Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.” Psalm 2:1-3
Psalm 2 continues in the way of Hebrew rhyme of thoughts instead of words. Psalm 1 is about who’s going to rule your heart whereas Psalm 2 is about who is going to rule the nations. These two Psalms are a fitting beginning to the entire book of Psalms with a theme of Lordship, great advice for the journey of life. The heart meditates on God’s word in Psalm 1 and in Psalm 2 the wicked kings are plotting their evil dominion. Psalm 2 begins with a warning to all those contemplating a stand against the Rule and Reign of God’s Kingdom where Psalm 1 ends with the consequences of wickedness. The contrasting idea between the righteous and the wicked in Psalm 1 appears again as the contrast between the rule of the righteous Messiah and the rebellion of wicked rulers in Psalm 2.
Psalm 2 is a Royal Psalm and was probably used at the coronations of the Kings of Israel (see also Psalms 20, 21, 45, 61, 72, 89, 101, 110, 132, 144). The words pronounce divine support and protection by God’s hand. They also have a future sense of the ultimate King of David’s line, Jesus the Messiah, ruling for all eternity. From Psalm 1, God’s word is for all people, and from Psalm 2 the rule and reign of the King of Kings is for all tribes and nations. God’s word brings life and growth when a person responds to it states Psalm 1. The rulers of the earth try to cast away God’s law because they believe it is restrictive and limiting in Psalm 2, but in reality, God’s law is given for protection, well-being, wisdom and guidance.
Psalm 1 and 2 come down to kingship in rebellious hearts and rebellious nations. Fallen humanity (individuals and groups) want independence from their creator. Both grieve the heart of God. His desire is for every knee to bow, every tongue, tribe and nation to acknowledge his grace and glory. His love extends to all and he longs that none should perish. Psalm 1 begins with a blessing and Psalm 2 ends with the same word for blessing. As we consider God’s reign among the nations, take time this week to pray for repentance and blessing for our country.
By Donna Burns