6. God’s Son

Reaching into the Psalms 1 to 4:  6. God’s Son

Psa 2:7    He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father.

Approach: We noted previously the structure of this psalm, as four sets of three verses in our Bible: v.1-3 The rebellion of the World, v.4-6 God’s sovereign response, v.7-9 His answer – His Son, and v.10-12 Warning to the World

We further noted this this Psalm is all about God. We said v.1-3 is about the rebellion against God, and yesterday we considered v.4-6 which are God’s attitude towards this rebellion. Now we start to consider v.7-9 which are God’s answer to this rebellion.

‘My King’: We might note in passing, as an addendum to the previous study, that when God says, “I have installed my king”, it is a case of Him saying, “You may think that you are rulers, but I – yes I, me the eternal, all-powerful Creator of all things – have set in place MY king, the One I have chosen, and you had better know that He is very different from you. This is a completely different ball game, so you’d better understand it!” This we will see more fully in the next study, but for the present there is another issue to be considered.

Decree: Moving into verse 7 we note a change of speaker, the son. He starts with this declaration: I will proclaim the Lord’s decree.” (v.7a) Now synonyms for ‘decree’ include pronouncement, declaration and ruling, so the son comes to the fore to declare God’s will, God’s intent, God’s activity. He brings us revelation, things we would not know unless told. He is explaining the heart of heaven. Now remember we finished the previous study with the awareness that God laughs at, scoffs at the folly of godless rulers (v.4) and, we were told, rebukes and terrifies them (v.5) by the declaration that followed, that He had installed His king in Zion (v.6). The significance of that we will shortly see but we’ll have to wait until the next study.

The Son: The present speaker now tells what has happened, but before we get into that we need to remove the idea or possible suggestion that this ‘king’, this ‘son‘, as we shall see, is the human writer of this psalm. The descriptions that follow of what God has done for this one goes far beyond anything that might apply to a human being, so we read, “He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father.” (v.7b) Whoever this ‘son’ is (and yes, you can jump to the conclusion that it is Jesus Christ, the Son of God) there is first of all awareness of relationship. This ‘son’ is who he is because of his direct relationship with God (who we often refer to as ‘the Father’) But there is a mystifying ‘today’ in this verse which implies a beginning.

Struggles with the Son: Now history shows us that the church and theologians have struggled not only with the ‘incarnation’ (the becoming human of God) but with the very fact of the ‘Godhead’ comprising Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Westminster Confession of Faith declares quite fully of Jesus, “The Son of God, the second Person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance, and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon him man’s nature, with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof; yet without sin: being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man.”   Wow   Didn’t they do a good job!  Pretty meaty and takes some reading but it seeks to cover all the bases.

So ‘today’?  The Nicene Creed of AD 325 says, “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father.”   The word ‘begotten’ simply means ‘out of’  and so the Son is saying to us that there was a time – yet out of time in eternity (and yes, that is beyond our understanding) when God, who is one, expressed Himself in such a way that there were two consciousnesses, that’s the only way I can describe it, and whenever ‘they’ express themselves it is in yet a third expression of the same consciousness. Let’s try it another way. Imagine an idea, a thought or, as I just said a consciousness, energy with personality as I’ve written previously. This idea, as with all ideas has a life of its own, but now (then) it has an idea and the second idea takes on a life of its own – Father and Son – but now two consciousnesses, energy with personality. Yes, OK, I give up trying to explain it, but at some point in His existence (which thwarts our understanding) He, God, expresses Himself and the Son also exists, He comes ‘out of’ (begotten) the now Father.

Resurrection Context: The apostle Paul uses part of this psalm in an interesting way: “What God promised our ancestors he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: “‘You are my son; today I have become your father.’” (Acts 13:32,33) It is a strange application of Psa 2 and of the various paraphrase version I think the Living gets the closest where it puts it, “Today I have honoured you as my Son,” which could be taken to mean, “By the fact that I have raised you (Jesus) from the dead, I have confirmed your sonship, MY Son, with me being your Father, and honoured you in this way before the watching world.” It is the Father’s way of confirming His Son’s divinity, through the resurrection.

The Son’s Role: So the Son is divine, which is why Jesus spoke about coming down from heaven where, by implication, he already existed. (see Jn 6:41-) When we see Jesus in the Gospels, the Son has a variety of roles. He comes as the Lamb of God (Jn 1:29), God’s means of salvation, he comes as the Word (Jn 1:1,14), God’s communication, he comes as the prophetic Son of Man (Mt 8:20, Dan 7:13,8:17) the Messiah from heaven, he comes as the son of David (Mt 12:22,23, Isa 16:5, Jer 23:5, Ezek 34:23,24) and he comes as the unique Son of God (Mt 3:17, 4:3, 8:28,29, 14:32,33, 16:16, 26:63,64, 27:39,40) All of these descriptions are true and highly significant, but now in these verses there is yet another role that should make these foolish kings quake, that of God’s King! To see this more fully, we need to stop here and pick up the subject afresh in the next study. Let’s finish with the announcement of heaven through the angel to Mary: ”You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Lk 1:31-33)    

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