December 2022 : Raging Against God - Psalm 2
Throughout history, God's people have been attacked. In attacking God's people, their opponents actually attack God. We read in the second Psalm,
'Why do the nations rage and the people's plot in vain? The kings of the Earth set themselves against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.'
David, the Lord's chosen and anointed king was often hunted. He found himself on the run both before and after he was made king. He experienced opposition from Saul his predecessor and even from his own son Absalom who overthrew him and chased him out of the city.
Centuries later the perfect Davidic king Jesus who came from his line would be hunted from his earliest days. When Herod heard of the one who would be king of the Jews he attempted to have him killed in paranoid rage by having all the boys under two years old murdered (Matthew 2 v 16-18). Jesus was kept safe by his heavenly father as he sent and angel to tell Mary and Joseph to flee (2 v 13 - 15).
God's plan of salvation would not be thwarted. Jesus grew up and knew what it felt like to have people gather against him and set themselves against him. The pharisees and the scribes sought to find a way to kill him (John 8). They succeeded in this but didn't realise that this was God's plan. This is made clear in the book of Acts where Psalm 2 is quoted. Having been arrested for preaching the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and told not to speak of him they went straight to God's people and prayed. In that prayer they quote Psalm 2 and then say
'For truly in this city were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed both Herod and Pontius Pilate along with the gentiles and the people of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.' (v 27 – 28).
In being being persecuted for their faith they recognise that this is what God's enemies do. As they gathered and raged against Jesus, they will do the same to his people. Yet at the same time they recognise that God is the sovereign one. They are eternally secure and God's plan will prevail. The power of earthly kings and rulers pales in comparison to the king of the universe.
They will continue to attack but God is on his throne. The Lord's Church will suffer but they will live him for eternity and the Lord will bring justice (Revelation 12).
This is what is so foolish about raging against God. It's a bad idea to go to war with God in the first place but even in doing so many have unwittingly carried out God's plan. It is folly to fight him instead we must embrace him and serve him with joy. We must instead take refuge in him. The end of that psalm says to the rulers and kings of the earth,
'Now therefore O kings be wise; be warned O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.' (v 11 – 12).
What is true for the powerful is true for us all. Let us take refuge in the one who was born to save us from our sins. Who is risen and reigning. The one who will return to reign over all things in power and glory.