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Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”
I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
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.
At first glance, I didn’t get to this title. I had to do a little digging. It often works that way with Psalms. Remember, David is the anointed King of Israel. He is also the one through whom the promised Messiah is coming to deliver God’s people. It is through David’s line He will come. My study Bible helped me make the connections.
Often, your study Bible will help you know when the Psalm was written as well as other information to give you the setting. It makes a huge difference. It also helps you understand the current application of the passage with the writer to his current situation when he wrote it, as well as to the future event he was speaking about.
This was definitely one of those passages. When he refers to “the Lord and His Anointed”, he is speaking of David in the short term and of Jesus in the long term. But it isn’t a huge stretch to see that it could also refer to a head of government if we follow the command in Romans 13 here. I realize it isn’t quite the same anointing as David and Jesus, but prophetic or poetic passages aren’t always quite so precise either. We often need teaching passages to fill them out.
The enemies of God and enemies of David (at the time) were trying to wipe out that line, the one that would bring Messiah.
Early in this Psalm, we read that both in David’s day and over time, the enemies of David and the enemies of God are trying to get rid of that line. That is what the first segment is talking about. But in the second segment, God laughs. His plans won’t be thwarted. This was true in David’s day when David was anointed King. It was also true regarding the coming of the promised Messiah. No one is going to stop God from delivering on His plans. There are times when it looks like they have won. But He is always the victor.
Interesting word play
Let me comment here on something I read about the word “Anointed.” When it is transliterated from Hebrew into English, it means Messiah. When it is transliterated from Hebrew into Greek, it means Christ. But for Jewish or Gentile person to cut themselves off from either, is to cut themselves off from their only hope of knowing the true God. In essence, that is what the last two section are saying.
As you read through this psalm, I’m sure you will find more things than I have mentioned here. Psalms are very helpful to think about and mull over in terms of worship, thanks, and praise. I hope I helped prime the pump. Reading them over more than once along with reading a study Bible, even a concordance, can be very helpful in guiding your thinking.
So far in the Psalms, we find that God metes out justice in the end, in Psalm 1. He is the Anointed One who is reigning and will reign in the end over the new heavens and the new earth, no matter how bad things look at the moment, in Psalm 2..