Psalm 2
Four Views of Jesus

Psalm 2:  

Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.”

He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision.  Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure:  “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.”

“I will declare the decree:  The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.  Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.  You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.’”

Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth.  Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.  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. 

Psalm 2 was written by David.  If you read through the Psalms, you may notice that above verse 1 is a superscription.  These were written by Jewish scholars thousands of years ago who would read each Psalm and add a commentary describing the Psalm.  Sometimes they would contain instructions on how the Psalm was to be used.  Sometimes they would write about when the psalm was written.  Sometimes they would list the author of the Psalm.  

In Psalm 2, there is no superscription.  Perhaps Jewish scholars did not know who wrote this psalm.  But if you turn to the New Testament, the Holy Spirit tells us that the author of the psalm is David.

Acts 4.25: “who by the mouth of Your servant David have said, ‘Why did the nations rage, and the people plot vain things?’” 

Psalm 2 is a psalm about Jesus.  In Acts 13, the apostle Paul was on his first missionary journey.  He is in a synagogue in the city of Antioch, and as he discusses some things with the Jews, he directs their attention to the book of Psalms and said the following…

Acts 13.33:  “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.’” 

It is not only a psalm about Jesus, but it is a psalm about the worship and praise that we are to give to Jesus.  In the book of Hebrews, reference is made to the worship of Jesus.  To make the point that Jesus is deserving of our praise and worship, Psalm 2 is quoted.  

Hebrews 1.5,6:  “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’?  But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says:  ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him.’” 

In Psalm 2, Jesus is described is three different ways that underscores the reason why He is deserving of our worship.  

  • Jesus is described as “His Anointed”  (Ps. 2.2).  The word “anointed” as it appears in the Hebrew is what gives us the word “Messiah.”  In Matthew 16, Peter confesses his faith in Jesus.  

Matthew 16.16: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  

Jesus is the Christ, but what the “Christ” mean?  In the first chapter of John, you read about John the Baptist and two of his disciples who encounter Jesus.  John the Baptist called their attention to Jesus and said, “Behold the Lamb of God”  (John 1.35).  These two disciples leave John and start following Jesus.  One of these two disciples is identified as Andrew, the brother of Peter.  He goes and finds his brother, Peter, and he says to him in “We have found the Messiah.” Then the Holy Spirit by the hand of the apostle John adds this commentary, “which is translated Christ”  (John 1.41).  

In the Hebrews, the word is Messiah.  In the New Testament, the word is “Christ.”  They both mean “anointed.”   When you refer to Jesus as the Christ, you are referring to Jesus as the Anointed One.  Jesus is worthy of our worship because he is the Christ, the Anointed One.

  • Jesus is described as “My King”  (Ps. 2.6).   

God says that Jesus is His choice for the throne.  To recognize Jesus as the King is to admit that we are His subjects.  He is the One is in charge.  He is the One who makes the rules.  He is the One who determines what is morally right.  He is the One who determines how we are to worship.  He is the One who determines the kind of husband or wife we are to be.  He is the One who determines the kind of language we are to use.  Jesus is the One who makes those decisions because God put Him on the throne as King over the kingdom in which Christians are to be subject.  

Jesus is worthy of worship because He is our King, and God is the One who put Him there.

  • Jesus is described as God’s Son  (Ps. 2.7).  Jesus is worthy of worship because He is God’s Son.

In Psalm 2, we are reading a Psalm written by David about Jesus who is worthy of worship because He is the Anointed, the King, and the Son of God.  


Psalm 2.1-3:  The World's View of Jesus

Psalm 1.1:  “Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?”

Psalms 2 begins by asking why the people of the world act this way.  Why do people want to create such a fuss and stir?  In the current political climate, you read about a riots and protests.  That’s what is being described in this verse.  Where is this anger being directed?  Look at the next verse.

Psalm 2.2:  “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying” 

It says that they “set themselves.”  The idea is that they took a stand against God and against Jesus.  Whatever God said, they opposed it.  Whatever God did, they stood against it.  All this rioting and chaos is done to express their anger toward God.  

It then says that “the rulers take counsel together.”  The idea of taking counsel together is that they got together, discussed, and came up with a strategy on what to do about God and His Anointed.  

Why were all these people expressing such rage and creating such a fuss against God?  Why were they coming up with a plan against Jesus, the Anointed One?  What are they saying in reference to God and His Anointed?  The answer is in the next verse.

Psalm 2.3:  “Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.” 

To put it simply, people were rioting, and expressing their rage against God and His Anointed One because they do not want to be told what to do and how to live.  They were resisting God and the Laws of His Son.  

People generally do not like to be told what to do.  They pull at the cords and yank at the chain, trying to free themselves from the responsibilities that God has placed on them all the while raging against God and His Anointed who gave them those responsibilities.

