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.
“I will declare the decree: The LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee.”
Before we delve into the meaning of this verse, let us determine who it is that is speaking here. There are some who think that it is David, others think it is Christ. I am with those who to choose to go the latter route.
The Jews also would have interpreted this as speaking of the Messiah. In his letter to Yemen, the great rabbi Maimonides, though he denies that Jesus was the Messiah, yet he speaks of the pre-eminence of the Messiah. He tells of the Messiah being given gifts that Moses was not given, citing Isaiah 11:2, 3, 5 and 9:5, and then saying “And another verse alluding to the Messiah culminates in the following manner, ‘Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee.’”
St. Paul cites this verse in Acts 13:33, and John Gill says of it: “And that this was the sense of the Jews in the times of the Apostle need not be doubted, since the Apostle cites these words before a Jewish assembly, in one of their synagogues, and applies them to the Messiah, without any hesitation, or any further reasoning upon it, as being a thing generally agreed upon…Wherefore the Jew has no reason to charge the Apostle with an error in citing a passage in this Psalm, and applying it to Christ…” He goes on to say “And there are many things which cannot be applied to David himself; for whatever may be said of his anointing, begetting, and sonship, the uttermost parts of the earth were never given for his possession…”
Now when Paul cites the second Psalm, he does so in connection with the resurrection of Jesus Christ as being tied with His Sonship. Christ’s resurrection is not the cause of His Sonship, and it is not why He is called the Son of God, but a manifestation of it. Christ was the Son of God before His resurrection. He was called “son” in prophecy (Matthew 2:15; Luke 1:32, 35), a voice from heaven declared that Jesus was the Son of God (Matthew 3:17; 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 3:22; 9:35), John the Baptist and other followers of Christ confessed it as well (Matthew 14:33; 16:16; John 1:34, 49; 6:69; 9:35; 11:27) and even the demons from hell knew that he was the Son of God (Matthew 8:29; Mark 3:11; 5:7; Luke 4:4; 8:28). So before His resurrection, Christ was the Son of God, but was declared with power and might to be the Son of God by the resurrection (Romans 1:4).
“Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.”
Concerning the phrase “ask of me” used here, Gill writes that it is indicative of the eternal filial relationship between God the Father and God the Son (Christ). The next phrase “I shall give thee the heathen for thy inheritance” is referring to “the nations” or “the Gentiles”. “[A]nd the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession”. Christ and His kingdom will one day fully conquer every nation and ruler. In 1 Corinthians 15:24, 25 we find that “Then cometh the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father, when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet”.
Evil and tyranny shall not continue forever. Christ is patient at the present. He waits. Meanwhile, sinful man continues in sin and evil and will do until the final day. When that day comes, there will be no hiding for the wicked man. At the present they will say: “God is not watching me. Even if He is, He doesn’t care. I am free to do as I please.” This is the same attitude the Psalmist in Psalm 94 shows. “They break in pieces thy people, O LORD: and afflict thine heritage. They slay the widow and the stranger: and murder the fatherless. Yet they say, the LORD shall not see: neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.” (Psalm 94:5-7)
One could very well add many other things to that list of offences. One could say they engage in promiscuous sex, they make a habit of lying (so much so that being called a “terrible liar” is a bad thing instead of a good thing), they get drunk, or overindulge with food. Yet still the attitude is as though God does not or cannot see, and even if He does, what is He going to do about it? “I have been doing these things for years. Where is the punishment I have been hearing so much about?” And so evil continues as man continues in unrepentant sin, blissfully apathetic of any sort of divine and eternal consequences for the lives they lead.
Continuing in the 94th Psalm, the Psalmist declares “Understand, ye brutish among the people: nd ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? He that formed the eye, shall he not see? He that chastiseth the heathen, shall he not correct? He that teacheth man knowledge, shall he not know?” (Psalm 94:8-10).
God knows all, sees all, hears all, and will judge all. We live in a society that does not think much of judgement. “Don’t judge me” is an oft-repeated cry. On that day when all of ungodly man’s deeds are laid bare, they will not be able to make that exclamation.
The nations shall be broken to pieces. Nations that thought themselves the greatest, the mightiest, and the most superior will crumble. Anyone that knows me will know that I am an unabashed Anglophile. I love England and all things English. There is a popular motto of sorts that has been around for a long while that pertains to that great nation: “There will always be an England”. As much as that stirs this Anglophile’s soul, I know it deep down to be false. England, noble and ancient though it may be, will, like other nations, be trod down in the winepress of God’s wrath. As great as England is, Christ’s kingdom is better, and Christ is a far more worthy and mighty king than any who ever sat on St. Edward’s throne.
Christ will one day destroy the nations. Is there any hope?
To Be Continued…