Todays readings… Genesis 1&2, Psalm 1&2, Matthew 1&2
The first 12 weeks of the year involve reading the Psalms; they are so often personal and wonderfully thought provoking. Psalm 2 has 4 verses which have been familiar to us in the last week because they are in Handel’s Messiah. “Why do the nations rage and the people plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against his anointed” [v.1,2]
Christ is the ‘anointed’ – that is what the word ‘christ’ means. Earth’s rulers plot in vain against what the LORD purposes to accomplish. Peter quoted this Psalm when he and John were released from prison. (Acts 4 v.23-26) But, much of God’s word, while having at times, intermediate applications, have an ultimate fulfilment as these words certainly do.
We live in an age when the atheists and agnostics are multiplying; they believe they are succeeding in their efforts to do away with divine principles: they are saying, as this Psalm puts it in v.3, “Let us burst their bonds apart (asunder) and cast away their cords (restraints) from us.” The following verse gives us the LORD’s reaction to this, “He who sits in the heavens laughs; the LORD holds them in derision.” God’s punishments were clearly evident when so many of the Kings that followed David’s era ignored the restraints of the divine laws. But note! Today’s Psalm is primarily addressed to “the nations” and “the kings of the earth.”
So what will God do? Verse 5 tells us, “then he will speak to them in his wrath and terrify them in his fury” and this fury is associated with the time when, as the next verses put it, “I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill” And the LORD says to the king, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you, Ask of me and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them … and dash them in pieces …”
How parallel this is with what we have just been reading in Malachi and Revelation! But the last words in this Psalm are for us at that time – if our attitude is right – we read, “Blessed are all those who take refuge in him.”