When it comes to your morals, do you have the right to decide whether you are going to be a man or a woman?  When it comes to your morals, do you have the right to decide the gender of the person you want to marry?  Do you have the right to dictate the terms of your salvation?  Do you have the right to decide how you are going to worship?  Do you have the right to decide to withhold forgiveness when forgiveness is being sought from you?  Do you have the right to treat others with hatred and bitterness?  

We are all too eager to live our lives in submission to God, unless submitting to God means that you have to sacrifice what you want.  It is then that we start having the attitude expressed in these verses.  We start raging against God and His Anointed.

The view of the world toward Jesus is a view of anger and opposition from people who do not want to be told how to live.


Psalm 2.4-6:  God's View of Jesus

When you keep reading, God responds to the world’s view of Jesus and then expresses His own view of Him.

Psalm 2.4:  “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;  The Lord shall hold them in derision.”  

The word “laugh” isn’t the kind of laughter you have when someone tells you a good joke.  This is a laughter that is expressive of incredulity.  This is God saying, “You’ve got to be kidding!”  It is a scoffing.  Here are people who are raging against God, and He scoffs at those people as if to say, “Who do these people think they are?”

The word “derision” is a word that describing someone who mocks someone else.  

Psalm 2.5,6:  “Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure:  ‘Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.’” 

God laughs at these people in His wrath because they have set themselves against Him and His Anointed One.  God is essentially saying that He does not care what they think or how they feel.  He is going to put His King on His throne, and He is going to do it whether they like it or not.  Jesus is the King, and He will reign in His kingdom regardless of what you think.    

The view of God toward Jesus is that Jesus is the One He has chosen to be King, even if it means that the world will rage and oppose Him.  


Psalm 2.7-9:  Jesus' View of Himself

The next few verses begin with someone declaring what God had said to Him.  This is Jesus saying that God declared something to Him.  What did God say to Jesus?

Psalm 2.7:  “I will declare the decree:  The Lord has said to Me,  ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’”

Twice in the New Testament book of Hebrews, the inspired writer being directed by the Holy Spirit tells us that this was in reference to Jesus.  You have Jesus actually speaking in Psalm 2.7-9.  Jesus is saying that God spoke to Him and God told Him that He was His Son.  

You can also read about the baptism of Jesus in Matthew 3.  It was there, as Jesus was coming up out of the water, that the Holy Spirit rested on Him.  It was at that point that God said, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”  (Matt. 3.17). 

Psalm 2.8:  “Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.” 

Jesus is saying that God spoke to Him and told Him that He would have be in charge of everything.  Jesus viewed Himself as someone who has all authority. 

After Jesus was resurrected, He said to His disciples, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth”  (Matt. 28.18).

Psalm 2.9:  “You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.” 

The idea expressed in this verse is that of victory.  Jesus is told by God that He would be victorious over His enemies.    

The nations rage against God, and rage against Jesus.  God laughs at them and says that He will put Jesus on the throne anyway.  Jesus says that they can rage against Him all they want, but it was God who said that Jesus is His Son, and it was God who gave Him all authority and victory. 


Psalm 2.10-12:  The Holy Spirit's View of Jesus

Verse 10 begins with the words “Now therefore.”  There is your connecting phrase that indicates that a conclusion is being drawn.  David is being directed by the Holy Spirit to write a conclusion based on the thoughts that were written in the previous verses.  Watch the flow of thought.

  • You read about the view of the people.  They wanted to cast off the yoke from their necks.  They did not want to be under the authority of God or His Son.
  • God reacts by saying that it does not matter what they think, He is going to put Jesus on the throne as King.
  • Jesus reacts by saying that God has placed Him in authority over all nations and made Him victorious over His enemies.
  • As a result of the position that God gave Jesus to hold, there is a message to those who oppose Him.  

Psalm 2.10,11:  “Now therefore, be wise O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth.  Serve the Lord with fear”

They raged against God.  They rage against Jesus.  God laughs and says, “I put Jesus in charge as King.”  Jesus speaks up and says, “God put Me in charge over all the nations.” Now the Holy Spirit directs David to write, “Since God has given His Son a position of authority and power, you need to stop raging against your King.  Instead, you need to worship the King.  

Psalm 2.12:  “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.”

The Holy Spirit then issues a warning.  He writes that you need to kiss the Son lest the Son be angry.  Even if the Son is angry just a little bit, you will perish in the way.

In the New Testament, the word for “worship” is the Greek word “proskuneo.”  

  • Kudeo is a verb that means “to kiss.”
  • Pros is a preposition that means “toward.”

The word for worship means “to kiss towards.”  It carries the idea of blowing a kiss toward God.  This is what Psalm 2 is telling us to do.  

We are not to rage against God and His Son and try to throw off His yoke.  We are to kiss the Son.  God put Jesus in authority.  Jesus knows He is in authority.  So the Holy Spirit says that you are not to rage against Him.  Instead, you are to worship Him lest you become subject to His wrath.  

You read about the attitudes of the nations, but God calls us to worship His Son, and we have three reasons why we are to worship Him:  He is the Anointed, the King, and the Son.

Notice how Psalm 2 ends:  “Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”



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