Summary: Don’t listen to the voice of rebellion. Instead, listen to the Father’s voice of rebuke, the Son’s voice of resolve, and the Spirit’s voice of reason: Jesus is King. Worship, honor, and trust Him.
S. I. McMillen, in his book None of These Diseases, tells a story of a young woman who wanted to go to college, but her heart sank when she read the question on the application blank that asked, “Are you a leader?”
Being both honest and conscientious, she wrote, “No,” and returned the application, expecting the worst. To her surprise, she received this letter from the college: “Dear Applicant: A study of the application forms reveals that this year our college will have 1,452 new leaders. We are accepting you because we feel it is imperative that they have at least one follower.”
Everybody thinks they’re a leader. A lot of people want to be in charge – people like Ted Cruze and Hillary Clinton, but God has made it clear, “There is only One who is in charge.” God has installed his King, and that King is Jesus.
2,000 years ago, Jesus presented Himself as Israel’s king on that first Palm Sunday, but they rejected him. The question is: How are we going to respond to His rule over our lives? How are we going to respond to the Lordship of Jesus Christ? Are we going to fight it or welcome it?
Psalm 2:1-3 Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” (ESV)
They don’t like it that God’s King is in power. They don’t like it that Jesus is God’s Anointed One (the one chosen by God to rule), and they want to throw off His rule. To them, being under Christ’s authority is like being in prison. It’s like being all tied up, and they want to break free from those bonds. This first voice, the voice of the nations, is…
THE VOICE OF REBELLION.
It’s the voice of resistance and revolt. It’s the voice of defiance.
People do not want to submit to God’s rule in their lives. Now, this has been true throughout all of history. In Bible days, when a new king came to the throne in Israel, the surrounding nations saw it as an opportunity to rebel. They were paying taxes to the old king, and some of them were under his control. But when a new king came to power, someone who was untested and untried, they saw weakness and the opportunity to throw off his control.
Originally, this psalm was composed as a coronation psalm, celebrating the coronation of a new King in Israel. It was sung at his coronation ceremony and reflects on the attitude of the surrounding nations. They conspired and plotted to overthrow this new king. They came together to stand against him. Their conspiracy is the “council of the wicked” in Psalm 1:1. They stand in the way of sinners, and they sit in the seat of scoffers.
But, as we shall see, it will do them no good. They will not be able to overthrow God’s king, no matter what.
People always rebelled when a new king came on the throne. So it is no surprise that people rebelled when Jesus came on the scene, proclaiming to be their king. In Acts 4, Peter quotes this very psalm, when he describes Herod, Pontius Pilate and the Sanhedrin, Gentile Kings and Jewish Rulers, conspiring together to crucify Christ (Acts 4:25-27).
They didn’t want Him as their King, but it didn’t do them any good, did it? Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead, and now He is at the right hand of the Father in the place of ALL authority over EVERY king and ruler on this earth, over EVERY king and ruler under the earth, and over EVERY king and ruler in Heaven itself.
People throughout history have rebelled against God’s King, and they still rebel against him today. There are many today who still refuse to submit to Christ.
William Ernest Henley’s poem, Invictus, is a popular poem used at many commencement ceremonies around the country in the spring. It’s a poem which expresses defiance against all gods, including the true and living God of the Bible. The last stanza goes like this:
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
For over a hundred years, Henley's poem has inspired many people. In the 1980s, the poem encouraged former South African president Nelson Mandala throughout the dark days of his imprisonment. Years later, Clint Eastwood used it as the title for his popular film about the South African rugby team.