How Does The Psalms 2 Speak Of The Future Messiah?

Christmas Series:Messianic Psalms  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  47:17
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The Messianic Psalms: How Does The Psalms 2 Speak Of The Future Messiah?
I. Introduction
Poetry grips the reader, it enacts an ever-grasping hold on the mind, it is beautiful; poetry speaks to the heart and mind unlike any other literary genre. The Book of Psalms is God’s poetry, written under the direction of the Spirit over a number of years. The 150 chapters in Psalms were meant to be sung in Hebrew worship services. Christopher J. H. Wright is the author of Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament, he writes, “the rich heritage of worship in Israel was part of the very fabric and furniture of the mind of Jesus.”[1] However, certain poems in the book of Psalms allude to the Messiah. The Psalms entitled the Messianic Psalms, “Prophecies in the psalms anticipates both comings of Christ. They foretell His birth; His character; His death, burial and resurrection; His ascension and His coming again.”[2]
Hebrew poetry adds to the content of the Messianic Psalms by serving as an instrument of expression for what might otherwise be so overwhelming as to stifle the heart and vision of the psalmist. Whether the Hebrew pattern of rhyming ideas, instead of words, is used to describe Christ’s suffering or His coming glory, these poetic frameworks help to draw out the emotion of the moment. It not only allows for, but also prescribes by its very format the psalmist to give a detailed description of the event. The emotional descriptions and personal assessment of future events these Psalms give us help reinforce the literalness of their fulfillment. It is one thing to read a prophecy the Messiah will suffer, it is quite another to read detailed descriptions of His agonies (e.g. Psalm 22).
Who is the Messiah and when is his return expected? These questions can be answered in an analysis of the Messiah Psalms and direct comparison with evidence from the New Testament. Messianic Psalms and observes how the psalms speak of the future Messiah. The Messianic Psalms are those psalms that point to the coming of Christ.
Boice records, “There is a debate among Old Testament scholars as to whether Psalm 2 can be considered messianic. That is, does it speak specifically of Jesus Christ? This is a complicated question with which we will deal again in the expositions of other psalms. But I say at the outset that if any psalm can rightly be regarded as messianic, it is this one. Psalm 2 speaks of the rebellion of the world’s rulers against God’s Anointed—the actual word is Messiah—and of the Father’s decree to give him dominion over them. This determination, plus the psalm’s ready and obvious application to the hostile circumstances of their day, made Psalm 2 one of the psalms most quoted by the writers of the New Testament.”[3]
There are three types of messianic psalms within the book of psalms. There are the “direct messianic,” which contain the prophesies of Christ’s coming, and relate to Him alone (such as Psalms 22, 45, 72, and 110). There are the “typically messianic,” which refer to some historical situation concerning an earthly king who is a type of Christ. And there are the psalms that contain a mixture of the first two. That is Psalm 2.
Jesus is the Messiah and the one alluded to in the Psalms. The line and linage of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 1, provides a direct fulfillment of Israel redemption. The Pharisees knew Genesis 12 and the promise to Abraham, yet they missed it. Jesus explained this in the Parable of the Tenants in Matthew 21:33-41 and verse 42 which reads, “42 Jesus said to them, " Have you never read in the Scriptures: 'The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord's doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes'?”
Wright wrote this, “He was the climax and fulfillment of the hope of Israel and the beginning of hope of the nations...[4]” Wright states, “The Old Testament is full of future hope. It looks beyond itself to an expected end.[5]” The Messianic Psalms captures the identity of Jesus as the Messiah of Israel.
Psalm 2 written by David, but really has three speakers, David in verse 1-3 as he speaks to the folly of sin, God the Father in verse 4-5 and reveals the Father’s Displeasure, God the Son in verses 6-9 and declares the Son’s Promise and finally the David’s Plea in verses 10-12.
II. Folly Of Sin (Psalm 2:1-3)
1 Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing?
A. John Phillips in his commentary, “Exploring Psalms: An Expository Commentary, Volume 1,” writes, “He sees the nations massing in rebellion against the Lord's anointed.” [6]
B. KJV uses "heathen" instead of nations, usually reference to non-Hebrews
C. David asks the question, “Why?”
D. The word “plot” is the same word used in for “mediate” Ps. 1: “2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.”
E. As the man of God mediates on the Word of God, so does the heathen meditate on how to get rid of God
F. Carries the idea “premediated”- planned and carried with design
G. This means that we cannot understand this psalm until we realize that it is an expression of the rebellion of the human heart against God and not a limited revolt of some merely human Near Eastern king or kings against David or his successors.[7]
H. Peter and John used this in prayer after being told not to name the name of Jesus, Acts 4: “25 who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: 'Why did the nations rage,
And the people plot vain things? 26 The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ.”
2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
A. The Hebrew word for “set”, means to station oneself, means they put themselves in a place over God
B. The kings and rulers set together to plot and conspire against God
C. Anointed is a reference to the messiah
D. 1 Samuel 17: “43 So the Philistine said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
3 "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us."
