The Enthroned Messiah

Rob Green November 27, 2016 Psalms 2:

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4 ways to be confident and joyful in the reign of Jesus this holiday season

I. Remember that the nations will continually attempt to be in control (vv. 1-3)

A. The nations will get all wound up (v. 1a)

Psalm 2:1a - Why are the nations in an uproar?

B. They will attempt to unify under a common plan (v. 1b-2a)

Psalm 2:1b-2a - …and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand; and the rulers take counsel together…

C. They will attempt to separate themselves from the rule of Jesus (vv. 2b-3)

Psalm 2:2b-3 - Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!”

II. Rejoice that God’s response is both quick and decisive (vv. 4-6)

A. God is neither intimidated nor manipulated (v. 4)

Psalm 2:4 - He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them.

B. God is irritated at the lack of submission (v. 5)

Psalm 2:5 - Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying…

C. God decided to make Jesus King (v. 6)

Psalm 2:6 - But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.

III. Give thanks that Jesus Christ is our King (vv. 7-9)

A. He has a special position (v. 7)

Psalm 2:7 - I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You.”

B. He has an extensive possession (v. 8)

Psalm 2:8 - Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession.

C. He has unrestrained authority (v. 9)

Psalm 2:9 - You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.

IV. Receive the blessing associated with trusting Him (vv. 10-12)

A. The final warning to the rebellious (vv. 10-12a)

Psalm 2:10-12a - Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the Lord with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that he not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled.

B. The final reward to the faithful (v. 12b)

Psalm 2:12b - How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

Outlined Manuscript

This year our focus has been Loving Our World. That is why we included the book of Jonah in our study. We want to be a church known for loving everyone. In fact, last Sunday night’s stewardship celebration was the most diverse/multi-national/ethnic anything I have seen at Faith.

  • Latin American Strategy with our ministry to Hispanics both here and abroad. You sang in both English and Spanish.
  • Hartford Hub and little Mya sharing that she recently came to Christ.
  • Aaron Birk and some of the Internationals sharing how the nations are here. Maybe someday so many Chinese will be won to Christ that we will have a 10 minute version of Mighty to Save because we are singing in English, Spanish, and Chinese.
  • Matt Hull serving the European nation of Albania.

By God’s grace he allowed a certain amount of Loving our world to occur.

But as we close out our year we want to remind ourselves that the reason we can love our World and the motivation that we have for loving the World is found in the fact that Jesus is the Messiah to the nations.

The holidays are often stressful.

  • We have more people requesting counseling than during the summer for example.
  • People are running here and there and everywhere.

As we enter a time of busyness, craziness, and sometimes stress over the holidays the question I want to answer is, “Is there any hope?” Can we be confident and joyful during this holiday season while others are stressed, worried, or stuck living in fear?

  • Can we serve in LN with smiles on our faces and joy in our hearts?
  • Can we invite people to the musical/cantata with a smile on our face because we are truly happy?
  • Can we buy presents for the CFE children with joy in our hearts asking God to help us find just the right gifts for the cheapest price possible so we can buy them more?
  • Can we be a light in our work places with the joy and confidence in our heart and on our face?

With that in mind please turn in your Bibles to Psalm 2. That is on page ____ of the front section of the Bible in the chair in front of you.

As you are getting to Psalm 2 I would like to remind you of a couple truths about the Psalms:

  1. The Psalms address all the areas of life and speak to our intellect (the Psalms teach us truths about God and man), to our emotions (they show us what it is like to rejoice over blessing, to hurt about pain, and to trust in both), and our desires (they show us what we should want and do). This Psalm is no different. It will speak to your intellect, to your emotions, and to your decisions.
  2. Psalm 2 may have been used as part of the inauguration ceremony of certain kings in the line of David. Even though this psalm may have been read or sung during the celebrations in ancient Israel, Psalm 2 points to the Messiah. Any connection to Solomon, to Reheboam, to Hezekiah, or to Josiah would be by analogy at best. This Psalm is first and foremost about Christ. I will present this message as if it is about Christ.

