Reaching into the Psalms 1 to 4: 7. God’s King
Psa 2:6,8 “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain…. I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.
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. So we have been seeing God’s response to the foolish leaders of the world, a response that reveals Him both laughing and angry, a response that reveals Him declaring “I have installed my king”, in direct opposition to their petty kingships, a king who is His Son.
Cultural King? Now when we come to the Gospels we find a number of references to Jesus being a king, for example, “Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?” (Mt 2:1,2) The ‘wise men’ clearly expected to find a king. Nathaniel, likewise, expected the Messiah to be a king: “Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” (Jn 1:49) After the feeding of the five thousand, the crowd obviously had the same idea, “Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself,” (Jn 6:15) and on ‘Palm Sunday’ that is still evident: “They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the King of Israel!” (Jn 12:13). In his last hours after he was arrested, “they began to accuse him saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king,” (Lk 23:2) and finally before Pilate, “Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.” (Mt 27:11)
Other-worldly king: However, it is left to John to recount the fuller extent of that encounter: “Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” ….. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (Jn 18:33,36,37) Do you see this, Jesus says he is a king, but not of ‘this world’ and he has come to testify to the truth of that.
The King Prophesied: The truth is that Jesus was and is a king far greater than just a king over a single nation. Isaiah prophesied: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders….. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” (Isa 9:6,7) David, the psalmist, also had a prophetic element in many of his psalms and so we find, ““The LORD says to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet. The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies.” (Psa 110:1,2) Into the New Testament the apostle Paul with great revelatory insight declared, “Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” (1 Cor 15:24,25).
Big Picture: So what is the truth about Jesus? He IS God’s king, the One chosen to rule over ALL things, but this king doesn’t impose himself and destroy human free will, but he does speak and act into his world to bring his way, the will of God, the kingdom of God, here on earth, in the midst of his enemies, yes all those conspiring nations, plotting peoples, uprising kings and rulers of this present psalm. Yes, he is working against their unrighteous thoughts, words, and deeds, (today largely through the Church but also through circumstances) until one day he will say, ‘Enough!’ and we will see the events of Revelation 19 being unfolded as he returns as a conquering king to subdue forcefully all this nonsense he has tolerated for so long.
Submissive Authority: One of the marvels of the Godhead is the way the Son always is submissive to the Father. All authority is the Father’s, delegated to the Son, expressed by the Spirit, and so when it comes to this time of winding up all things, the Father says to the Son, “Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession,” (v.8) and if we are in any doubt about the outcome, He continues, “You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” (v.9) What a graphic and dynamic way of saying they will not withstand you but will be utterly devastated and their folly totally ended!
Legitimate Fear: THAT is why the writer is able to say, “He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath,” (v.5) as He goes on to declare before these peoples, kings and rulers what IS happening. If only they could grasp an iota of this they would be humbled, but the folly of Sin blinds them and so most of them will not see it until after death. This king IS ruling now, yes, subtly, quietly, behind the scenes so to speak, and for those with eyes to see, it is sometimes scary, but nothing like it will be for them when he returns in open power. This truth should scare the life out of such people and bring them on their knees to the Cross but, as we said, the blindness of Sin means they mostly don’t see it, but that will not stop the psalmist warning them and that we will see in the concluding last three verses in the next study.