Psalms 2 pt I

Steve Viars December 11, 1993 Psalms 2:

- this morning we're going to be looking at a very important,
   and a very Timely Psalm--thats Psalm 2 -- let me invite
   you to turn there in your Bible.

- just to help us see how timely the message of this Psalm
   is--let me ask you to think about this for a moment:

  - Practically everyone in our country in the next couple of
     weeks is going to be thinking about What?  (Christmas)
     - you'd just about have to crawl in a box--because
         reminders of Christmas are all around us.

     - and that’s not just true in our country, but in many
        other countries around the world as well.

     - everybody's thinking about Christmas//and we probably
         even need to strengthen that -- many folks would
         even say that this is one of their favorite times of
         the year.
          - and that many of their favorite memories are from
            Christmastime.

- INPUT - now let me ask you this--What are some possible
    dangers of the fact that Christmas is such an accepted
    and popular holiday?


- I think we could summarize all of this by saying that one
   of the greatest dangers of the popularity of the Christmas
   season is:
    - a person thinking they know and understand God
    - or thinking they're in right relationship with God

        - simply because they've gotten involved in a holiday
           that has some sort of religious significance.

- in fact—that’s one of the reasons we started the Living
   Nativity:
    - first, just to help folks bring Christ into Christmas,
         period -- for some, even that’s a step

    - next, to help all of us focus on the full meaning of
        Christmas
          - not only that He came, but WHY HE CAME.

- now, the point of all of this is--Psalm 2 helps us do the
    same thing
      - because this Psalm gives us a more complete picture
         of who Jesus is -- and what our relationship with
         Him is to be like.

- that kind of information is always helpful, but perhaps it
   will be especially helpful at Christmas time.
- now, let's read this Psalm together.  (notes?)

- Psalm 2 is written by David.
   - we know that because Peter quotes this Psalm in Acts 4
     and says these are David's words.

   - we also know that the fulfillment of this Psalm is Jesus
      Christ -- because the NT quotes this psalm in several
      places and relates it to the life, death, burial, and
      especially the resurrection of Christ.

- now, a very important question to ask is -- what did David
   understand these verses to mean?
     - it's very important when we're studying the Scripture
       to ask things like:
         1) who wrote these words?
         2) who was he writing to?
         3) how would these words have impacted the original
              audience?

- the reason we need to ask those kinds of questions is
   because that helps us determine how the Psalm applies to
   us, and how we should change as a result.

- Psalm 2 is a coronation Psalm
   "I have set my king upon the holy hill of Zion"

    - the idea is that God had promised David that one of his
      descendants would be the Messiah
        - and this Psalm looks forward to that day.

- so the context is, the promises (or in this case, covenant)
    God made to his servant David.

- now I only want to take a minute on this, but it is
   important -- the idea of biblical covenants is an
   important theme in the OT.

- and there are four major ones that students of the
    Scripture need to know.

    1) Abrahamic - Gen. 12

         - God promised Abraham  (on white board)
             - to give him a land.
             - to multiply his seed.
             - to bless him.

    2) Palestinian - to Moses - Deut. 29
        - especially develops the promise of the land

    3) Davidic - II Sam. 7 (please turn there)

        - especially develops the promise of the seed

    4) New - Jer. 31
        - especially develops the idea of "blessing"


- read II Sam 7:8-17

- the point of all of this is that the context of Psalm 2 is
   that God has promised David that the Messiah would come
   from his family line
     - and that there would be a day in which the Messiah
        would be universally followed and universally
        worshipped and would be universally adored.

- now think with me about that for a minute--that would have
   to creates an automatic tension in David's mind.
     - the tension is -- Lord, I'm determined to BELIEVE
         everything you've promised to me -- but it's hard to
         believe as I look at the events around me.

     - he says, as I look at the way those who don't believe
        in you live, and how they speak about you and relate
        to you
          - when I look at the way many even our own nation
             live and relate to you...

- THERE'S A TENSION BETWEEN WHAT YOU'VE PROMISED AND WHAT I
   OBSERVE.

- and you and I face the exact same issue.
   - what do you do in the interim period between the time
     God's promises are made, and the time God's promises are
     fulfilled?

- that's what Psalm 2 does for us
   - while Psalm 1 emphasized God's law
   - Psalm 2 emphasizes God's Son who will be King.


- now, you may have noticed as we were reading that the Psalm
   breaks down into some natural divisions:

- David begins by telling us we must:

I. Recognize Man's Sinfulness

    A. Characteristics in this passage

        INPUT - what do you see in verse 1 about the
          characteristics of those who don't believe in God?
           (rage, NASB - in an uproar, imagine a vain thing)

          - by the way, the word imagine in Psalm 2:1 is the
             same word as "meditate" in Psalm 1:2.
          - those who know God meditate on his law, those who
             don't imagine (plot, devise) things that are
             vain.