Please follow along as I read Psalm 2. This is the Word of the Lord.

With the time I have I want us to consider 4 ways to be confident and joyful in the reign of Jesus this holiday season.

I. Remember that the nations will continually attempt to be in control (vv. 1-3)

If you are alive and paying any attention to current events you know that people across our globe are stressed, worried, and afraid.

  • People in England are concerned about England’s stance within the European Union.
  • They remain unsure if they are really going to leave and if they do, will Scotland attempt to depart from the United Kingdom? 

Back home you cannot watch the news without some story about how a particular person or group of people are living in fear over what will happen in the US now that the November elections are over.

Friends, please do not be surprised by all this news coverage.

  • Do not be surprised by the fear that some people express.
  • Do not be surprised when our world looks to itself for answers.

Our world is looking for security in human kingdoms.

  • One of the key lessons we learned in the book of Daniel this year is that no human kingdom can last nor can they satisfy.
  • All of them, and I mean all of them, will be crushed by the coming kingdom of God.
  • The kingdom of God is like a mountain that pulverizes all human kingdoms.

So when you see people in a panic. Don’t be surprised. Our world is going to care more about whether Britain will really leave the EU or what happens when Trump becomes the president of the US than they will care about the one in charge of the universe.

I find Psalm 2 helping me watch the news. I knew what was coming. I find it helping me remain confident and joyful. Long before CNN, NBC, FOX, Rush, (hopefully I covered all my bases), there was …. GOD.

Here is what God said…

  1. The nations will get all wound up (v. 1a)

Psalm 2:1 Why are the nations in an uproar?

When I look at chaos, I remind myself that this is exactly what God predicted.

  1. They will attempt to unify under a common plan (v. 1b-2a)

Psalm 2:1b-2a And the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand; And the rulers take counsel together

This, of course, is not so easy. I read an article that predicted if Britain leaves the EU, then the EU will likely be defunct in 20 years. Getting together is not that easy. But here is what all the nations do … they unite against a common enemy.

They will take counsel together … they will devise a plan … they will stand with one another on one matter … they will unite to ensure that one thing remains as constant as possible …

  1. They will attempt to separate themselves from the rule of Jesus (vv. 2b-3)

Psalm 2:2b-3 Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!”

They unite against the Lord. If the nations cannot get along with each other then at least they can be united against God and against Christ – the Messiah.

  • Get rid of the chains, they cry.
  • Cut the cords and let us be free, they cry.

They have no desire to live, serve, and function under the rule of Jesus.

Do you realize that this plan is vain? It is worthless. You see the nations are trying to find ways to minimize the fear, the stress, and the worry. In reality, this response creates a false sense of security.

  • It is like peek a boo. Peek a boo is an awesome game as long as someone actually believes that covering their eyes made them disappear or made you disappear.
  • But the game stops being fun once everyone understands what is really happening.

God tell us that the nations believe that they have separated themselves from God --- they have control --- , but the reality is that all kingdoms of men remain under the illusion of control.

  • Creating a kingdom did not make God disappear.
  • Having a system of government does not jam up God.
    • All of them still submit to Christ whether they admit it or not.

That is why we believers do not have to be equally concerned. As Psalm 115:3 says, “Our God is in the heavens and he does whatever he pleases.”

I realize that many of you are not living in stress, fear, and worry.

  • You are not sure what is going to happen to the US in the days ahead. Will life be easier, harder? No one knows.
  • But you are planning to function as a committed follower of Christ regardless of what happens. That is exactly what this Psalm would encourage us to do.

