We are excited to be starting a new series of reflections on the Psalms. Each day we will upload a new reflection to the website. We hope and pray that you will find them helpful and that they bring hope during this season. Click on these buttons to read the text of the psalm or listen to a recording of it. You can also listen to the reflection using the audio player below.
I don’t know about you, but I’m missing Brexit. I was glued to the TV watching the coverage from Parliament over the last year or so. All that seems a long time ago. I’m not watching as much TV anymore, or following as much social media. I heard that the UN Secretary General is calling for a global ceasefire and for all warring factions to lay down their arms in the face of a common enemy. Politics have been suspended for the time being and the world is in turmoil.
In Psalm 2 the nations, that is any nation that did not recognise Israel’s God, are conspiring against the Lord‘s Anointed One. Every king of Israel and Judah was known as “anointed one”, which in Hebrew is “Messiah” and in Greek is “Christ,” because the prophet or high priest anointed him, usually with olive oil, at the time of his enthronement. This psalm is a royal psalm and specifically a coronation psalm.
The writers of the New Testament saw the proclamation of the kingdom of God in Jesus’ ministry as a sign that he was a king, which is why they gave him the title Christ. Just as the king of Israel was addressed by God as his son (Psalm 2:7) so too would Jesus be known as the Son of God. The words “You are my Son” are quoted at different points in Jesus’ life: at his baptism (Matthew 3:17); at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:5), and with reference to the resurrection (Acts 13:33).
Yet Jesus was a radically different type of king. The writer of Acts saw the opposition to Jesus by Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Gentiles and Israel as the nations conspiring against the Lord‘s Anointed One (Acts 4:24–28). This opposition was however not met with more violence (Psalm 2:9) but instead accepted by Jesus in his death on a cross. This new kingdom was established in violence and death, but the climax of Jesus’ coronation lay in his conquest of death through the resurrection.
The psalmist says “Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” Jesus, the Son of God, is our King. The nations are still in turmoil and the only safe place to be is in him.
Lord may we serve you with fear and celebrate your rule with trembling.