Theology and Politics from a Conservative, Biblical Perspective
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. (Psalm 2)
If you’re just tuning into this article, I suggest you start with Part 1 first, then work your way up to this one. In our last article in this series – Part 2 – we actually delved a bit more deeply into verses 5 and 6. Let’s move on starting with verse 7.
Again, humanity believes it has a chance to throw off the “shackles” that keep us bound to God’s sovereignty. God laughs at this. There is no chance that this will happen. He is the Creator and Ruler of all, period.
As a response to man’s impudence, God first laughs, then extends His wrath to humanity. This has not yet occurred as it will come in the seven years prior to the physical return of Jesus. King David – the author of this Psalm could not have been referring to the great Flood of Noah’s day or even of the destruction of Lot. While those events certainly showcased God’s wrath, the time of wrath spoken of here in verse 5 is mentioned in connection with God installing God the Son on His holy hill of Zion (v. 6). That will not occur until the Millennial Kingdom occurs and just prior to that is the seven-year period known as the Tribulation/Great Tribulation where the Antichrist rises to be the supreme ruler of the earth only to be destroyed at the return of Jesus.
Verse 7 emphasizes the uniqueness of God the Father’s relationship with God the Son. He is speaking of the fact that at a certain point in eternity past, God the Father simply issued a decree. When the Bible says “this day have I begotten thee,” it is not referring to the physical birth of Christ on earth. Jesus has always been the eternal Son from eternity past, just as the Holy Spirit has always been the Holy Spirit and the Father has always been God the Father. The declaration regarding Jesus is simply a nod to position within the Godhead. Who can really understand how that works? We cannot plumb its depths and because of that, many balk at the idea that there can be one God in three Persons, all equal, but not be three separate “gods.” While each Person has taken up different positions within that Godhead, this does not imply that they are somehow unequal. They are and have always been equal though the roles they play are unique to them.
The interpretation of this passage to describe the inauguration of Christ as Mediatorial King, by no means impugns the Eternal Sonship of His divine nature. – Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown
The Lord hath said unto me, thou [art] my Son; not by creation, as angels and men; nor by adoption, as saints; nor by office, as civil magistrates; nor on account of his incarnation or resurrection; nor because of the great love of God unto him; but in such a way of filiation as cannot be said of any creature nor of any other, Hebrews 1:5; He is the true, proper, natural, and eternal Son of God, and as such declared, owned, and acknowledged by Jehovah the Father… – John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible
This is similar to the truth that where Christ and salvation are concerned, it does not matter whether a person is male, female, slave, free, Jew or Gentile (Galatians 3:28). Salvation is offered to all individuals equally, without regard to gender, race, or position in life. However, this does not mean that all roles are abolished. Though Paul wrote this in Galatians, he also wrote later that he did not allow a woman to teach a man (1 Timothy 2:12) and he provided concrete reasons for that, which have nothing to do with the culture of his day. The Bible does not contradict itself. If God sees the husband as the head of the home, this does not mean that the wife is somehow less than in value or worth than the husband. This would be a falsehood to suggest this and it is not what Scripture is teaching.
As far as God is concerned, the buck stops with the man, the head of the home. But because the man is the head of the home, it does not give him the right to lord it over the woman or treat her as a slave, a piece of furniture, or someone who holds less value. The woman has every bit of value the man does, but in God’s economy, He holds the man responsible for what occurs within that household.
It is no different from a corporation, a CEO, and those who work under that CEO. It would be incorrect to say that because the CEO holds that position, everyone underneath that CEO is somehow less valuable as a human being. Certainly, the CEO holds more responsibility, but that does not mean that CEO has more human worth.
It is the same with the Godhead. All three – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – are completely equal in their Person, yet have chosen to exist within that Godhead fulfilling specific roles. That’s the best we can do for now on this subject. Dealing with the doctrine of the Trinity is for another set of articles.