        - he tells us in verse 2 who that plotting is against
        - INPUT - Who?  (the Lord and His anointed.)

- see, we're talking about a battle
      - we're talking about two clear sides
         1) The Lord and his anointed, and all those who
              believe in Him
         2) Those who don't, those who won't
             - those who want nothing to do with the God of
                the Bible
- we're talking about a battle

- now you might say--PV, don't you realize that this is
    Christmas!
    - don't you realize that we're supposed to talk about
       pleasant things like peace on earth and good will to
       men?

- that’s one of the great dangers of Christmas.
   - we can't talk about peace until we talk about getting
      the problem solved that led to the lack of peace to
      begin with.

    - cf. Soviet/Iraqi peace

- point is--Psalm 2 helps us to think about the war that
    exists between the God who created this world, and those
    who refuse to believe in Him.

- now verse 3 tells us what it is about the Lord that people
   in this world who don't know Him object to the most.

   INPUT - what is it?
     (his law, his requirements, his way of life)

   - the Lord knows exactly what way of life is best for you
       and me.
   - and it has a lot to do with self-control.
   - it has a lot to do with denying self and seeking to love
      and minister to others.

   - that’s the best way of life.
   - that's what it means to live for Christ.
   - Jesus' yoke is easy and his burden is light--but it is a
       yoke and it is a burden.

  - there are some requirements and standards that go with it
     - no to earn salvation--but as an evidence of salvation


- see, people who don't know God don't want to hear anything
   about that.
   - don't want to hear anything about self-control
   - don't want to hear anything about restrain or standards
   - don't want to hear anything about honoring authority
      - even if that authority is the very God of heaven who
         knows what is best for you and me.

- we will not have this man to rule over us
    - we want to be free to live however we want

- of course the problem with that is--man's freedom always
   brings bondage--the Scripture teaches that in many places.


- see, that’s what verses 1 - 3 are talking about.
   - men and women vainly thinking, vainly plotting:
      - to rid themselves of God
      - to rid themselves of God's anoited Son
      - to rid themselves of God's standards

- now let think about:

B. Examples in Biblical history

- ... of how specifically people tried to destroy the Savior.
  (we could broaden this way out, but think specifically of
   how verses 1-3 have come true even in the life of Christ)

INPUT?  (Herod, Pharisees, crucifixion)

- one that we could add to this in the next period of
   biblical history is found in Acts 4
- let me ask you to take the time to turn there

    - (teach through verse 13-31)

- point is-- Peter quoted Psalms 2, saying that we live in a
   world where some folks, even when clear undeniable
   evidence is set before them about the truth of Christ
     - the free gift of salvation in Christ
     - the wonderful joy and privilege of knowing Christ and
         living for Him.

- some will still reject it
   - some will still try to suppress it
   - some will still say--we don't want that to be any part of
       us

   - we don't want anything to do with that
   - "You can't talk way around here"

-  I Think you realize—that’s exactly where we are today.
   - in fact, I'm sure if I opened it up at this point to
      hear ways you've seen Psalms 2:1-3 evidenced today, we
      could spend the rest of our time just citing examples.

- let me just mention one we saw this week, of people who
    have concluded.

  - cf. - wife having an affair with another man

    - apparently she said--I don't care what God says about
        being faithful to my marriage vows
         - I'm not going to be restrained by that

    - her husband found out about it
       - apparently he said--I don't care what God says about
           murder.
       - I'm not going to be restrained by that.

    - you may have read about the grisly result of that in
      this weeks paper--where the man got a machette--cut off
      the head of the lover, put in a plastic bag, and put it
      next to his wife's bed.

    - "you've come a long way, baby!"
        - look where unbridled freedom has taken us as a
           society.

- see, God promised David that the Messiah would come out of
   His own lineage, and that men and women would love the
   Messiah, and worship the Messiah, and live for the
   Messiah.
- like David, we might be tempted to say--Where's the
    evidence?
   -now, before we leave that idea-I think we need to
     strongly remind ourselves that the characteristics of
     Psalms 2:1-3 could be true of you or I to some degree.

  - see, can you think of areas of life where you have not
     given Jesus Christ the place of prominence He deserves?

   - as a husband this week, was it very evident that you
     considered being a Christ-like husband a high priority?
      - a burden that was light and a yoke that was easy?

- as a wife--was it obvious that you desired to be like our
    submissive savior in your relationship to your mate?

- and we could go on and on through all sorts of
   relationships, but you get the point--you and I are not
   immune from habits that would say--"God's way in this
   situation would just be too restrictive"
    - I know the Bible says "such and such," but in this
       situation my way is best!

