Vol. 2 - No. 6
The Psalm of Messiah
by Robert W. Goodman
The second Psalm has no title or author ascribed in the Hebrew. It is in a collection of Psalms of David. Inspiration attributes it to David (Acts 4:25). How shall we view the theme of this Psalm? There are three principal views:
The language and situation cannot be applied fully to David or any earthly king. Zion was not the holy hill during much of David's reign (vs. 6). The LORD did not call David "My Son" nor do we find any time the saying, "Today I have begotten you" applied to David. The dominion referred to in verses 8 and 9 hardly refers to David and neither do the "kiss," "trust" and threat of verse 12. This Psalm may have grown out of some earthly situation, but it is a Messianic Psalm. David and his lineage were typical of Messiah (2 Samuel 7:12-16; Acts 4:25-27).
The Psalm opens showing opposition to the LORD (JHVH) and His Anointed (1-3). It would seem that in view of the great blessings attending Messiah and His kingdom, He would be universally welcomed and gratefully accepted. However no ruler was more widely opposed. There is a general commotion of raging and plotting, but observe this would be "vain." Their plans would fail. Those in high places would unite their efforts against the LORD and His Anointed. Since prophets, priests, and kings were anointed in ancient times, this became an appropriate designation for the Coming One (Daniel 9:25, 26). The gospels tell us of the opposition of the Herods, the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, and the Roman leaders. The resurrection and coming of the Holy Spirit did not stop this opposition (Acts 4:25-27). This is the great struggle of the ages (Genesis 3:15; Revelation 12). The preaching of truth leads to opposition today.
Verse three explains this strange but strong opposition. Because of sin and man's rebellious attitude, men still say, "We will not have this man reign over us" (Luke 19:14). Jesus explained the principle involved here by saying "Men loved darkness rather than light" (John 3:19). This explains why many accept evolution rather than creation, loose views of sex and marriage, and sin in general. It also explains why the unity and simplicity of the Lord's body is not accepted by many.
Notice in this section that the LORD and His Anointed cannot be separated. To oppose one is to oppose the other (John 10:30; 12:44; 1 John 2:23).
In verses 4-6 we have a picture of the Lord's response. Things looked bad on earth. Was God disturbed? Did He feel His cause would fail? He calmly sits in heaven and laughs at their attempts. Despite all their determined efforts, He says, "Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion." The full force of the leadership of the Jews and Romans against the Lord's Anointed could not frustrate God's plan. They crucified the Anointed One, put the seal on His tomb, but on the third day He arose. He ascended and began His reign as was announced in Acts 2. Premillennialism does not accept Psalms 2 or Acts 2. This theory says, "God intended to set up His kingdom but the Jews rejected Jesus so He will come again and set it up." This does great violence to the scriptures. This Psalm asserts man's opposition would not frustrate God's plan. The King was anointed, the kingdom set up and citizens were in it as foretold (Colossians 1:13).
The Lord's Anointed Speaks
The speaker changes in verses 7-9. The Son speaks of the LORD'S decree, solemn appointment or ordinance concerning His rank and dignity. "You are My Son " Jesus was often called the Son. He was the Son by generation (Luke 1:35). Because of His rank and dignity suggested in this statement, He was obviously higher than angels (Hebrews 1:4, 5). But this is not the specific refer. ence. He continues, "Today I have begotten You." This refers not to incarnation but the resurrection (Acts 13:33, 34; Romans 1:4). His Kingship followed His resurrection and ascension (Ephesians 1:20-23).
Part of the LORD'S decree to the Son was His universal dominion (vs. 8). This was not true of David, but of His illustrious Son (Matthew 28:18, 19; Mark 16:15, 16). His dominion is pictured in verse 9 as strong and victorious. This had been foretold (Daniel 2:34, 35). We see references to this in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 15:26; Revelation 19:15, etc.). Those rejecting the Anointed One are pictured as being dashed in pieces like a "potter's vessel." Does this sound too strong to refer to Jesus? Look at Revelation 2:27. It shows what is so clearly taught later that one cannot reject Jesus without suffering serious consequences (John 8:21, 24; 3:36; 12:48). He is the stone which the builders rejected that will crush them in pieces. The world needs to see the consequences of rejecting the meek and mighty King!
The Psalmist exhorts the leaders to be wise. Since all efforts against the LORD and His anointed will fail, don't resist but submit. That submission should lead to a reverent, joyful service (vs. 11). Verse 12 urges, "Kiss the Son." He is deserving. The LORD has given Him honor and position. We are to show proper homage and respect lest we suffer His anger and perish (Luke 13:3). We must honor Him or suffer His "wrath."
The Psalm closes on a joyful note showing the happy state of those who put their trust in Him. The man from Ethiopia exemplifies this point (Acts 8:26-39). He and all who truly trust in the Lord have joy, peace, confidence, stability and a hope that reaches beyond this world of sin. They are assured of eternal victory by their union with One that man cannot defeat.