I had some folks ask me prior to the election to help them think a few things through so I started by saying this:

  1. No human kingdom can ever satisfy. This election will not determine whether or not you and I can live for Christ.
  2. Focus on ministry. God’s purpose for us is to declare his praises (and sovereignty). We can do that no matter what nation we live in and no matter what government we have.
    1. Thank you on behalf of our entire staff for committing to service on the stewardship commitment card. Our staff has been so encouraged to see you learn from Daniel and from Jonah and just focus on ministry.
    2. You can still submit yours to the Welcome Center if you just did not complete it. In fact, you can get an extra copy at the Welcome Center if that would be helpful to you.
  3. Do not live in fear and worry. All human kingdoms submit to Christ. Nothing can happen that God does not allow.

Our confidence and joy does not come solely from knowing that the nations will be all wound up and look for ways to eliminate God, it also comes as we …

II. Rejoice that God’s response is both quick and decisive (vv. 4-6)

In the face of rebellion what is going to happen? When I am under someone and then someone else rebels, then what?

  • For example, remember those days when you were in school. Here you are sitting doing your work and little Johnny starts creating chaos.
    • The first thing you want to know is how is the teacher going to respond.
    • A child is trying to take control of the class. Now what?

Your confidence in your teacher and your enjoyment in the class was directly impacted by what the teacher did.

  • What if the teacher allowed the student to create chaos? You were thinking what in the world am I doing here? Why come to school or class?
    • There are two teachers that are engraved in my mind. One was during my fourth grade year and the other one in my eighth. I was a product of the Columbus, Ohio Public Schools – the worst school system in the state. Mr. Story (that is about how big he was) and Mrs. Olgolvy (she looked like Tina Turner and had just as much attitude).

I loved their classes. I will just tell you about Mr. Story.

  • He not only taught in the worst school system, he taught in the school in the worst neighborhood in the city. When little Johnny decided he wanted to be in control Mr. Story gave him 500 sentences for him to write. 500! He wanted every single one of them.
    • If little Johnny decided he did not want to do the 500 sentences then Mr. Story would invite you to his office where a sizeable paddle was kept.
    • With one hand he held you by your pants about 3 feet off the ground and with the other he embedded his paddle into your backside. My father loved Mr. Story. He made my dad’s life much easier.

Frankly, all of us in his class understood that he was in control and that gave us confidence that in his class, no fight was going to break out, no name calling was going to happen, no flicking people’s ears, or kicking their chairs. In Mr. Story’s class there was no fear, no stress, and no worry --- except maybe the fear of God mediated through Mr. Story.

Well, what about God? What is God going to do? The nations are rising up and declaring their freedom? They are establishing their own kingdoms! Lord, one of my classmates is creating chaos. Now what?

  1. God is neither intimidated nor manipulated (v. 4)

Psalm 2:4 He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them.

The Lord laughs? He looks down from heaven and he sees the insignificant attempts to create independence and security and God responds by laughing.

  • The laugh is not like laughing at a joke. It is laughing about the silliness of the attempt.
  • As one preacher thoughtfully said, “How can mere human beings expect to get rid of God?”

The Lord scoffs at their attempts. The nations proclaiming their independence does not by itself mean that they are independent. It is nothing more than peek-a-boo.

In addition …

  1. God is irritated at the lack of submission (v. 5)

Psalm 2:5 Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying,

God is irritated that man would make such an attempt to rebel against him and set up a rival kingdom. Not only is the Lord’s response one of laughter, but also anger.

Spurgeon, on his message on Psalm 2, quoted another preacher who wrote about 30 Roman leaders who distinguished themselves in their bitterness against the church of Jesus Christ and all those who followed him all died.

  • Reminding us that God gets the last laugh.
  • There may be a short season where in their rebellion they cry out against the Lord, but in the end they must give account to him.

In his anger over the feeble attempts to subvert God’s authority …

  1. God decided to make Jesus King (v. 6)

Psalm 2:6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

God wanted his people to accept the human leaders that he gave them.

  • It was his desire that the human leaders would be people after his own heart and would lead the nation to a right relationship and worship of God.
  • All too often, that is not the kind of leader God’s people wanted. They wanted a leader who would rule like the other nations.
  • So, that is the type of leader God gave him.

But over all the universe … God would not entrust such a big job to unworthy men.

