Kiss the Son

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Read Psalm 2
Since the beginning of time, the world has known strife. The history of man is essentially the history of conflict, war, and devastation.
As far back as 3000 B.C. we can see artwork, etchings, carving, of soldiers fighting in close order, wearing helmets and carrying shields. The history of mankind is one of war, destruction, upheaval and disarray.
Consider the 20th century. There was World War I, which was supposed to be the war to end all wars. About 20 million people were killed, more than half of which were civilian deaths. It wasn’t very long after before the world was locked into World War II, lasting six years and one day and claimed between 50-56 million lives.
The December 25, 1967 issue of U. S. News & World Report wrote, “Since World War II [there have been] at least 12 limited wars in the world, 39 political assassinations, 48 personal revolts, 74 rebellions for independence, 162 social revolutions, either political, economical, racial, or religious.” All that in just 25 years.
Obviously these figures would have to be revised upward significantly in the 54+ years since then. We’ve seen war between Russia and Afghanistan, China and Vietnam, Vietnam and Cambodia, Iraq and Iran, Iraq and Kuwait, Bosnia, and the list of conflicts go on and on and on and on… until we get to the current war between Russia and Ukraine. And that’s not to mention all the regional and ethnic conflicts that have been and still continue today.
Our own country faces rising racial, political, and special interest tensions... rising crime rate (I recently saw that the murder rate in Portland, OR has increased 800% since 2020), gang wars, random violence, and increasing moral degeneracy.
Is the world out of control? How should we view the present world chaos? And as we view it what should we do with it?
Should we sink into depression and despair? Or should we ignore the world and its news, like an ostrich with our head stuck in the sand?
I want you to know, that we find the answer in the Word of God (isn’t that surprising!!!).
Psalm 2 gives us an answer. In it, the author, King David (see Acts 4:25), views the rebellion of the nations against God. He looks at the chaos of the world scene in his day and says in essence...
“Though the nations have rebelled against God, He is sovereign; thus, we must submit to Him while there is time.”
Even though the world scene looks as if God has little or nothing to do with it, David shows us that God’s plans have not failed and shall not fail. Everything is under His sovereign control and He will ultimately triumph in His ordained time. Thus David appeals to the rebellious nations to bow before the Almighty God while they still have time.
Structure and background of the Psalm:
Psalm 2 is one of the most frequently quoted psalm in the New Testament. It fits together in an interesting way with Psalm 1 to introduce the Book of Psalms. Psalm 1 begins with, “How blessed”; Psalm 2 ends with the same word (in Hebrew). Psalm 1 ends with the vanity of the wicked person; Psalm 2 begins with the vanity of the wicked king/nation. In Psalm 1, the godly man meditates on God’s law; in Psalm 2, the wicked meditates on how to cast off the rule of God. In Psalm 1 the theme is the contrast between the righteous and the wicked person; in Psalm 2 the theme is the contrast between the rebellion of wicked rulers and nations and the rule of God’s Anointed King.
The Psalm is structured as a dramatic presentation in four acts. Remember, this is a coronation psalm and would have been used accordingly by the people of Israel. In Act One (2:1‑3), David raises the question about the chaos in the world, and the kings and rulers come forth in a chorus to say their lines (2:3). In Act Two (2:4‑6), God calmly sits upon His throne in heaven and speaks His line against the rulers (2:6). In Act Three (2:7‑9), God’s Anointed One speaks and reveals God’s decree or God’s predetermined plan for dealing with man’s rebellion. In Act Four (2:10‑12), the psalmist speaks out again, giving a closing appeal in light of the previous three acts.
For purposes of grasping the message of the psalm,it can all be grouped together so that we can see the psalmist saying three things:
1. The nations have rebelled against God (2:1‑3).
But, 2. God is sovereign and has a predetermined plan to judge man’s rebellion (2:4‑9).
Thus, 3. We must submit to Him while there is time (2:10‑12).
Now, I want to look closer at these three thoughts:

The Nations Have Rebelled Against God (2:1‑3).

