Jesus Christ is our Savior. But He is also the eternal King. Psalm 2 shows us that His position, His work, and His power demand daily, whole-hearted, humble devotion to Him as our Savior King.
The coronation of a king or queen is quite an elaborate event. It sets the stage for the monarch’s reign. I’m sure Queen Victoria wished she had made a better first impression. To start with, her coronation lasted five hours; it was delayed for a bit because the archbishop put the royal ring on the wrong finger—it took ice and soap to get it off!
Another bishop had just one job, and that was to hand the queen her royal orb. He did, but at the wrong moment, which caused a bit of confusion. But the biggest mistake was when Victoria was reading her royal pledge, the bishop in charge of turning the pages turned two pages at once. Nobody noticed, until after the queen left the stage. She had to come back and finish it. Her coronation made history because of some of these blunders. So much for making a good first impression!
Now Psalm 2 most likely was sung at the coronation of King David and all the kings who followed him. It is a coronation psalm, and it does indeed make a great first impression. It also has special prophetic significance.
Psalm 2 begins by describing the nations, and I believe that every nation since can be described by the words here in this coronation psalm. Three descriptions of the nations of our world stand out to me.
First, the nations are empty. Verse 1 says, “Why do the nations rage, and the peoples plot in vain?” The Hebrew word for “vain” means “empty,” and the word “plot” means “to growl.” The nations growl with empty threats they cannot follow through on. God does not feel threatened at all.
Second, the nations are rebellious. In verse 2, the psalmist says, “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed.” These nations—these kings—are plotting to overpower the Lord Himself. That isn’t going to work either.
Third, the nations are described not only as empty and rebellious but also as violent. In verse 3, the earth’s kings say, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” In other words, the nations are planning a violent rebellion against God and Israel’s king.
Now with that, the psalmist turns our attention to some of the attributes of the Lord.
First, God is all-knowing. We read in verse 4, “He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.” God is not frightened by the rebellious plots of these nations; He is actually humored. He laughs at the utter foolishness of their plans.
Second, God is all-powerful. Look at verses 5 and 6: “Then [the Lord] will speak to them in his wrath … . . saying, ‘As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.’” Zion is another term for Jerusalem.
So, what God has done in crowning David as king, no amount of plotting can undo. The coronation cannot be interrupted.
Now the anointed king, begins to deliver his coronation speech:
I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” (verses 7-9)
As David ascends his throne, he is confident that God has chosen him as king, that God has adopted him as His son.
It was a common practice for pagan kings to claim to be the adopted son of their local, national god. So, what is at stake here is not just the reputation of David but the reputation of God as well. Is this an empty claim here—that David’s kingdom will be superior to the kingdoms of the world?
Well, God does something to make sure the nations know that the promises He makes to King David here in Psalm 2 are not just for show.
Back in 2 Samuel chapter 7, the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to David some years after his coronation with this promise:
When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you . . . I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.(verses 12-13)
Forever? That’s quite a promise. Who can unseat a “forever” King?
Well, this “forever” King is a prophetic application of God’s promise here in Psalm 2:7: “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.”
Ask yourself this: What son of David would rule over a kingdom forever? None of his sons lasted all that long on the throne. Well, here is the clue—the Son of David is also called here the Son of God. Again, verse 7 reads: “The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son; today I have begotten you.”
Just in case there is any doubt who God had in mind, the apostle Paul preached centuries later in Acts chapter 13:
“We bring you the good news that what God promised . . . this he has fulfilled . . . by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’” (verses 32-33)
Paul combined God’s promises to David in Psalm 2 with 2 Samuel 7 and made it very clear that the resurrected Jesus—a descendant of King David—is also the Son of God, the eternal King who will one day rule the nations of the world.
What plotting and strategy can any nation devise against Jesus? He is the resurrected Son of God, the promised King, the descendant of David.
So, God now invites the nations to put down their puny little weapons, their pride, and their plotting and fall on their knees in surrender to Israel’s eternal King Jesus. He says in verse 10, “Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.” Yes, be wise, be warned, seek after the eternal King who is offering you terms of surrender and everlasting peace.
The psalm ends with an open invitation to the nations—to all the people on Planet Earth:
“Kiss 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.” (verse 12)
Kissing the Son is an expression of humility and reverence. This is not the fake kiss of a Judas; this is the kiss of honor and worship and loyalty to Christ, the everlasting King.
Let me tell you, Queen Victoria’s coronation made history for some of the wrong reasons; the coronation of King Jesus is still making history. The one who came as King, entering Jerusalem riding a donkey to shouts of “Hosanna!” left behind an empty tomb. And that empty tomb declares to the world that He is the living Savior who will one day return and fulfill the promise of Psalm 2—He will reign on David’s throne.
And today, my friend, no matter what nation you live in, you are invited to come and kneel before Him and claim Him as your own personal Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
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“The Horribly-Bungled Coronation of Queen Victoria,” Commonplace Fun Facts, January 10, 2020, https://commonplacefacts.wordpress.com