A psalm for our time, a psalm for all time

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In light of the resurrection of Christ, we can clearly see the warning and the blessing in this Davidic Psalm, warning because Jesus is Lord, the blessing because Jesus is Lord. In this Psalm we are reading about the Lord’s anointed (Messiah) and for those who are less familiar with this psalm than others, here are a few fixed points. verse 1-2 speaks of the crucifixion, verse 7 speaks of the resurrection and v9 speaks of the rod of iron, in other words, the rule of Christ over the nations. Those who trust in God’s word will be blessed but those who rage against him will face His wrath.

Why do the nations rage?

When we hear of men in scripture standing strong, like Moses and Joshua, being strong and courageous, they are able to be that way because the Lord their God is with them. This is the reason why no other man is able to stand against them. The balance has shifted because no man can stand against God and no nation full of men can stand against Him either. God, therefore, is the defender of the present kingdom, and David recognises that his kingdom is but a shadow of things to come.

David’s temporal kingdom looked forward to God’s eternal kingdom and as we listen to the preaching of Jesus we learn that the kingdom of God is at hand. When the world rages, it does so against God and His anointed, but they do so in vain as their efforts to disturb Christ and His kingdom fail. Those who go to war with God will fail, even when they wage war against kingdom people (Acts 4:24-28). However, as we see in the personification of v3 they are determined to overthrow what God establishes and their refusal to submit to the authority of Christ’s rule over them is clearly expressed.

How can any king, President, Prime Minister or any government authority stand against the Lord’s anointed? When God laughs we see His sovereign position and power. When God ordains that the reign of His Son will have its own trouble, He does not do this because He is a neglectful father but rather because it exposes the hearts of rebellious people and at the same time, how their rebellion accomplishes nothing. God is patient with the ungodly and Christ will demonstrate what covenantal faithfulness looks like as God will set His Son as King on Zion, His holy hill v6.

At the baptism of Jesus, we hear the words of the Father regarding His son, a declaration that this person Jesus is His son in whom He is well pleased (v7). Begotten not made and the nations will be His heritage and the ends of the earth His possession. This is not something which happened in the reign of David but which does happen in the reign of Christ. Those who seek to rebel, refusing to submit to the authority of Christ have their future described to them, they will be like broken pottery scattered they will never to be a whole person or be a people of a kingdom.

Kiss the Son

If you are truly wise then you will submit and kiss the Son, you will serve the Lord with fear, joy and trembling. Therefore, kiss the Son and do not stir the wrath of God against yourself and perish in your way. His wrath will be quickly kindled. Those who trust in the word of God are trusting in God Himself and those who do receive the blessing, knowing that they have received the blessing through the warning of judgement.

Those who take refuge in the Lord, do so from the Lord’s wrath against those who rebel against Him. Since there are no hiding places from God in all of His creation, we recognise that there can be no safe place other than taking refuge in Him. This is the blessing, the blessing of refuge in God from God’s wrath.

 

By Daniel Ralph

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