23 January 2018

Luke 2
Psalm 2

Why do the nations conspire
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”

The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my king
    on Zion, my holy mountain.”

I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:

He said to me, “You are my son;
    today I have become your father.
Ask me,
    and I will make the nations your inheritance,
    the ends of the earth your possession.
You will break them with a rod of iron;
    you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
    be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear
    and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
    and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
    Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 2:1-12

All around us is evidence of a world that has distanced itself from God as Creator & Lord of all. Perceiving dependence on God as wrong, bad and undesirable; they have mistaken independence from Him & His rule as freedom – which they have pursued with all their power & might. Nations, and their people both collectively & individually, have plotted & planned, banded together & boycotted, broken chains & pursued an ever-elusive independence – they have walked away from God.

But, their pursuit of freedom is nothing more than folly! For how can we ever live apart from the One who gives us life & breath; who gives us identity & significance; who gives us purpose & meaning? Who are creatures to dismiss their Creator – as if that’s even an option? It is not just folly; it is laughable! Indeed, God’s response is to laugh and scoff at the futility of such foolish behaviour. But don’t mistake His laughing as Him taking such rejection and rebellion lightly – for laughter gives way to righteous anger and terrifying wrath.

Interestingly though, in His anger & wrath He does not destroy the rebels – they are creatures in His image after all. Instead, He establishes a King on a forever-throne; a beloved Son who will reign and rule over all mankind and who, in time, will determine the eternal destiny of all humanity. A destiny determined by the creature’s – by our – response to this King.

Of course, Psalm 2 points us to Jesus Christ, that forever King – the One before whom every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord (Phil 2); the One who has been appointed as Judge through His resurrection from the dead (Acts 17).

Whether we enjoy true freedom or face the consequence of human folly is entirely determined by our response to this King. Those who reject Him will be destroyed – dashed to pieces like pottery; those who take refuge in Him will experience blessing.

Psalm 2 is a powerful warning to our modern world – it is folly to think we can ever live independently from God. True freedom is only ever found & experienced when we realise our complete dependence on Him and take refuge in His King. Then we are free to be all who He created us to be! This is the warning we must proclaim and the promise we must cling to.