  • To rule upon Zion, to rule forever on the throne of David would require someone much better and much more qualified.

For that job God tapped his son. Only his son Jesus Christ could fulfill the task as ruler over all the universe forever.

The reason I told you the story about Mr. Story is that it served as an illustration of what we find happening here.

  • Mr. Story was challenged by a student who wanted to control the class. A student that thought he should be sovereign.
  • Mr. Story met that challenge quickly and decisively.
  • That gave students confidence that in his class everyone was safe. There might be a fight on recess, but not in his class.

God is met with a challenge for control and sovereignty by the nations. What will he do?

  • He acts quickly and decisively in order to show that their claims for independence are false and in fact, the control of the universe is entrusted to Jesus Christ.

Isn’t it wonderful to serve a leader who actually leads? Isn’t it wonderful to serve a God that meets the challenges head on?

In addition to areas of service I know that many of you made commitments to give.

  • You not only committed to supporting the normal ministries of the church, but you also committed to supporting the other ministries that God has given.
  • You did so not only because you want those ministries to succeed, but also because you have confidence in the God of heaven and earth and in Christ who rules.

This Psalm gives us confidence and joy this Christmas season. While we see the world living in stress, fear, and worry we find ourselves relaxed, confident, and joyful.

We have confidence and joy because we know what our world is going to do and because our God acts quickly and decisively, but we also see …

III. Give Thanks that Jesus Christ is our King (vv. 7-9)

Confidence and joy often results in giving thanks. I am so thankful that God chose a king who is qualified.

  • It may be that Psalm 2 was used in the OT for inauguration day. But the promises given in vv. 7-9 were not for the human king.
  • Only the king that would rule on David’s throne forever would be given this in full.

For us, who live after the coming of Messiah, we give thanks. Notice how Psalm 2 explains the identity of this King of the universe.

  1. He has a special position (v. 7)

Psalm 2:7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.

This sonship language is the primary clue that Psalm 2 is not talking about just anyone, but about THE ONE. These words are associated with Christ in very specific and powerful contexts.

Matthew 3:17 a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

This is at the baptism of Jesus. This events kicks off the public ministry of Christ. John has been preparing the way and encouraging people to repent.

  • At the first public unveiling of the ministry of Christ God says, “This is my beloved son.” He could have just as easily said, “Here is the new king.”

Matthew 17:5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”

This is at the transfiguration of Jesus. Jesus, Peter, James, and John go up to the mountain and Jesus appears with Elijah and Moses in a completely different state. Their response is to build three alters.

  • That is when God made it clear only one would be needed.

Hebrews 1:5 For to which of the angels did He ever say, “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again, “I will be a Father to Him And He shall be a Son to Me”?

This passage occurs at the beginning of Hebrews where the writer argues that Jesus is better than the angels. What better comparison could you have? There is clear priority and superiority in the text.

This language is not applied to just anyone. These words are associated with Christ and Christ alone.

  1. He has an extensive possession (v. 8)

Psalm 2:8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.

This is also a reason we know that this is not just anyone but THE ONE. In the OT God did not promise one of the kings of Israel the whole world. But this king gets the whole smash.

  • All the governments, all the nations, all the people, all the resources, all of the economies.
  • Jesus gets it all.

In one sense Jesus has it all right now. In another sense, we do not always see it. Listen to the words of Hebrews 2.

Hebrews 2:7-8 “You have made him for a little while lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And have appointed him over the Works of Your hands; 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.

On the one hand, we know that all the kingdoms of this world are under the control of Christ. But we also know that at this point they have a certain amount of freedom to rebel against him. But one day that is not going to be the case.

That is because …

  1. He has unrestrained authority (v. 9)

Psalm 2:9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’ ”

Christ as the suffering servant; Christ as the patient one; Christ as the one who is waiting for the right time will be given the freedom to rule completely and finally. 

  • God will provide everything that is needed in order to accomplish the task of complete world domination.

