Psalm 2: When we shake our fists at God

Psalm 2 English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

2 Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
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 burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6 “As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”
7 I will tell of the decree:
The Lord 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,
and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

What fascinates me about those who claim to be atheists is how much anger they have toward God. Most recently, this has been demonstrated by British celebrity Stephen Fry here, but perhaps more famously by Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchins. It fascinates me because anger toward God is not the emotion that I expect from someone who says that there is no God. I can understand apathy, or even ridicule, but not anger. I think this Psalm provides an explanation as to why it is that there are so many angry atheists in the world: the real motivator behind claims of disbelief is not science or intellect or morality but rebellion. The real reason for unbelief and disobedience is treason against the Creator.

This applies as much to the Christian as to the atheist. What grieves me most is that despite my conviction that Jesus is the rightful King of all creation, there still exists a part of me that would see His throne toppled and my own established in its place. This desire triumphs every time I choose to disobey his Word. Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

We need to recognise the rightful rule of the Creator over our lives. To do this we need to give allegiance to the King he has appointed: Jesus Christ. God has established the rule of His Son and no amount of fist-shaking can do anything about that. Yet to all who do fear Him, who do submit to Him he is also a refuge. The same King who lovingly rules over us, also forgives us our treasonous acts and offers us grace and mercy.

O God, help me to see the futility and arrogance of my rebellion against you. Help me surrender all to the service of King Jesus. Help me to know that my treason is forgiven in His name.

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