As mentioned in another post Psalm 1, and 2 form an introduction to the Book of Psalms. Psalm 2 is important, as it is an example of how Jesus has carefully woven His role into the fabric of what we call the Old Testament.
I’m interested in your views on this Psalm – do we, standing nearly two thousand years after the birth of our Christ, read too much into these words written many years before His birth? I think the answer is clear upon reading Acts13:30-37 (see below) – we are also told that Psalm 16 verse 10, does not refer to David but Jesus. Likewise, the substance of Acts 4:23-27, further proves that the Holy Spirit spoke through David about the coming Messiah. Many, (early) Hebrew teachers agreed to the view that this Psalm, in particular, provides us with an insight into what the Messiah would be like, however, recent Jewish scholarship appears to be only focused on disproving the Christian viewpoint.
Psalm 2 (New Living Translation – NLT)
“Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against his anointed one. “Let us break their chains,” they cry, “and free ourselves from slavery to God.”
But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. Then in anger he rebukes them, terrifying them with his fierce fury. For the Lord declares, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain.”
The king proclaims the Lord’s decree: “The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son. Today I have become your Father. Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession. You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.’”
Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. Submit to God’s royal son (pay homage in purity), or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities – for his anger flares up in an instant. But what joy for all who take refuge in him!”
As discussed above, verses from this Psalm are found in the New Testament: Acts, Hebrews and Revelation; I’ve included additional verses as required to provide the context, as follows:
Acts 4: 23-27 (NLT): “As soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said. When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God: “O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them – you spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant, saying,
‘Why were the nations so angry? Why did they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepared for battle; the rulers gathered together against the Lord and against his Messiah (anointed one).’ [from Psalm 2:1-2]
“In fact, this has happened here in this very city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, your holy servant, whom you anointed. But everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will. And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
Acts 13:30-37 (NLT): “But God raised him from the dead! And over a period of many days he appeared to those who had gone with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to the people of Israel. “And now we are here to bring you this Good News. The promise was made to our ancestors, and God has now fulfilled it for us, their descendants, by raising Jesus. This is what the second psalm (verse 7) says about Jesus: ‘You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.’ [or another translation expresses these words, as ‘Today I reveal you as my Son.’]
For God had promised to raise him from the dead, not leaving him to rot in the grave. He said, ‘I will give you the sacred blessings I promised to David.’ Another psalm [Psalm 16, verse 10] explains it more fully: ‘You will not allow your Holy One to rot in the grave.’ This is not a reference to David, for after David had done the will of God in his own generation, he died and was buried with his ancestors, and his body decayed. No, it was a reference to someone else—someone whom God raised and whose body did not decay.”
Revelation 2:24-28a (NLT): “But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them—depths of Satan, actually). I will ask nothing more of you except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come. To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end, To them I will give authority over all the nations. They will rule the nations with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots. They will have the same authority I received from my Father,”
Finally, In Revelation 12:5 and 19:15, we find references to, ‘rule all nations with an iron rod’.
Reflection on Psalm 2
“Why is it, that those who are made by You, want to flee from your love?
Why is it, that those who are appointed by you, want to lead others in rebellion against you?
Why is it, that those who are imprisoned by sin, want to remain in their bondage?
I know that You rule in heaven and your will is done – your Word never returns unanswered.
We see your anger, roam rightly through the words of your Testament, you plait your own whip.
Everyone, now knows that your anointed one; your High Priest is glorified and honored in the City of Peace.
I believe in Jesus; and through Him You are my Father.
I believe, I will see a new heaven and a new earth – there will be no rivals claiming possession.
We, my brothers and sisters, will share in Your Son’s inheritance and His authority.
We have all been warned of your judgement – from the rulers of the mightiest nations to leaders of the desperate and poor.
There is shelter to be found in Your loving embrace, there is joy to be found in serving You.
I understand Your anger with those who follow their own paths, and ignore You: You, who stands with outstretched pierced hands, offering eternal peace and love.”