Let’s read these three verses:
Psalm 2:1–3 ESV
1 Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
To understand this psalm, we must realize that on one level it applies to King David. The schemes of these rulers against the Lord and His anointed are rooted in a time in David’s reign when some of his vassal nations sought to rebel (we can see an example in 2 Samuel 10, when the Ammonites and Syrians rebelled). David, the Lord’s anointed king over His people, Israel, writes this song to show the folly of rebellion against God’s anointed king because of the promises God had made to that king. Thus, on one level, 2:1‑3 refers to those rebel kings and their attempts to shake off David’s rule over them.
But it is also obvious that the psalm goes far beyond David’s experience. It is ultimately fulfilled only in God’s Anointed (Hebrew, “Messiah”), God’s Son who is also David’s son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, David wrote this psalm not only about himself, but in a deeper and much more complete way, about Jesus, the Anointed One… the Messiah.
Just as these kings rebelled against King David, so all men have rebelled against King Jesus. The Bible teaches that:


Isaiah 14:12‑14 describes the rebellion of Satan in heaven against God. When he fell, he led a portion of the angels with him. Under his authority, these demons now wage war against God and the righteous angels. The world was created as the theater for this great conflict to take place. Man was created in the image of God and placed on earth to reflect God’s image and rule as His representatives over His creation. But the Scriptures also teach that ...


When Adam and Eve succumbed to Satan’s temptation and disobeyed God, the human race fell into sin and as a result, came under God’s judgment.
This rebellion took on an organized form at the tower of Babel, when proud men came together and proposed to build a tower into heaven to make a name for themselves (Gen. 11:4). If you are familiar with the account… The Lord confused their languages and scattered them, which was the beginning of the nations. The pride of those at Babel, who sought to make a name for themselves, was diluted by being divided among the various nations of the earth.
But, as we can see in this Psalm… as well as a casual view of the history of the world, Satan works through the pride of world rulers to weaken the nations through conflict and keep them from submitting to God (Isa. 14:12). As biblical prophecy shows, in the end times, the nations will come together under a single world ruler in defiance of the Lord and His Anointed. Satan is the main force behind this world ruler, the antichrist.
But even in His curse on the serpent, God pointed to the way of redemption that He had planned for fallen man:
Genesis 3:15 ESV
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
Jesus, the Messiah, the offspring of a woman, would be bruised on the heel by Satan in death as the sin‑ bearer for the fallen human race, but He would bruise Satan upon the head in His triumphant victory over sin and death in His resurrection from the grave. By bringing people from every nation under the lordship of God’s Anointed, King Jesus, the rebellion of Satan is thwarted.
Thus in His eternal decree, the Father invites the Son,
Psalm 2:8 ESV
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.
Either through their willing submission to the message of the gospel now or through their forced subjection under the rod of the Messiah when He comes to judge the nations, their rebellion will be quelled.
This is our understanding of the passage in Philippians 2
Philippians 2:9–10 ESV
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
But while all this is developing over history, and as we await that day where every knee will bow, what is going on? Where is God in all this rebellion? Did He go to sleep? Has He lost control? No, the psalmist goes on to show that even though the nations have rebelled against God ...

God is Sovereign (2:4‑9)

God doesn’t even get up from His throne to deal with the vain schemes of rebellious kings. Look at verse Psalm 2:4
Psalm 2:4 ESV
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.
Now, I can tell you what this doesn’t mean… it doesn’t mean that God gets a kick out of man’s rebellion or its devastating results. Ezekiel records God’s true heart for the wicked...
Ezekiel 33:11 ESV
11 Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?
So, God’s heart for the wicked is that they would turn away from their rebellion against Him. But their rebellion doesn’t cause God consternation. His plans are not thwarted because of their rebellion. No instead, God’s laughter shows the folly of rebelling against Him. It shows us that ...


Can’t you almost hear God laughing as mighty men rise up and proudly think that they’re so great and powerful. “You’ve got to be kidding!” Who is puny man to try to stand against Sovereign God?
We are told by Daniel:
Daniel 2:21 ESV
21 He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;
and He does so according to His will. Do you remember what this was about? The mighty Nebuchadnezzar, the greatest ruler on the earth in his day, grew proud and attributed his greatness to himself. God humbled him so that he lived in the fields and ate grass like a beast,
Daniel 4:25 ESV
25 that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.
Napoleon Bonaparte, when he was so intoxicated with success at the height of his power, is reported to have said, “I make circumstances.” But as the psalmist makes clear, God laughs: “Oh, really?” God let him go on for a while, and then we see God’s response (verse 5)...
Psalm 2:5 ESV
5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,
...and Napoleon came to nothing.
Did you know that man’s rebellion against Him doesn’t worry God?
He isn’t sitting on the edge of heaven, biting His nails, and saying, “Oh, what am I going to do?” He lets man go on for a while in his rebellion, but then His anger and judgment will come, and man’s proud plans will come to nothing.
And it is with this thought that the psalmist goes on to show that ...


