Sunday, July 16, 2017 Sermon Prep for Psalm 2
This past week, Randall Gruendyke helped us understand from Psalm 122 that it has always been God’s purpose to gather His people together in one particular place under His rule. In Eden, in the City of David, in the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ and finally in the New Jerusalem, God has been preparing a people for His own possession with whom He will dwell forever. As we gather in His house, before His throne as His people, we do so to grow in many ways. “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit,” 2 Corinthians 2:18.
As we learned several weeks ago in our study of Psalm 1, the only Righteous Man, who stays away from all evil and delights in and meditates on God’s Law day and night, is Jesus Christ. No one else can meet this perfect standard of righteousness. But God, in His mercy and compassion on people, has made a way. In Christ we are seen by God as righteous. We become His people. Then we grow into Christ-likeness through the work of the Holy Spirit for the rest of our earthly lives. So we are works in progress who meet together to help and encourage one another to grow.
While we know we, as God’s people, do not need to be afraid of what is happening in the world, still, the clamor and confusion around us is hard to ignore. God knows we can be frightened by this tumult, so He prepared another special message for us. This week, Rob Price will lead us into Psalm 2. Psalm 2 focuses us on the perfect Man and God’s perfect Plan for Him and for us. You may wish to read Psalm 1 again. Then read Psalm 2. Together, these two Psalms form what many have called the Gateway to the Psalms. They let us know what the book is about and who is the main character. Spurgeon has called Psalm 2 the “Psalm of Messiah the Prince.”
Psalm 2 begins with uproar. Nations (gentiles) and people (Israel) are plotting something vain, fruitless, useless. If we read the paper or listen to news reports, how many vain, useless things are even now being discussed and planned? Kings and religious rulers are part of the plot—but against whom? “For truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place,” Acts 4:27-28. Today, in what ways are people plotting against God and His Anointed? What commandments are being thrown off? What godly standards are being negated? The hatred of God’s rule pervades our culture, just as it did in the disciples’ time.
Is God surprised, perplexed, alarmed? How would you feel if you opened your front door one morning to find a praying mantis standing there with claws raised ready for battle, all three inches of him? I think you might smile at the little guy. In this case, God’s laughter doesn’t sound amused. He gives the plotters’ pride the derision it deserves. “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God,’” Psalm 14:1 These people are worse fools—they plot to overthrow the God who created everything including them. God answers them with a taste of His wrath and asserts that His plan for His Anointed is already in place. Nothing anyone can do can change His will or His plan. No tiny human can oppose Him no matter how grandiose his opinion of himself.
In verses 7-9, look who is speaking. Read Hebrews 1:1-5 for an interpretation of these verses. Look at the extent of His kingdom and the effect He will have on the wicked who will not yield. In Psalm 1, the wicked are blown away like chaff. Here a harsher fate awaits. God says He already has installed this king. We don’t see this on earth yet, but His word will stand.
God is merciful. “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance,” 2 Peter 3:9. Verses 10-12 are an invitation to those who have rebelled to do the wise thing. How often have we known what the wise thing was and chose to do something else? Remember some of those things and thank God for all the second chances. He keeps offering Himself to us. Pray that it may not be said of us one day that we “would not.”
Psalm 2 ends as Psalm 1 began—“blessed” are all who take refuge in Him! While we can never be the Righteous Man on our own, in Christ, we can be acceptable to the Lord of the Universe. We can be blessed. We can rejoice in His righteous rule and look forward to its establishment on the whole earth. We have kissed the Son. We bless Him and thank Him that clueless rebels like us can be part of the people for His possession. No matter how things look on earth, we know the end of the story. Again we welcome His promise–“Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! Revelation 22:20
Resources: Spurgeon, Treasury of David, (This website is sometimes unavailable—I suggest the alternate below. It takes you to Verse 1 of Psalm 2 with links to the next verse.) http://www.spurgeon.org/treasury/treasury.php
Bible Gateway, dozens of Bible translations, www.biblegateway.com