Monday, May 31, 2004

Psalm 2: Heir of All Nations

1Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
2The 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."
4He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
5Then 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."
7I will tell of the decree:
The LORD said to me, "You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
8Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
9You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."
10Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
111Serve the LORD with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
12Kiss 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.

Psalm 2 is a mini-lesson in postmillennialism.

In the first three verses, we read of universal rebellion against the Lord. This was fulfilled during Christ’s ministry:

26The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed'--27for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. (Acts 4:26-28)

And it is still true today, as all manner of leaders seek to portray God and Christianity as inconsequential superstitions, if not an outright evil given its intolerance for secular humanism, nihilism, hedonism, and all false gods and religions.

These verses do not forecast of a military attack of the forces of the Lord, but rather a push by the world’s leaders to turn the eyes and hearts of the people away from God.

In verses 4-6, we read of God’s utter disrespect for their laughable efforts. In verse 6 we read why their efforts are doomed to fail: because of the King of Zion (Jerusalem).

Now this is not, as dispensationalists teach, a reference to the Second coming. Psalm 2 is clearly related to the first advent, as indicated by many New Testament references including Christ's baptism (Matt 3:17) and transfiguration (Matt 17:5) and perhaps most fatal to the dispensational view, to his resurrection
32And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, "'You are my Son,
today I have begotten you.' (Acts 13:32-33)

It is clear that Psalm 2 finds the start of its fulfillment at the first coming, not the second.

In verse 8, we read something interesting: If the son asks, then the Father will make Him the ruler of all nations (not just Israel) and possessor of the entire earth (not just Israel). We know that Christ did ask, for He commissioned His disciples:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (Matt 28:19)

In verse 9, ultimate victory is promised. The victory, in which we play an active role, is not a military one at Armageddon, but a spiritual victory
3For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, (2 Cor 10:3-5)
In short, Psalm 2 promises a church victorious and the success of the great commission. It strongly supports the postmillennial view.

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