This plan centers on the person and the power of God’s Anointed One. Originally, as this song was sung, it is David who is the focus. We know now, because of the use of this Psalm in the NT that ultimately it points at Jesus, the Messiah, the Ultimate anointed One of God. And it is the Anointed One who speaks this next section of the psalm...
Psalm 2:7–9 ESV
7 I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. 8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
Here we see God’s predetermined plan for dealing with man’s rebellion. Initially it involved the man He set on the throne, declaring him (David) to be his son. At the initial writing of this Psalm, David is the focus… but later on it is the Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, whom God sent into the world to pay the penalty for man’s rebellion (John 3:16; Gal. 4:4). He died according to the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God at the hands of godless men (Acts 2:23; 4:27-28). But God raised Him from the dead and He ascended to heaven, where He is now waiting to return with power. That’s the second part of God’s plan:
It is in verses 8-9 that we see the power of Messiah (2:8‑9): Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, will return bodily to this earth in power and glory to crush all opposition and to reign in righteousness from David’s throne. John describes his vision of the Lord Jesus in that great day in Revelation 19:15‑16:
Revelation 19:15–16 ESV
15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
And then we see the ultimate demise of the rebellion in Revelation 20...
Revelation 20:10–15 ESV
10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. 11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Satan and all who followed him will be thrown into the lake of fire where they will be tormented forever and ever.
That is God’s plan for dealing with rebellious man and with Satan and His forces. His plan involves the Second Person of the Trinity, the eternal Son of God, who is going to return to this earth in power to put down all rebellion and to rule in righteousness.
The real question, however, is “How should we respond to this fact?” Well...

3. We must submit to God and His Anointed while there is time (2:10‑12).

It is not just the proud kings of David’s day who have rebelled against the Lord and His Anointed. We are told in Romans 3 23
Romans 3:23 ESV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
We have all, in our own way, said toward God, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”” (Psalm 2:3). We’ve all said, “I’ll do it my way!”
At first glance, you would have thought that everyone would welcome God’s Messiah, who came to save us from our sins. But the issue isn’t just salvation. Jesus didn’t come to save us so that we could get a free ticket to heaven and then go our own way. The issue is one of lordship. The Lord’s Anointed is the King who will reign, if not by our willing submission now, then by forced submission when He comes again. He does not take second place to anyone. Every knee shall bow!
Thus the exhortation of 2:10-12 applies to each person, not just the kings of the earth:
Psalm 2:10–12 ESV
10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. 11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
All people must show discernment and take warning. All people should bow in submission and fear before God and give the kiss of obedience to His Son. The picture is that of bowing and expressing submission before a monarch so as not to incur his displeasure. We must submit to Christ as Savior and Lord before He returns in judgment, so that we do not “perish in the way.”
The urgency of submitting to Christ is expressed by the phrase, “His wrath is quickly kindled” (2:12).
The signs of our times point to the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The first time He came in mercy, to save. The second time He comes in wrath, to judge. And it appears to not be far off.
But even if His coming is delayed, you have no guarantee that you will have another day on this earth. If you do not submit to Jesus Christ before you die, you will face the wrath of His judgment (Heb. 9:27)! As commentator Matthew Henry put it, “Those that will not bow shall break.”


You can’t find peace and safety anywhere in the world, but only in Christ.
I heard a story about a retired couple, who were alarmed by the threat of nuclear war. They studied all the inhabitable places on earth. They were looking for a place where they could most likely escape the threat of war. They studied and traveled and traveled and studied. Finally they found the perfect place: a small, obscure island off the coast of South America. They so they made their move to the place where they could find peace and stay away from the threat that was certain to come. You know where they moved? They moved to the Falkland Islands just before Britain invaded to reclaim that territory from Argentina!
We are told, as I understand the Scriptures, that World chaos and war will only increase as His coming draws near.
If we can’t escape it, what can we do? The last line of the Psalm is God’s gracious invitation: “Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”
Don’t run from God; run to Him!
As we see the chaos in the world, we can be truly happy and blessed by taking refuge in our God. The early church took refuge in Him by praying Psalm 2 as they faced persecution (Acts 4:23‑35). In our troubled times, when it looks as if the enemy is winning, we can do the same. Let’s join the early church in doing everything we can to make Christ Lord of all the nations! Even if we should die a martyr’s death, our sovereign God will ultimately triumph!
There was a political cartoon that showed a fearful couple, huddled together in bed as they watched the 10 o’clock news. In the cartoon the announcer is saying, “And that’s the news. Good night and pleasant dreams!”
The only way we can deal with the news of this troubled world and have “pleasant dreams” is if we’ve taken refuge in our sovereign God, who has even the proud rebellion of wicked men under His control because He has set His Anointed One on His Throne… and He Reigns Victorious!! Victorious over sin and death, victorious over the rebellion of this world...
And He is Our Savior. So, let us gather around this table and celebrate Our Lord’s death until He returns!!
Let’s pray!
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