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Why Do We Sing Psalm 2?


1 Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”

4 He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6 “As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”

7 I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.”

10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
12 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.

It has become common, especially in American culture, to root for the underdog. In movies, we’ve come to expect the undersized, outmatched group to triumph over the bigger, stronger opponent. It should come as no surprise, considering the birth of the USA is, in fact, such a story.

What we tend to forget is the stories that don’t make it into movies or books – the countless times when an extremely powerful force did exactly what you would expect to a weaker opponent. We prefer it when the undefeated champion loses to the unknown player or when a small, rebel force somehow puts a stop to an evil empire’s plans. We prefer it because it is so easy to identify with the underdog

But what if we were the favored ones? What if we were part of the team that couldn’t lose? Well, that would change everything. That is precisely the picture in Psalm 2.

The Revolt (vv. 1-3)

The throne room, where only one king is meant to reign, has turned into a boxing ring. In one corner, the anointed one, sponsored by Yahweh Himself, the king in the line of David. In the other corner, all the rebel kings who don’t want him to rule over them (which is to say that they don’t want God to rule over them, since He is the one who set the king in his place).

God’s Response (vv. 4-6)

Before the match even begins, all you can hear is a thunderous noise which seems to reverberate throughout the entire room. God is laughing. He sees the opponent’s forces and simply laughs. They are no match for the King that God Himself has put in place.

But he will not laugh forever. Eventually there is another thunderous noise: God speaking to them in his wrath. And what will he say? “Behold my King.”

The King speaks (vv. 7-9)

The king recalls what was said at his coronation by Yahweh: “You are my son.” If we recall that God calls the nation of Israel His firstborn son (Exodus 4:22), it makes sense that the king, who is supposed to represent the people of God, is called a son.

But there is coming another son, an ultimate Son, the one they would call the Messiah. The Messiah embodied many things to Israel, but the primary picture was always that of a king who would bring the truth to the nations.

A Word to the Wise (vv. 10-12)

So the options are clear for these nations, their rebellious leaders, and all who would oppose the anointed king of Yahweh. 

1) Continue to rebel against an all-powerful king and eventually perish, or

2) Kiss the Son. Respect Him, honor Him, take refuge in Him.

Why sing Psalm 2? Sing it because your Savior is king. Sing it because God is so powerful that He laughs at the world’s best efforts to thwart His plans (and therefore, so can you). Sing Psalm 2 because “blessed are all who take refuge in him.”

God did not just promise blessing to Israel, but he used Israel’s king to bring blessing to the whole world, and even though every human except for Jesus has rebelled against God at some point, God is patient. He waits and continually shows us grace. But He will not wait forever. So sing this also because there are those who are still rebelling against God, and they need to know that their only hope is in King Jesus.

To help you sing this beautiful truth, consider these songs:

All Glory, Laud, and Honor

Crown Him with Many Crowns

Hail to the Lord’s Anointed

Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah


Pastor Randy I love it. My Son gave me Timothy Keller. The Songs of JESUS. A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms. Thank You Pastor.
Thank you Randy! Great songs to share such beautiful truths.

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