‘Be wise Son therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.’ Psalms 2:10-12
This passage is full of seemingly contradictory thoughts. The kings are told to be instructed rather than to teach. They are supposed to fear and rejoice at the same time. They are commanded to kiss (reverence) the Son to prevent anger rather than to be reverenced. One of the hardest parts of being a follower of God is the fact that God’s way is counter-intuitive. There are many situations where seemingly conflicting ideas marry in Christianity.
We are told to fear God both in this passage and in many others. The trouble is, fear gets a bad rap in our society. The fear of God is a beautiful thing; this passage describes it as something to rejoice over. God is powerful, and that power can and should instill a fear. Yet the exciting thing about power is that it can also protect and prosper all those under its good favor. God is both powerful and good. He is an authority that intends to bless, but our tendency to grasp for power can prevent us from benefiting from God’s power.
This psalm is a challenge to the authorities of the world to submit to the rule of God. Submission is another idea that we struggle with, isn’t it? There is a truth deposited in the relationship between fear and submission. The proper reverent fear of God is designed to help us surrender and submit to his good rule. The theologian named Yosemite Sam once said, “if you can’t beat’em, join ’em.” The reality is we can’t beat God, so why fight him? He is a good king, after all; let us submit to his authority.
Take a moment to pray the Serenity Prayer. Pray it slowly and learn to trust him in the process:
The Serenity Prayer goes like this —
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
By Aaron Bjorklund