THE RETURN OF THE KING
Amazing God, you shape the stars and comfort broken hearts. Nothing is beyond your power. How great you are.
Read PSALM 2
1 Why do the nations conspire[a]
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break their chains
and throw off their shackles.”
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
5 He rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6 “I have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”
7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:
He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.
8 Ask me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You will break them with a rod of iron[b];
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear
and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Authority is not given to you to deny the return of the king, steward.’1
Psalms 1 and 2 are intended to be read together. Psalm 1 begins with the theme of blessing, which is how Psalm 2 concludes. The two psalms are naturally read one after another. However, whereas the subject of Psalm 1 is personal, exhorting the reader not to walk, stand, or sit with the wicked, Psalm 2 is intended for royalty. The anointed son, who is the main character in the psalm, was probably one of the Judean kings ascending to the throne. For Christians, Psalm 2 takes on a Christological meaning. The language of the psalm is picked up in the New Testament in Acts and Hebrews.2 There Jesus is identified as the Anointed One (the literal meaning of Messiah/Christ) as well as the true Son of God.
The person of Jesus reflected the sorrow of the world. He was the Suffering Servant, taking the darkness of the world upon himself on the cross. In Psalm 2, we see a radically different facet of Jesus’ identity: the King, crowned with authority. The psalm contains a warning to those who want to conspire against the power of the King– the earthly rulers and kingdoms. Their power and authority pale in comparison to Christ’s rightful throne.
The authority of Psalm 2 balances the personal nature of Psalm 1. So also, it balances our view of Jesus as the Suffering Servant with his status as the rightful King. When we reflect on Jesus’ wonderful personal sacrifice on the cross, we must be careful not to diminish our view of our Savior. Christ is the rightful Ruler of the world and the cosmos. One day, the King will return.
Spend some time reflecting on Jesus’ identity as our true King. Pray for his authority to rule over your life in everything you do.
Strong and mighty are you Lord. Nations seek to sideline you, but I thank you today that you will have the last word. I love you.
1 Gandalf, in Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (film), 2003 2 Acts 4:25,26; 13:33; Heb 1:5; 5:5
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