Summary: A sermon on the second coming of Christ from Psalm 2.
Among the psalms, the second one is unique in three ways:
It is the first of the Messianic Psalms. This psalm speaks of the coming Messiah, declaring His deity and sovereignty.
It is the first of the Judgment Psalms. It is said that Revelation is but a fuller exposition of this psalm, which speaks of God’s judgment on a rebellious mankind associated with the coming of Messiah.
It is the first of the Prophetic Psalms. It tells how the Messiah will reign on the earth, despite the opposition of an unbelieving world.
Here, the utter futility of opposing God is set forth in dramatic poetic form. The psalm falls into four stanzas of three verses each.
1. The Voice Of The Nations - vs. 1-3
Note what we are told about the nature of man’s rebellion against God:
A. It is determined - v. 2a "The kings of the earth take their stand."
B. It is unified - v. 2b "The rulers gather together against the Lord."
C. It is willful - vs. 2c-3 "Let us break their chains."
Unbelieving mankind is unified in a determined effort to say to God, "Not thy will, but mine be done!" But notice the fourth thing we are told about the rebellion of a sinful mankind:
D. It is futile - v. 1 "Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot IN VAIN?"
The psalmist tells us that try as hard as they might, the unbeliever’s rebellion against God will get him nowhere. In fact, in the end, it will be his undoing!
There is an ancient Greek legend that tells of how a certain athlete placed second in a race. The crowd applauded the winner and in time a statue was erected in his honor. It irritated the athlete who had come in second so much, that he was obsessed by it. He wanted to be number one! In anger, he decided to destroy the statue.
A plan took shape in his mind, which he cautiously began to implement. Late each night, when everyone was sleeping, he went to the statue and chiseled at the base hoping to so weaken the foundation that eventually it would topple. One night, as he was chiseling away at the sculpture in violent anger, he went too far. The heavy marble statue teetered on its fragile base and crashed down on top of him. He died beneath the crushing weight of the marble replica of the one he had grown to hate.
In the same way, unbelieving mankind is unified in a determined, willful effort to be free from God. They wish God did not exist, deny that God exists, and shape their lives as though God did not exist.
Determined that they want to be free from God’s rule in their lives, they fight against the very One who can truly set them free! One day, they will go too far, just as did the Greek athlete, and they will find that their rebellion will result in their destruction! Make no mistake against about it. It is futile to fight against God!
Nikita Khrushchev once boasted that he would exhibit the last Soviet Christian on television by 1965. Khrushchev has since gone to give account of himself to the Judge of all mankind, and his deadline for the extinction of Christianity in Russia has also passed. Throughout history, so-called big men and little men have strutted across the stages of life defying God. But in the end, every one has discovered the same thing: it is futile to rebel against God!
Yes, here in verses 1-3, we hear the voice of the nations, as they cry out in their unified, determined, willful, yet futile effort to rebel against God. In the next stanza, we are told of God’s response.
2. The Voice Of The Father - vs. 4-6
In these verses we hear the voice of the Father, and we notice that He responds to mankind’s rebellion with . . .
A. Derision - v. 4 "The One enthroned in heaven laughs."
B. Displeasure - v. 5 "He rebukes them in His anger."
C. A Declaration - v. 6 "I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill."
It’s as if God says to a rebellious mankind, "Ha! Rebel against me all you want. No matter what you do, what I’ve determined will come to pass will come to pass! Look! It’s as good as done. I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill"
A man once met Horace Greely, the famous newspaper editor, on the street and said, "Mr. Greely, I have stopped your paper." "Have you?" Mr. Greely said, "that’s too bad," and went on his way. The next morning, Mr. Greely met the man again, and said, "I thought you had stopped the Tribune?" "So I did," was the reply. "Then there must be some mistake," said Mr. Greely, "for I just came from the office and the presses were running, the clerks were as busy as ever, the compositors were hard at work, and the business was going on as yesterday and the day before." "Oh," said the man, "I didn’t mean I had stopped the entire newspaper. I meant that I had stopped my copy of it because I didn’t like your editorials."