That reminds us of

Philippians 2:9-11 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

There is no doubt that when the wrong people have power, it can be a little scary. When the wrong people have a lot of power it can be very scary.

  • That is one of the reasons we can have confidence and joy this holiday season.

We know that the one who is in complete control and has full authority is the perfect savior Jesus Christ.

  • Again, I know that many of you used the stewardship commitment card to express your desire to know your savior by studying his word, joining a small group or ABF, and be more committed to your prayer life.

If anyone else had this kind of power … a special position from God … all the earth as his possession … and the authority and power to rule it, then we would all have reason to be afraid.

But once I knew it was king Jesus … it was all good.

Why can we have confidence and joy as we enter the holiday season?

  • Because we know that nations are going to clamor for power. We don’t have to be surprised by that.
  • Because God acts quickly and decisively against the rebellious nations. We know that God’s world has an active king.
  • Because Jesus, the only one who was truly qualified, was the selection.
  • The final way we can exercise confidence and joy this holiday season is …

IV. Receive the Blessing associated with Trusting Him (vv. 10-12)

Blessing is a common theme in the Bible. In Psalm 1 the blessed person was the one who delighted in the law of the Lord and meditated on it all the time. When they did those things they were described as a tree firmly planted by streams of water.

But before we get to the blessing, we remember first the warning.

  1. The final warning to the rebellious (vv. 10-12a)

Psalm 2:10-12a Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. 11 Worship the Lord with reverence And rejoice with trembling. 12 Do homage to the Son, that he not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled.

I mentioned at the beginning that the Psalms feed our intellect (and we have been taught by vv. 1-9), they feed our emotions (I have confidence and joy knowing that God is handling the rebellious ones and he has appointed Christ as the head), and they direct our volition (they encourage us to make choices).

There is a clear choice to be made.

  • The Bible calls you not to place your hope, value, confidence, or joy in the human kingdoms set up by the nations.
  • Instead, it calls you to trust in a person. The person of Jesus Christ.

Worship (Do homage to) the son … This means that your faith and trust must be in the finished work of this King. Jesus came, which we celebrate at Christmas, to be a servant; to give his life for you. You needed him to give his life because there was no way for you to ever be good enough for God on your own.

  • Your good works will not do it.
  • Your nice words will not do it.
  • You cannot make it on your own.

Your sin … the careless words, the careless thoughts, every one of them deserves his wrath.

Friends, if you came today and you understand that you have never repented on your sin and trusted in the D/B/R of Jesus for your salvation then you can do that today.

  • You can make your decision in the quietness of this moment.
  • You can ask to speak with one of the pastors and we will arrange to have a conversation with you.

There is no more important decision to make then to trust Christ this Christmas season. If you do, then you would have the joy of celebrating your first Christmas as a believer in Christ.

If you know Christ, then I want you to see …

  1. The final reward to the faithful (v. 12b)

Psalm 2:12b How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

Friends, the Lord is strong. He is a place of refuge. When you go to him you find blessing.

As we enter the Christmas season (or even the New Year) and all of the craziness do not live in fear, worry, or stress.

  • You can have confidence and joy because you understand the world will always clamor after power, you watched your God act quickly and decisively so that you are safe with him, you give thanks that your leader is Christ … the only one truly qualified for the job ... and you experience the blessing of being with him.

Psalm 2 can transform your holiday season if you let it impact your thinking, your emotions, and your decisions.

It can transform your attitude at work, at home, toward service. This is a time of year that having confidence and joy just might stand out.

Rob Green

B.S. - Engineering Physics, Ohio State University
M.Div. - Baptist Bible Seminary
Ph.D. - New Testament, Baptist Bible Seminary

Pastor Rob Green and his wife, Stephanie, joined the Faith staff in August, 2005.  Rob’s responsibilities include oversight of the Faith Biblical Counseling Ministry and teaching New Testament at the Faith Bible Seminary. He serves on the council board of the Biblical Counseling Coalition and as a fellow at the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.

Read Rob Green's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Green to Faith Church.