First Off….read Psalm 2!
Psalm 2…is a really difficult application text because it’s not a lament or confessional psalm…it’s a “coronation psalm” that was used for kings back in the day. It’s an exhortation (an urging by someone) on how a king should act – ESPECIALLY in light of the Covenant given by God (that HE alone is in charge).
We must remember that the Davidic Covenant stated that God promised to David through Nathan the prophet (2 Sam 7, 1 Chron 17:11-14, 2 Chron 6:16) that the Messiah (Jesus Christ) would come from his lineage and the tribe of Judah…and that THIS King would not only endure forever but his kingdom would as well. So when we read this psalm we take it as understanding the issues that were happening then and then looking forward to what will come, via the Messiah, in the future.
So what does that mean for us? We must always understand what is happening in the text so that we can understand what it means for us today. Whereas Psalm 1 deals with light and darkness between people – Psalm 2 looks at it via two kingdoms. The kings and kingdoms of darkness (and of this world) vs the King and HIS kingdom of light.
Unless we’re going to talk about you, or me, becoming a “ruler” in this world we really need to read this as God’s asking of us (as he does David) to WHICH “kingdom” are we going to live and work and serve in? That which calls us away from God or that which calls us to Him? That which “plots evil” and serves itself and our own needs or that which works towards reconciliation, love, and grace and puts others first?
I’m going to assume that most of you have had it ingrained in you that there are things of this world and then things above it. Attitudes, actions, and desires that this world seeks and acts upon that reflect living a life for “me” and then things OUTSIDE of this world that speak of attitudes, actions, and desires that look towards heaven and reflect living a life for others. And this may seem repetitive…but that’s exactly what we have here and it’s repetitive for a reason. The Messiah this text speaks of comes BECAUSE of this very reason. Jesus Christ comes to restore and redeem a world that has collapsed in on itself instead of blossoming OUT and opening up unto others (I picture a rose and how when it is closed up it does not do anything but fill its own need – however, when it blossoms open it produces beauty, food, and color upon the world that is hard to match).
But I want to close with us looking at something truly honest. This psalm ends with this proclamation and call to take “refuge in him.” To fight against the kingdom of this world that you battle day in and day out…and rest in God. Fall into Him…allow your shoulders to remove the burden and relax. Allow His shelter to GIVE you peace. I picture one of these great Mid-West Iowa storms we get where the rain comes pounding down and it’s so heavy and thick and fast that the earth doesn’t even have time to drink it up before it starts to flood. Can you imagine having no way of finding shelter from this storm? Can you imagine having to stand underneath a tree or overpass simply to find “refuge” from the onslaught of rain? That’s what we have in this text…but it’s not a “storm” that we seek refuge from – it’s a world and society that says you have to be prettier, skinnier, taller, more athletic, more focused on “me” and be willing to step on all those that stop you from reaching the top because the “top” is the only place to be. Christ says that with him – this isn’t so and we are to serve the Lord who works opposite that. We serve a Lord who died for the poor, healed the sick, and put them above himself.
God’s kingdom is about others…not the self.