Why are the nations in an uproar
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
"Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!" Psalm 2:1-3
David begins his song by repeating the song he hears so much from the world. A song where the world is in an uproar about God and His Anointed (Jesus Christ). They are in this uproar because they consider God’s commands and God’s counsel to be a form of bondage. God gave us His commandments out of love – and in a desire to see our sinfulness restrained. His commandments will free us if we will realize that they were given to show us our sin. They were never meant to be a way for us to be righteous. That only comes through the gospel of Jesus Christ by faith. But the world sees any kind of restraint as offensive. God’s restrictions on our desires . . . the world sees them as fetters, cords, chains, handcuffs . . . bondage. The only thing to be done with them is to tear them apart and cast them away from us. Strange thing though – what often is thought of as freedom, winds up being a more severe bondage in the end.
But the world’s song hasn’t changed much over the years. Take the hit this past year from none other than Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop.” Read these lyrics,
And we can’t stop, And we won’t stop
Can’t you see it’s we who own the night?
Can’t you see it’s we who ‘bout that life?
And we can’t stop, And we won’t stop
We run things, things don’t run we
Don’t take nothing from nobody
Miley has decided that she will party as she pleases. There is even a line where she boldly states that, “only God will judge ya, forget the haters ‘cause somebody loves ya.” And then asserts later that in her house and at her party, “This is our house, This is our rules.” Not all that different from Psalm 2 is it?
Do not get me wrong, I have no desire to control Miley and her friends. That is not my role – nor is it my desire. I only want to let her know that this song that climbed the charts in 2014 – evidently climbed the charts in David’s day as well. You see, songs about our desire to rebel against God, His ways, His commandments, and a lifestyle of restraint when it comes to our desires are really nothing new. Mankind has been singing them ever since an unfortunate event involving fruit in the garden.
What is interesting about David’s song, though, is that he sings of God’s response to the lyrics that are ever so popular with the world. Something rebellious mankind (and by the way I include myself in this group) never quite gets used to is the fact that God is the one who will sing the final verse and last refrain. And in this case His song is not exactly a toe-tapping number that gets us up and moving with the beat. Far from that – His refrain is one that is far more likely to drop us to our knees or on our face in terror (if not now - it will on the day when all mankind will stand before Him and give an account for their lives).
He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying,
"But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain." Psalm 2:4-6
God hears our puny voices declaring our rebellious independence – stating we will do whatever we please - whenever we please – however long we please. He listens to our statements that we will tear off His restraints, His cords, His commandments and live how we want. Then . . . then He laughs. He laughs in derision and in a scoffing way. This is not God thinking something is funny – He laughs because He is mocking our foolish bravado. He speaks in anger and terrifying fury to the pipsqueaks who dare speak in this way. What He sings in this terrifying verse is that He has decided who will be King over this world – and it is not us (no matter how many records we sell). The fact is that Jesus IS Lord. We can either surrender and submit to Him and be blessed – or continue in our rebellion losing life and life abundantly now, and infinite loss as our lot in eternity.
Those reading this – who sing the world’s song – whether the one of David’s day or Miley’s today, may take great exception with all this. That shocks neither me – or God. In fact some might argue that writing of God’s wrath, justice, and judgment is not going to speak to anybody. They will just continue in rebellion and label me some sort of “hell-fire and brimstone” fanatic. Yet, here we are, listening to God move David to not only speak of these things - but write a song about them to sing. Evidently such things are pretty high on God's list of what we should know. What we might find interesting is how God choses to deal with the continuous rebellion of mankind. You see, the rest of this song involves God’s song to His Son – you know, the One He installed as King forever. God sings to Him – and then David sings of the ramifications of this “all important” final verse. Come back tomorrow and we will look at the shocking response of God to those who tell Him, “we don’t take nothing from nobody!” You might be amazed at what you learn in this final refrain that will reverberate even into the New Testament and the message of God's grace in the gospel.