A. Phillips, delivers the point of the passage, the heathen hates the Person of God and looks at the precepts of God as bondage
B. Moral and ethics of the Word are bondage to a deprived man
C. Men want their own morality
D. Are we seeing this today? Homosexual marriage, Transgender acceptance, Gay rights
E. Yet the Bible is clear about sin, salvation and judgement
III. Father’s Displeasure (Psalm 2:4-5)
4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision.
A. sits in the heavens really translated “is enthroned”
B. Psalm 59, “8 But You, O Lord, shall laugh at them; You shall have all the nations in derision.”
C. God sits! With all earth in rebellion, God remains seated.
D. He has set in process and a plan that cannot fail.
E. While there is wildness on the earth, there is wonderful calm in heaven.
F. The contrast in the psalm is startling. And it can give us great assurance. Paul begins his discourses in Roman 8, speaking of God’s love, “31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure:
A. You see Him responding with rebuke and anger.
B. He judges nations. How? Biblical history teaches that He judges nations through other nations. He judged the wickedness of the Canaanites by sending the Israelites to take the Promised Land. Later, He judged the wickedness of the Israelites by sending Babylon to carry them to captivity.
C. God judges nations through nations.
IV. Son’s Promise (Psalm 2:6-9)
6 "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion."
A. The Messiah will be called King of the Jews
a. John 12:12-13 12 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!”
b. John 18:33-36 33 Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”
B. This verse links the divine election of the king to the election of the Zion in the divine design
C. The word “set” is a Hebrew word meaning installed and the synonym for the word anointed, it carries with it a Levitical term, Ex. 30:9; Hs 9:4.
D. Zion is poetical and prophetic name Jerusalem, 38 times in the Psalms
E. Temple Mount in Jerusalem
7 "I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.
A. The Messiah will be the Son of God
a. Luke 3:22 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
b. Luke quotes this passage in Acts 1333 God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.'”
c. The writer of Hebrews records in 1, “5 For to which of the angels did He ever say: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You"? And again: "I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son"?”
d. Hebrews 5, “5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.”
B. Here David is recording a description of the coming Son.
8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
A. The link here is established clearly between the Father and the Son’s role in the Godhead. The Son submits to the Father and the Father to the Son.
B. God raised Jesus from the dead. Thus through that Christ become our High Priest entering into the Most Holy place, to take the place of our Sin, all of our sin thus enabling us to be made whole through His sacrifice on the Cross.
C. It is only through that that we are made right, this is why Christ had to die, why He screamed, and why the veil tore in half in the Temple in Jerusalem, because Christ was then entering into that Most Holy Place ripping apart the veil that separated us spiritually from heaven, so that now we can enter into the salvation process by faith in His Son, and His sacrifice alone.
D. Philippians 2: “9Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.'
A. For the Word of God is a Sword that precedes from the mouth of our Risen Savior.
B. He shall triumph absolutely over mankind thus exposing the realities that the Antichrist and the False Prophet have propagated throughout the reign of terror which will no likely insue during there own administration.
C. Yet during the administration of Christ the rule will be sweet and fragrance will abound. But before this can happen during His second coming He will override free will for He has more than shown His mercy and kindness.
D. Revelation 2: “25 But hold fast what you have till I come. 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—
27 "He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels' — as I also have received from My Father;
V. David’s Plea (Psalm 2:10-12)
10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
A. Here’s the application… there are four warnings for the rulers of the nations
B. 1) be warned
C. 2) be wise
11 Serve the Lord with fear, And rejoice with trembling.
A. 3) serve the LORD with fear
B. 4) rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
A. Those who are in positions of leadership better take heed, to the Word of the Lord, the warning is there, lead your people astray and you will incur the wrath of God, nothing to mess with but the future beholds His glory and His praise, for all who love Him will willingly submit all that they are unto Him, so that He can use them for His plans, and precepts.
VI. Conclusion
Psalm 1 begins with a statement of divine blessing: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked.” Psalm 2 ends with a statement of blessing: “Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” A refuge is a hiding place, a strong tower, or a place of security. It was an ancient panic room.
If we fail to see Jesus Christ in this Psalm, we miss its message completely: His death (vv. 1-3, Acts 4:23-28), resurrection (v. 7, Acts 13:33), ascension and enthronement in glory (v. 6), and His return and righteous rule on earth (vv. 8-9, Rev. 2:9, 27; 12:5).
[1] Wright, Christopher J. H. Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995. 241
[2] Phillips, John. Exploring Psalms: An Expository Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2002. 12 (Phillips 2002)
[3] Boice, J. M. (2005). Psalms 1–41: An Expositional Commentary (p. 21). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
[4] Wright, 1995. 166
[5] Wright, 7
[6] Phillips, John. Exploring Psalms: An Expository Commentary, Volume 1. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2002. 22
[7] Boice, J. M. (2005). Psalms 1–41: An Expositional Commentary (p. 23). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
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