Summary: Exposition of Psalm 2 regarding the rebellious heart of men against God and His Christ

Text: Psalm 2:1-12, Title: Ragin’ Nations, Date/Place: NRBC, 11/23/08, AM

A. Opening illustration: We want, in fact, not so much a Father in heaven as a grandfather in heaven--a senile benevolence who, as they say, "liked to see young people enjoying themselves" and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, "a good time was had by all."

B. Background to passage: some indications are that Psalm 2 was actually a continuation of Psalm 1. If so it is the response of the divine to the global choosing of the path of the wicked. At any rate the psalm describes the relationship between the bulk of humanity and the God rules over the all.

C. Main thought: we will see four sections of the text that set forth different aspects of the divine reality.

A. Human self-determination (v. 1-3)

1. The picture in these three verses is of many kings and leaders of nations coming together in a concerted effort to buck the rulership of God and His Messiah. They want to break off the rule of God that is over them. This is the core sin of all humanity and all humans. They do not want to be told what to do. No one likes submission, self-denial, or Lordship. People desire to have the final say in what they do. In fact, the most supreme offense in our nation, and maybe our world is a violation of civil rights.

2. John 15:23, Rom 1:30,

3. Illustration: tell about Kaitlann the other night telling Mackenzie over and over what was about to happen to her, then Mackenzie said that “God is the boss.” Eamon De Valera was an Irish statesman who served three times as prime minister of Ireland and subsequently as her president. After the Easter rebellion of 1916, De Valera was sentenced to penal servitude. While traveling to prison, he took out his pipe and was about to light it when he stopped suddenly and said, “I will not let them deprive me of this pleasure in jail!” He immediately threw away the pipe and from that day on he never smoked again. According to sociologist Robert Bellah, 81 percent of the American people also say they agree that “an individual should arrive at his or her own religious belief independent of any church or synagogue.” Thus the key to the paradox is the fact that those who claim to be Christians are arriving at faith on their own terms, In the summer of 1986, two ships collided in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia. Hundreds of passengers died as they were hurled into the icy waters below. News of the disaster was further darkened when an investigation revealed the cause of the accident. It wasn’t a technology problem like radar malfunction—or even thick fog. The cause was human stubbornness. Each captain was aware of the other ship’s presence nearby. Both could have steered clear, but according to news reports, neither captain wanted to give way to the other. Each was too proud to yield. By the time they came to their senses, it was too late.

4. Most of us relish our own autonomy. We like being the boss. We do not like to be forced to do anything. First, we must realize that to be forced to do something is not the worse thing in the world. Any time you rebel against authority you are rebelling against God. Any time that we say, “I know what the bible says, but…” we are taking up arms against God and His Christ. It is at the very core of our being to rebel against God. Our hearts are not unlike the hearts of these earthly kings. We hate God, we hate His rules, His standards, His word, His church, and His saints. And sometimes we don’t even inquire of His will. This is a reason that good strong preaching and good strong leadership is usually rejected. We also see many national and international leaders to shake their fists in God’s face and dare Him to act.

B. Divine laughter and scorn (v. 4-6)

1. In the next three verses God responds to the nations attempts to break the cords of God’s authority. This is the only time in scripture that God is said to laugh. But this is not a good laugh. He scoffs, or chides the people to their faces with ridicule. He is angry, intimidating, and displeased. And speaks to these puny little creatures about His King that He has set up in His city.

2. Ps 46:6, Deut 7:10, Ps 115:3, 135:6,

3. Illustration: “Of thirty Roman emperors, governors of provinces and others in high office, who distinguished themselves by their zeal and bitterness in persecuting the early Christians, one became speedily deranged after some atrocious cruelty, one was slain by his own son, one became blind, the eyes of one started out of his head, one was drowned, one was strangled, one died in a miserable captivity, one fell dead in a manner that will not bear recital, one died of so loathsome a disease that several of his physicians were put to death because they could not abide the stench that filled his room, two committed suicide, a third attempted it but had to call for help to finish the work, five were assassinated by their own people or servants, five others died the most miserable and excruciating deaths, several of them having an untold complication of diseases, and eight were killed in battles, or after being taken prisoners. Among these was Julian the Apostate. In the days of his prosperity he is said to have pointed his dagger to heaven, defying the Son of God whom he commonly called the Galilean. But when he was wounded in battle, he saw that all was over with him, and he gathered up his clotted blood and threw it into the air, exclaiming, thou has conquered, O thou Galilean.” –Spurgeon, “This is what human attempts to throw off the rule of God deserve.” –Boice,

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