Not only do we have the recognition of Jesus as God the eternal Son here in verse 7, but in verse 8, God the Father again speaks and promises that He will give to God the Son whatever He desires, even so far as to give Him the very heathen who mocked and ridiculed Him as He lived on earth in human form, ultimately rejecting Him. These attitudes of rebellion and disbelief continue to today and will also exist to the greatest level during the coming Tribulation/Great Tribulation.
But God the Father has of course prepared for that day. Looking ahead (on humanity’s timeline), God says that one day, God the Son will rule the earth (v. 9)! Sadly, it will not be without incident or rebellion even then forcing the Son to rule with a rod of iron. The sense here is that the people whom He rules over (those who are alive at the end of the Tribulation and go into the Millennial Kingdom as well as those born during those 1,000 years), will chafe at His rule. They will push Him and there will be issues over which He will offer judgment and that judgment will come hard and fast.
People might rightly wonder about this. How could the Millennial Kingdom rule of Jesus not be a time of unbroken peace? Oh, it will be peaceful, but it will not be without its problems (implied in the need for Jesus to rule with a rod of iron). The main reason for that is due to the fact that people who have survived the Tribulation and enter it as well as those human beings born during it will still have sin natures. This is not excised from individuals (who are saved) until after death (or the Rapture). As long as we are living here on earth as human beings who have yet to die (or be Raptured), the sin nature is, unfortunately, very much apart of our lives.
People born into the peace of the Millennial Kingdom will still need to receive Jesus as Savior in order to gain eternal life because they will be fallen individuals with a propensity toward rebellion. Their sin natures will do for them what it has done for us – cut us off from fellowship with God.
If they live those 1,000 years (and not all will), in rejection of Jesus (like those today who also reject Christ), the end result will be their eternal destruction. Jesus will keep the peace. He will reign as King. Generally speaking, even the unsaved will generally go along with the program at least outwardly, but they will still need to make a personal decision about Jesus. The most tragic part of this is that many will reject Jesus and follow Satan.
Consider Revelation 20:7-10:
Now when the thousand years are finished, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to bring them together for the battle. They are as numerous as the grains of sand in the sea. They went up on the broad plain of the earth and encircled the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and devoured them completely. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are too, and there they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Imagine living in the Millennial Kingdom ruled by the Prince of Peace and at the end of that thousand years, opting to follow a being whose abject hatred of man and God seemingly knows no bounds and is only limited by the limits of his power. Once he is released from the Pit, Satan deceives many from among the nations, gathers them and mounts a final attempt at overthrowing Jesus. This time, as the text above from Revelation 20 states, fire from heaven consumes them (just as one word from Jesus destroyed the Antichrist one thousand years before, at the end of the Great Tribulation when He returned to earth; 2 Thessalonians 2)! It is at this point that the devil is finally thrown into the Lake of Fire, which was already the final place of the Beast and Antichrist. Let me remind readers that the Lake of Fire was created not for humanity, but specifically for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). All who follow him in sin will also take up residence there.
Some balk at this idea that people who live under the perfect rule of Jesus could ever reject Him or rebel against Him. I’m not sure why that is so difficult to believe since Satan did it long before when there was no sin at all. He sinned though and took 1/3 of the angelic host with him in his rebellion against God (Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28). It is as if free will is destined to set itself against God. Paul implies that some angels (possibly 2/3 of them), did not follow Satan in his fall because they were elect and could not rebel.
I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality, 1 Timothy 5:21.
God the Son – Jesus – will be installed as King and ruler on Zion. From there, He will be the only ruler of the entire world. It will be a time of peace where swords are turned into plowshares. Peace will be maintained because of the iron rule of Jesus Himself, who will mete out justice perfectly every time without fail. Some people will not like it at all and will find ways to complain and grumble. These will be the ones who reject Jesus outright when Satan is released after his 1,000-year imprisonment.
We’ll be back next time to finish this series up. Join me then.