The Lord’s Ultimate Victory Part 1 of 2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
Title: The Lord’s Ultimate Victory
Text: Psalm 2
There are three types of messianic psalms within the book of Psalms. There are the “direct messianic,” which contain the prophecies of Christ’s coming, and relate to Him alone (such as Psalms 22, 45, 72, and 110). There are the “typically messianic,” which refer to some historical situation concerning an earthly king who is a type of Christ. And there are the psalms that contain a mixture of the first two. I’ll read Psalm 2, and then show what type it is.
1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
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 break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
Psalm 2 speaks of rebellious mankind, and about Jesus. It has been called the drama of the ages. It contains an important announcement concerning the outcome of events and forces at work in the world today. As we read through it, the first thing we hear is the voices of the masses. We hear the little man speaking his little peace and playing his part—as Shakespeare puts it, “A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage” of life. Next, God the Father speaks, and then God the Son speaks and God the Holy Spirit has the last word.
This is a psalm about our Savior, and it gives a prophecy concerning the kingdom of God. There is nothing that is not applicable to Christ. For instance, "Thou art my Son, I will give thee the uttermost parts of the earth,’’ verses 7 and 8, and verse 12, "Kiss the Son.’’ Therefore, this psalm is classified as “direct messianic.” Here the Holy Ghost speaks of four things:
1. Bitter opposition from the Lord’s enemies (vv. 1-3).
2. Calm assurance in the face of opposition (vv. 4-6).
3. The divine promise to the Lord’s anointed (vv. 7-9).
4. An exhortation to submit to the Son of God as Lord (vv. 10-12).
Let’s look at each of these beginning with:
Bitter Opposition from the Lord’s Enemies (vv. 1-3).
The writer of the psalm was David, and in it, he expresses both wonder and amazement that nations would dare to defy God. Right off the bat, he asks the question, “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” “Rage” means to stir up riots. “Imagine” means to plot or calculate ways to discredit God and His people. And a “vain thing” refers to something that is futile and empty of meaning. So, another way to say verse 1 is, “Why do unbelievers stir up people to riot, and plot ways to discredit God and Christians, since all their efforts are futile?” The thing that has brought together mankind in a great movement will never be fulfilled, will never be accomplished. It is an empty futile thing that has brought mankind together. So, what is it?
It is in verse 2: “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed…” “The kings of the earth” are the political leaders, and “the rulers who take counsel together” are the religious leaders. Not only do you have the masses of mankind in this protest movement, but the establishment has joined in with it. Religious and political leaders are joining together.
Now, what is it they are protesting and who is it they are against? It is “the Lord and His Anointed.” There is a great worldwide movement that is against God and against Christ. Now when did this movement begin? The Bible can tell us that too. Over in verse 24 of the fourth chapter of the Book of Acts, when the first persecution of Christians broke out, we’re told that the apostles Peter and John, after they had been threatened, returned back to the church to give their report. The Bible says, “And when they (the other disciples) heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God…” (Acts 4:24).
Today, many people, even in churches, are not sure about God. They wonder as they listen to unbelievers, atheists, and God hatters. But the early church had no misgivings and no questions. Listen as I put verse 25 with verse 24. “…Lord, thou art God, which hath made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?” As you can see they were quoting Psalm 2. The next verse, number 26 says, “The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ.”
Now, the Holy Spirit gives us His interpretation with verse 27: “For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together.” Here is where the movement begins. This is a movement against God and Christ. It has been snowballing as it has come down through the centuries, and it will finally break out in a worldwide revolution against God and against Christ.
Now, some of you may want to ask me if I really believe the world is getting worse. My answer is, “I believe that in some ways it’s getting worse and in other ways, it’s getting better. Today, the good is growing. Did you know that there is more Bible teaching going on today than in any period of the history of the world? All across this land, there are many radio stations that are dedicated to broadcasting the Word of God. The Word is going out in ways it has never gone out before; television, books, the internet, and movies like the Passion of Christ. Besides that, there are more churches, more missionaries, and more professing Christians than ever before.
But brothers and sisters, I want to tell you evil is also growing. There is opposition to God and Christ today that is unbelievable. I believe atheism is growing all over the world. And there has been nothing like that in the past. No nation of the ancient world, that great pagan world of the past, was atheistic. Not one. Someone says, “I thought they were.” No, they were the opposite. They were polytheistic. None were atheistic. They worshipped many Gods. You see, they were too close to the times when God revealed Himself. Noah knew a man who knew Adam. When you are that close to it, you do not deny God.
In Noah’s day, the world was filled with violence, but there wasn’t an atheist in the crowd. When God gave the Ten Commandments, He didn’t give any one of them against atheism. But He gave two against polytheism: “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” (Ex. 20”3-4). He gave these two commandments against polytheism, none were against atheism. Why? There were no atheists.
Now when you get to the time of David, you meet atheists, and there were a great many atheists by that time. David labels them though. He says, “The fool has said in his heart, There is no God…” (Ps. 14:1). The word fool in the Hebrew means “Insane.” The insane, the nutty individual, is the one who is the atheist. Of course, he may be a professor in a university. But the Bible says he is insane. It is insane for any man or woman to say there is no God.
Folks, there is a great build up of opposition against God and against Christ in this day in which we live. And, who is the one in charge of the opposition? It is Satan, and he is committed to opposing God, and His servants, and His work on earth. He leads an organized opposition composed of rulers and nations that are hostile to God and righteousness. They “council together,” and then take their stand against God.
Historically, verse 3 reflects the attitude of David’s enemies towards his subjection of them. They said, “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” They rebelled in an attempt to shake off the unwelcome yoke of Israel from their necks, even though David had not dealt more harshly with his opponents than necessary. His wars were defensive, designed to protect the land God had given to Israel through Abraham.
This is a picture of an unbeliever’s resistance to God, who desires to be “Lord” of his or her life. They resist to the point that they break the bands or cords that God places on human-kind. Marriage is one. God has made marriage for the welfare of mankind. Whether you are a Christian or not, God has given marriage to mankind. Today they not only want to get rid of it; they are getting rid of it. God gave marriage, and God intends for it to be followed. But they say, “Let’s break their bands asunder.”