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PSALM TWO: AGAINST THE LORD AND HIS ANOINTED
by Philip Owen

             Panoramic in scope, Psalm Two is, nevertheless, personal in application.  Though it sweeps across more than two thousand years of human history, viewing it broadly as rebellion against God, the psalm includes every person as personally and individually guilty and without hope apart from God’s mercy.  Verses two and three read thus:  “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against his anointed saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”

            We noted last week that Acts 4:23-28 (see also Acts 2:22-24) offers inspired commentary on this section of the psalm, revealing that the actions and attitudes described refer to the deed that was perpetrated against Christ when He was crucified.  But in a more general way, it charts the entire course of world history during “the times of the Gentiles” (Lk. 21:24), which began when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and will continue until the Second Advent of Christ.  Our text characterizes this entire time as a period during which “the kings of the earth set themselves,” or “take their stand,” and “the rulers take counsel,” or “plot” in one gigantic conspiracy.  Remember, this is God’s view of historic events.  He knows and sees all.  From His perspective, these “times of the Gentiles,” which includes our time, involves one long rebellious intrigue against God and the Son of God, “against the Lord, and against his anointed.”

            We need only to note major nations and events in the last century to illustrate the validity of this view that the course of history is rebellion against God.  The Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Communist China—all were nations overtly opposed to God and to His Son.  Today, we have the rise of Islamic nations, engaged in jihad ostensibly, and in particular against Israel and the United States, but ultimately against the triune God of the Bible.  At the same time, God’s chosen people, Israel, though under incessant and increasing attack from Islamic forces, continue in their steadfast rejection of Christ.  And who could legitimately deny that the federal government of the United States of America, with the acquiescence of perhaps a majority of its citizens, is actively engaged in a war against God and all that His Word commands?  Once called a “Christian nation,” and certainly having been founded upon many scriptural principles and with many godly influences, this nation has in recent decades rebelled more and more against the righteous ways of God.  “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” has become the overt cry of many of our nation’s presidents, legislators, and courts.  Rather than approving and promoting what God declares to be right, many of our nation’s leaders have despised and rejected biblical morals, deeming them to be chains of bondage.  As in Jeremiah’s day, “they have known the way of the Lord, and the judgment of their God:  but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds” (Jer. 5:5).

            In recent years, the United States has gone from being a post-Christian nation to being an anti-Christian nation.  We began by embracing biblical principles, devolved to rejecting them, and have now degenerated to attacking them.  As our text will make clear, the whole world will soon engage in entire and open rebellion against God, worshiping the Beast, and coming under the complete judgment of God during the seven-year Tribulation.

             God knows the beginning from the end.  He has foreseen all.  He is working all things according to the counsel of His own will—even man’s total rebellion.  Psalm Two explains all this and offers hope and encouragement to those who trust in the living God and His eternal Son and Savior.  

Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee:

the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.

(Psalm 76:10)

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