This Week's Focus Passage

This Week’s Focus Passage: The Second Psalm ‘Yet I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.’

This Week’s Focus Passage: The Second Psalm

‘Yet I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.’


    There are, at least, several important questions put forward here at the very beginning of this second Psa.Let us attempt to consider each one; moving along.


    Why do the nations rage? Why do the peoples meditate a vain thing? Why do the kings of the earth set themselves? And why do the rulers take counsel together? Why against Jehovah? And why, against His anointed? Who do they wish, and determine to, break their bonds asunder and cast their cords from them? 


    Sin, of course, is the culprit in this radical opposition from nations and peoples to the living and true God. In the beginning, it was not so. In the beginning, God created all things good, we read from Genesis 1:26-28, of the creation of man:

And God said, Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruit-ful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Furthermore, picking up at verse 31, we are privy to a declaration:

    And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.    Understand, that this everything that God had made; everything including     man [man and woman], was stated, unequivocally, to be very, very, good.        And there was evening, and there was morning , the sixth day.


    “Everything was very good.” This included, of course, man and woman; it included all mankind. So how came it to be that we must read in this second Psalm, asking the question, Why do the nations rage? Things did not continue as they were left at the conclusion of the sixth day. We may read, at the beginning of the third chapter of Genesis, infamous words:

Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 

Now this response of the woman was patently false. We may read the original instructions given to the man, by God, in verses 16-17, of this same second chapter.

And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. [dying, thou shalt die].

Does this not, perhaps, expose some certain latent bent toward sinfulness already? The woman, at this early stage, is willing to treat the truth lightly, at the very least. Adding the notion, neither shall ye touch it, tends toward making God seem harsher, does it not? And has not mankind been contributing such factors ever since, making God into that ‘mean old man’ stereotype that we hear from the generality of man, all the time. or putting it more in the language of the second psalm of our focus passage, this is what the nations are ‘raging about.’ They ‘meditate’ a vain thing; the kings of the earth set themselves; they take counsel together, against Jehovah, and against His anointed. They determine to break their bonds asunder; to cast their cords from them.

      Indeed, is this not what was done almost immediately, by our first parents? Upon the very first seduction set before them by the serpent, they fell. Did they not, actually, ‘meditate a vain thing?’ Was it not a vain, and selfish; yes, full of self, thing that they did, swallowing the lie of the serpent, that they would not die, as God had told them, but rather, that they would become as gods, knowing both good and evil?

And has man not been raging against God ever since? Was not the effort made by the people to build the tower of Babel not, in essence, a raging against their Creator? This raging is tantamount, almost synonymous, is it not, with rebellion. Mankind has rebelled against God from the beginning. When Adam and Eve planted their feet against their Maker, in their determination to ‘go their own way,’ this was rebellion. 

    This culminated in the eventual; eventual because it was by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God Himself, that His Son; His Anointed, would be hanged upon a cross, to die in the place of all those whom the Father had given Him. They would be laid on Him, and through the shedding of His blood, as the Lamb of God, He would satisfy the Justice of God against sinners and their sins. This deicide was the height of rebellion and wickedness. Yet it was by the design of God Himself. After Pentecost, and Peter’s sermon on that day, we are guided by God the Holy Spirit, to see this raging against God and His anointed being applied to His followers when, in Acts 4, Peter and John are arrested, and brought before the Sanhedrin. They are, ultimately, released, and returning ‘to their own company’ they all together, lifted up their voices, and applying the second psalm to this persecution, gave thanks to God for His mercies; reflecting on how this was an example of ‘nations raging.’

Who by the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of our father David thy servant, didst say, Why did the Gentiles rage, And the peoples imagine vain things? The kings of the earth set themselves in array, and the rulers were gathered together, Against the Lord, and against his Anointed: for of a truth in this city against thy holy Servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together, to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel foreordained to come to pass.—Acts 4:25-27.



    And in Acts 13:32ff. we find Paul, in his dissertation at Antioch of Pisidia, rehearsing this wonderful history, and speaking of this being God’s fulfillment of His magnificent promises concerning the Christ; among other things, showing that our psalm is indeed the second psalm, as elsewhere that the human author was David.

And we bring you good tidings of the promise made unto the fathers, that God hath fulfilled the same unto our children, in that he raised up Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church 


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