Sermons

Summary: The first two psalms are often considered to be designed as a pair serving as an introduction to the 150-psalm collection. The first psalm describes the difference between the blessed man and the evil man, and Psalm 2 is about triumph over the forces that oppose the faith.

For Sermon Central researchers: I have posted a series of 15 sermons on the Psalms. In recent personal studies I have found the psalms to be richer and more thought-provoking than I had fully appreciated. I had too often swept swiftly through psalms without slowing down to inquire as thoroughly as I might have into the depths of meaning and feeling that are expressed by the psalmists. Upon deeper examination and reflection, I find the psalms to be highly relevant to Christians in every age. My most recent foray into the psalms led me to present a series of studies of selected psalms in a class environment.

In my classes I did not examine every psalm, or every verse of the ones I did. Rather, I presented selected psalms that I believe to be representative of the collection in the book of Psalms. The studies were held in a class environment suitable for pauses for questions and discussion, and to pose “thought questions” where the meanings are not readily apparent, as is often the case in poetry. My notes include suggested points for such pauses, and I have not removed them in Sermon Central posts.

I developed the material with the view in mind that the series may be well used as sermons. There is an introductory sermon that describes what psalms are (whether they are in the 150-chapter book or elsewhere) and explains my approach to the series. The psalms I selected were presented in no particular order in the classes; however, I suggest that anyone using this material as a series begin with the introductory sermon and follow it with Psalms 1 and 2 in that order, as the first two psalms function as a pair. Beyond that, the selected psalms may be presented in any order.

To get as much enjoyment as we could from our study, I did some of the reading from the KJV, which I believe is the most beautiful of the English bible translations. For clarity we also used other versions, mainly ESV, which I have used for several years and the one I have come to prefer.

Psalm 2

Outline of Psalm 2

I. Historically, civil governments are often more hostile than friendly to Christianity

II. Christ’s kingdom will prevail anyway (vs4-9)

III. Rulers of the earth, be warned

IV. Blessing for those who take refuge in the Son.

Read Psalm 2

This is the first of the Messianic psalms.

As I said a couple of weeks ago, Psalm 2 is about the Messiah’s universal sovereignty, against which nothing can prevail.

Unlike Psalm 1, this psalm is not anonymous.

Although the author is not given in a title, it is quoted in Acts 4: 25-26 as coming from the “mouth of our father David … by the Holy Spirit.” More on that quote later…

The psalm is divided into four stanzas of three verses each:

In the first three, we are spectators of vividly painted scenes.

In the last the psalmist exhorts the rebels to come to allegiance.

This is a Psalm of Messiah the Prince or King.

It sets forth the opposition of the people against the Lord's anointed, the purpose of God to exalt his own Son, and the ultimate reign of that Son over every enemy.

Vs1-3 describe nations that rage and are hostile to God.

Is what is described in this psalm a universal rule that holds true for every nation?

No. I believe this pertains to nations openly against God, trying to destroy the kingdom of Christ.

Is this about the United States?

Potentially, but as things stand currently, I think not.

Despite some alarming trends, to my mind the U.S. is a wonderful country - an exception to the norm.

While we are increasingly experiencing erosion of the blessings we are used to, those liberties we are losing are outside historical norms.

But Christians must not be guided by the legality or criminality of a sinful act.

It has always been legal to sin in a multitude of ways, but to the Christian, legality is not license. Christians are guided by a higher calling than to do everything the law of man allows.

I believe this psalm is about those governments that intentionally and overtly set themselves in direct opposition to belief and practice of faith in the God of heaven and earth.

That is my opinion.

According to figures released by Open Doors, the persecution of Christians took a massive jump last year, stating that 30 million people were added bringing the number of Christians vulnerable to persecution to 248 million, a 13.9% increase over 2017.

It is part growing trend of Christian persecution seen around the world seen in recent years. Five years ago, Open Door only had one country on its severe persecution list and in 2018, there are now 11.

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