Psalm 2 ‘World view’
First preached on Sunday 14 May 2017 at Amington (St Editha).
These are my notes rather than a full script.
Toddler’s birthday party. One child jealous of attention / presents, started misbehaving, obnoxious. Parent went to him and said, ‘Johnny, it’s not your party!’
Easy to be short-sighted: it’s all about me. Perhaps slightly wider than just me: it’s all about me and my family. Psalm 2 tries to widen our perspective, give us a big picture of history.
1-3: The world
The world is full of hate. Probably don’t need to tell you that.
Full of hate – particularly when it gets the whiff of Jesus, the Messiah. The world likes to be in charge and Jesus challenges that. The Jewish authorities hated Jesus – and since then the authorities have hated Christians when they feel challenged.
History littered with Christians being persecuted, killed for their faith. Even in this country, while we are not killed when Christians stand up in public for biblical truth and morality, we are ridiculed, put down and bullied in the name of ‘tolerance’ – an irony apparently lost on many. (It’s actually impossible to be ‘tolerant’ of every opinion!)
Jesus warned us of that – shouldn’t be surprised
4-6: The throne
God’s reaction to all that hate? He laughs! God is unimpressed with the world’s show of power – think the military parades in North Korea. Anyone seen Crocodile Dundee? ‘You call that a knife? This is a knife!’ ‘You call that power?’ God says: ‘This is power.’
Picture of God laughing, mocking, being full of wrath at the nations – may unsettle you. But God is not a cuddly bear. The New Testament describes God as a ‘consuming fire’ – and he should be angry at injustice, abuse of power. The nations think they’re strong: but God sits on the mightiest throne of all.
Interesting note of weakness here: Zion was a tiny pocket of land on a not-very-impressive mountain, in a backwater country. But from there, from that weakness, God’s rule will extend over all the world: God’s power is invincibility-through-weakness. I like that.
7-9: The decree
When God speaks, things happen: ‘Let there be light!’ And God’s decree places his Son on the throne, gives him power and authority to break the power of the nations.
May not like this picture of God smashing the nations into pieces – but remember what this world is like: it hates God. It does not want his rule, it does not welcome Jesus with open arms.
Psalm 2 tells us to lift our eyes up from our own life, and see the big picture: God is in control, and the anger, the hate of this world will not last for ever: one day God will wipe it all away and bring in his perfect rule – which is perfect peace.
10-12: The gospel
God continues to address the powers who hate him – but this time, instead of judgement and warning, is an invitation. ‘You’re in danger,’ God says, ‘But you can still receive mercy, if you kiss the Son.’ Kissing the Son is a sign of submission, like kneeling or bowing the head.
‘There is still time,’ God says, ‘If you serve me, instead of your own interests.’ The danger of judgement is real, but so is the joy: ‘Oh, the joy of all who take refuge in him!’
Psalm 2 says: lift up your eyes, see the real power of Almighty God, and find real joy by taking refuge in him.