deception. Verses 4 & 5 are an interesting picture of God’s reaction to the world’s ‘intelligence’ about Him. I like this because it is not a mocking attitude, it is a holy attitude of righteousness. God is not sarcastic when He laughs. It is almost like an ant trying to destroy the human that gazes at it by hurting the other ants. If we saw this we would think it was odd, knowing that destroying each other would never dispose of the human watching.
Instead though, God is more intimately involved. Because we rebel, He rebukes us in His holy anger. This is not human anger. This is a justified anger against a creation that has done everything in it’s power to destroy it’s creator. We, as fallen creatures, are destined to spend an eternity apart from our maker, which is exactly what we deserve because of our rebellion. Thank goodness for God’s plan of mercy for those he loves! As verse 6 states, He has given the creation, and the kingdom over to Christ as an inheritance. Christ has forever crucified sin to the believer, permanently installed in that place for us.
Verse 7 begins a dictation of what Christ has said because of what He has done for those being saved. He rules over us justly, some for wrath, others for mercy. There is no reason given in the Bible for those on whom He bestows mercy, only that it is for His good pleasure.
Verses 10-12a are a warning. Those rulers and kings that do not treat Christ the King with respect will answer for their rebellion when God’s holy wrath comes upon them. Finally, part b of verse 12 reminds us that if we are a people who will follow Christ, and turn from our worldly ways and ideas, we will find refuge. We can find a peace that passes understanding, and be assured of the hope of what awaits us when we step from this life to the next.
- Is there a promise or principle to remember?
Blessed are all those who take refuge in the Lord. When we seek to be with God we are seeking comfort that only He can provide.
- Is there an application to follow or a command to obey?
My application is that I need to remember that God is my King, and that I should have a holy reverence towards Him (fear). He can be my friend, but I am not free to speak to Him in a manner that is not respectful of His authority. He made me, and He can break me. I must rejoice with that fact in mind…that He gives and He takes away. I must always be aware that the things I have, even my personality, was given to me by Him.
- Are there attitudes that needed changing, or an error to avoid?
I need to change my lackadaisical attitude toward prayer. That time is when I should be coming humbly before my King to exonerate Him, and lay my worries, fears, and success at His feet for Him to do with as He wills.
- Is there a sin being revealed?
Yes, my attitude toward God is not one of authority, and it should be.
- Does this make you want to pray for someone or yourself?
Oh Lord, do not look upon me with wrath, as I desire to know who you are in a deeper way. Help me to change my thinking to one of reverence to you in all that I do and say. Make me strong in my desire to honor and worship you with the words of my mouth in prayer. Forgive me for not giving you the fear you deserve.