Dale Appleby

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Psalm 2

MP3 Sermon on Psalm 2 "The Fools' Conspiracy" by Dale Appleby

Psalm 2

Why do the nations conspire,

and the peoples plot in vain?

2 The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers take counsel together,

against the LORD and his anointed, saying,

3 "Let us burst their bonds asunder,

and cast their cords from us."

4 He who sits in the heavens laughs;

the LORD has them in derision.

5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath,

and terrify them in his fury, saying,

6 "I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill."

7 I will tell of the decree of the LORD:

He said to me, "You are my son;

today I have begotten you.

8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,

and the ends of the earth your possession.

9 You shall break them with a rod of iron,

and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."

10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise;

be warned, O rulers of the earth.

11 Serve the LORD with fear,

with trembling 12 kiss his feet,

or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way;

for his wrath is quickly kindled.

Happy are all who take refuge in him.

The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved

Thoughts on Psalm 2


This is one of the great questions: Why do peoples and nations and their rulers always try to throw off the rule and oversight of the LORD? Study any nation, any period of history, study religious beliefs, ethics, laws, social and economic systems, racial and ethnic policies, foreign policies - is there not overwhelming evidence that the LORD'S rule is rejected?

Why? The simple answer is so that people can be their own boss, so that they can exercise power without being answerable.

And the LORD'S response? Laughter, scoffing, derision, and then anger. But in the Psalm the simple response from the LORD is that he has set his King on his holy hill. A human king to rule the nations of the world on behalf of the LORD.

Is it just a romantic poem? A piece of wishful thinking? Is it what David or Solomon hoped would be the case in the troubles of their day?

Maybe it is what they hoped for. But later when the great King did establish his reign on the holy hill of Jerusalem, one of his messengers, Paul, could say that God had set a day on which he will judge the world with justice by a man whom he had appointed; and had given assurance to all by raising that man from the dead. (Act 17.31)

In fact the King was also the Son of the LORD - the resurrection of Jesus being the great declaration of that fact.

So if the King who is the Son has been given all authority to rule, what ought the people's of the earth do? The wise thing would be to serve the King, submit to him. The happy life is found in taking refuge in this King.

There are many troubles for those who follow the King in a world which has decided to throw off his rule. But he is a refuge to be trusted.

And what about the nations and peoples and their rulers? The servants of the King have a task to urge people to change allegiance so that they serve the Lord Jesus Christ. This will usually produce conflict and turmoil, but this is how the King becomes the refuge and ruler for the people of his world.

This task and turmoil has been going on from the beginning, and continues in the present. With your help too?

"But the Jews became jealous, and with the help of some ruffians in the marketplaces they formed a mob and set the city in an uproar. While they were searching for Paul and Silas to bring them out to the assembly, they attacked Jason's house. 6 When they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some believers before the city authorities, shouting, "These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also, 7 and Jason has entertained them as guests. They are all acting contrary to the decrees of the emperor, saying that there is another king named Jesus." 8 The people and the city officials were disturbed when they heard this, 9 and after they had taken bail from Jason and the others, they let them go." Acts 17:5 -9(NRSV)