- and David says to our unbelieving world, and even to us
   when we're not living for Christ:

 

II. Hear God's Response To All Of This

    - if you didn't know the God of the Bible, you might
      think that all of this scheming and planning and
      ignoring WOULD INTIMIDATE HIM.
  - maybe He'll change His plans--maybe He'll change His ways
    - maybe He'll crumble in the face of all this opposition!

  - what does verse 4 say?

     - He sits in the heavens.
     - one writer said this verse pictures  "calm and serene
        dignity that characterizes Him that is so far removed
        from the littleness of men."

   - What else does the passage tell us?  (He laughs)

      - not that He's laughing at sin.

      - the next verse says God will show His anger at sin.
      - Our Savior wept at the sinfulness of men

      - this is not some joke

- but the point is -- look at how absurd and ridiculous this
    scene is
      - of men and women who were created by God, living in
         His world
           - yet trying to live apart from Him.
- verse 5 says God speaks in anger.
- it angers God when men and women don't acknowledge His Son
- it angers Him when they don't live for His Son.

- illus - painting of wealthy art collector's son.

- point is--men and women can choose to live like the
   characteristics outlined in verses 1-3, but they can't do
   so without invoking the anger of God.
- the Lord finishes that part of the response in verse 6 when
   He said -- "I have set my king upon the holy hill of Zion"
     - "I have installed my king upon Zion, My holy mountain"

- in other words--David "it's a done deal"
   - we can speak about it as if it's already happened.
   - you can mark it down--regardless of what men say or how
      they respond
        - Jesus Christ is the King.

- now, the next three verses help us to:

III. Grow In Our Understanding Of Him

   - verse 7 says:  (READ)

 

    A. God loves His Son

      - there are several times in the life of Christ where
        this message is proclaimed very clearly.

      INPUT - can you think of some times where the Father
        communicated audibly that Jesus was His Son?

        1) baptism
        2) transfiguration

      - Peter in Acts 4 ties these words to the resurrection.
      - see, we know a lot more about these verses than
         David did, because we know they are being fulfilled
         in the life of our Savior.

- and thinking through the argument of this Psalm helps us to
    understand the Christmas message.
    - we're not just talking about a babe in a manger and
       peace on earth and everyone ought to feel real good
       and have a great time.

- we can't have peace until we have the problem solved.
  - men and women are born with a war going on in their own
      souls of opposition to God and His Son.

      - it may be active opposition--it may just be passive
         opposition

- but the Scripture says
- God laughs at attempts to ignore Him, or suppress Him
- and God is angry at attempts to ignore Him or suppress Him

- there's a real problem here
  - but God has also done something about it
    - He's set His Son "upon the Holy Hill of Zion"

- now, some folks might say, "well, I don't see Jesus
   reigning today."

- hey, don't be so sure
   - it's true that these verses will ultimately be fulfilled
      when Christ establishes his millennial kingdom on this
      earth in the future...


   - but the Scripture very clearly teaches that Christ is
       ruling and reigning in the hearts and lives of men and
       women who have trusted Him as savior right now.

    - that’s why Paul told the Colossians -- God "hath
       delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath
       translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son."

- that’s what verse 8 is all about (read Psalm 2:8)
(B. Many will trust Him and become His inheritance)
- verse 9 tells us that those who don't believe will be
    severely judged.

C. Those who don't will be severely judged

- now, the question is--how should all of this affect us?
   - how did David want it to affect his readers?
   - he tells us that in the last three verses:

IV. Fulfill Your Responsibilities to Him

    - INPUT - what's the first expected result of this
        according to verse 10?

    A. Be wise

        - people who move away from the characteristics
           listed in verses 1-3 are wise.
        - as you and I recognize the vanity of trying to live
           apart from God and His principles -- and make the
           changes that go along with that recognition--we're
           growing in wisdom.

         - as you and I change from seeing the Word of God
           and the law of God as something that is "BINDING"
           and "RESTRICTING" to something that is freeing and
           liberating--we're growing in wisdom.

        - the Word of God "makes wise the simple."

        - the Lord wants the full message of Jesus Christ to
            result in wisdom.

- what's the next result according to verse 11?

    B. Serve the Lord with fear

        - we're not talking about "cowering fear"
        - but the concepts we're talking about this morning
           ought to produce a reverence and an "awe" of God
           and His plan.

- it's the opposite of serving the Lord in a
- "nonchalant" fashion.

         - INPUT - what would you say are some
             characteristics of a person who serves "non-
             chalantly?" (tie to the Nativity)

    C. Rejoice with trembling

        - what we're talking about this morning is cause for
           great joy.
        - but why might that joy be mixed with trembling?

 

    D. Kiss the Son

        - INPUT - what does it mean to "kiss the Son"
           (give the respect He deserves)

        - INPUT - how might a person "kiss the Son" this
            week?

 

    E. Trust in Him

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video