Short Meditations in Psalms: 2.12 Reverence would be wise!
Psa 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
And so we come to the last of the final three verses that challenge the readers to have a right response to God, to repent and to change from being like those kings or rulers described in the first three verses.
I have always remember the picture I heard of once, of cows in a big grassy field surrounded by an electric fence. Despite the amount of grass in the field, so often the cows wandered over close to the fence and even stretched under to bottom line of wire to see just how far they could go.
This last verse counsels us not to see ‘how far we can go’! Let’s take the verse in reverse order. In the previous verse we noted that God is all-powerful and that He can deal with individuals or nations exactly as He pleases and we saw that in the way He dealt with Pharaoh who opposed Moses. Basically God can discipline in a small way or a major way and can bring terminal judgment when He considers it necessary. The truth is that He gets angry, and rightfully so, when He sees wrong things. It is right to be angry about child abuse, spousal abuse, slave trading and so on. These are wrong things that cause pain and hurt to others. A casual response to such things indicates an insensitivity or indifference which is almost opposite to the compassion we see Jesus exhibiting. Compassion causes action and similarly righteous anger causes action. Very well, says the psalmist, don’t be like those foolish cows trying to see how far you go before you evoke a response from God because before you know it you may have crossed the line and provoked the strong wrath of God on your folly. If God sees your hard heartedness which means you are impervious to His warnings, then don’t complain if He sees the only way to stop your folly harming or damaging His world and spreading and spreading this godless, self-centredness like a plague, is to wipe it out.
Note the “you be destroyed in your way.” This means you are set in a rut, fixed in your ways and there destruction will find you. Your heart, your mind, your attitudes and then your actions eventually cross the line of God’s tolerance and there eventually comes His action against your folly that doesn’t merely bring disciplinary correction, for it has gone beyond that, but it brings destruction. We think we are in control of ourselves but many find that having gone down the path of rejection of God and of His ways, they find themselves accepting and tolerating more and more things that we once found unacceptable. ‘Kiss the son’ is a mark of worship, the mark of a citizen bowing before their sovereign. Maintain that attitude and remain safe.