Why are the nations in an uproar?

Publié le 18 juillet 2020 dans Traductions

Just as Psalm 1, Psalm 2 introduces the book of Psalms. Ps.1/1, « How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, » and the last verse of Psalm 2, « How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! »
Psalm 1 shows that there are only two categories of men, the sinners and the righteous, which is confirmed in Psalm 2, applying that to the peoples and nations of the earth.

In the Old Testament, Psalm 2 is a royal psalm that describes a king induction ceremony. But the New Testament broadens its scope as it’s quoted 18 times, referring to Christ introduced as the Messiah. That makes it a Messianic psalm.
Moved by the Holy Spirit, the apostles lifted their voices in Acts 4/24-26: « And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, “O Lord, it is You who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said,
‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
And the peoples devise futile things?
‘The kings of the earth took their stand,
And the rulers were gathered together
Against the Lord and against His Christ.’ »
As shown in these verses, Psalm 2 was written by David.
Like many other passages, the verses in Acts also show the divine inspiration of the Scriptures.
God revealed his Word through His Spirit and speaks through the mouths of his servants: in this case, David.
As we read, four very lively scenes of three verses each unfold in Ps.2, illustrating the rebellion of mankind against God.
Let’s read the first three verses:
1) Worldwide rebellion against God and His Anointed
Ps.2/1-3: « Why are the nations in an uproar
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us! »
Our world is being shaken by an unprecedented health, economic, social and political crisis, adding to the conflicts and wars already underway before that. Many people are worrying and wondering where the world is going, why this pandemic is hitting us or when wars and corruption will stop. How to stop worrying when we face uncertainty and when we have no control at all?

What’s the purpose of our lives?
In Ps.2, David gives an answer by outlining two different perspectives, human and divine.
From the human perspective, he raises two questions that are as true today as for any other generation.
His 1st question, « Why are the nations in an uproar? »
What does the word “uproar” mean to you? It makes us think of the raging waters of an ocean or the disorderly agitation of a crowd.
So, the question is, « Why are there so many conflicts, chaos, violence, and unrest in the world?

We can sit around a table to share a good meal while watching broadcasts of unbearable images from different places in the world –places sometimes close to our home. The same question comes again and again: Why this incessant uproar?
David’s 2nd question, « And the peoples devising a vain thing? »
Here is the irony of human depravity. Men make plans that turn out to be futile. Vanity means emptiness, futility, and uselessness. Why are there so many vain thoughts in a man’s mind and heart?
• Why do so many people invent a do-it-yourself religion without ever seeking the living and true God?
• Why do so many people become easy prey to gurus and cult leaders who promise « superior spiritual knowledge », « inner fulfillment », and the revelation that « Oneself is Divinity »?
• Why are so many people easily seduced and convinced by pressure groups, using either the media (Internet, Netflix…) or children’s textbooks, to impose their anti-God principles?
• Why are there so many injured, depressed, anxious people, and so many broken homes?
• Why is there so much spiritual and moral confusion in a world that badly needs love, peace, justice and hope?
David answers his own questions in v.2: « The kings of the earth take their stand / And the rulers take counsel together / Against the Lord and against His Anointed? »
When David was writing this Psalm, kings and princes, that is the great men of that time, exercised authoritarian power over their subjects.
But today, very charismatic and high-profile individuals exert much greater influence on the crowds than those kings and princes did in former times.
Today’s great men are not sitting on thrones. They work behind the scenes to accomplish the will of Satan, the prince of this world, by rising up against the authority of God, and by joining forces to
carry out their plan, and worship man instead of God the creator.
Rebellion roars against the Lord
Anti-God hostility was building in the days of David’s just as it is today. Why?
In the Bible, God reveals himself and asserts himself as the only living and true God.
In Is.45/5, « I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me, there is no God. »
Ex.3/14 “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
The name « I AM » shows that God is self-existent, eternal and sovereign.
This name suggests, « I am what I am, I do what I do, and I accomplish what I want »!
This name warns man that he should not confuse God with anyone or anything and that man is not eligible to take the place of God.
It is obvious that the idea of such a God is not appealing to man since he wants to be his own god.
Arrogance and human pride will always rise against any statement asserting God’s majesty and sovereignty.
Rebellion roars against the Lord’s Anointed
Messiah and Christ, both meaning “anointed”, are titles given to the Lord Jesus.
In the OT, men were anointed as prophets, priests and kings to show that they were approved of God and that they acted as God’s mediators or envoys.

In Ps.2, the immediate meaning is that David is God’s representative, consecrated and invested
with the mission of acting as a mediator whereas the prophetic meaning is that Christ, the
Messiah, is the anointed of the supreme Being, the king set forth to reign over all the nations.
His supreme ministry is to rule over more men than a king does, to reveal more truth than a
prophet does, and to reconcile more souls to God than any priest of the old covenant does.
In short, He came to do for men what men could not do for themselves.
But the nations and peoples, led by their kings and rulers, have rebelled against Christ, the Lord’s
anointed, as soon as he was incarnated.
This is how Ps.2/1-2 is fulfilled by Jesus’ crucifixion.
Ac.4/27-28 shows that God had predestined Christ to meet opposition and be put to death.
We have a great sovereign God. He controls all events in history and in our lives, including our
trials and suffering, to accomplish his eternal plan of salvation.
His sovereignty and grace are our daily comfort, support and hope.
Self-sufficient people who live their lives as they please do not want to hear anything about a
The last thing they want to hear is that a Savior has come and that He is the Lord of all living
They vainly seek answers in the world, yet they don’t want to take the time to listen to Christ who
brings answers from heaven.
Rebellion roars against God’s justice
Ps.2/3: “Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us! »
What are the fetters and cords these kings and princes want to get rid of at all costs?
They are the divine principles of justice, integrity, moral righteousness, and goodness.
It’s interesting to note that the greatest part of contemporary philosophy goes back before David’s
time. It goes back to Adam. Adam and Eve had decided to get rid of all bonds and chains,
believing that they would be better off.
The idea came from Satan. Satan was an angel of great beauty, but his pride led him to covet
God’s power, authority and he wanted to take God’s place. His rebellion against God hastened his
What do psychologists, psychotherapists, and psychiatrists, and all their followers, say today?
They claim that Christian morality is out of date, that all authority is suspect and that all biblical
principles are repressive.
Today, as in David’s time, man rebels against God and sees His cords of love as heavy yokes.
Jer.5/5: « I will go to the great And will speak to them, For they know the way of the LORD And the
ordinance of their God. » But they too, with one accord, have broken the yoke And burst the bonds.
2) God’s confirmation: His anointed will reign over the nations
Ps.2/4-6: The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.”
After an earthly vision, here is a celestial vision. After distressing questions and a feeling of
hopelessness, David reminds us that there is another perspective in this world: God’ perspective.
« The One enthroned in heaven »
How easy it is to forget God! How easy it is to limit our vision to the crises and horrors occurring in the world!

No matter what happens, God sits in heaven on his majestic throne high above the world that rebels against him.
God’s derision
And what does God do? Why doesn’t he intervene? David’s answer raises more questions.
God « laughs ». What does that mean? Does God take a malicious pleasure in seeing the
inextricable situations of those facing war, famine or infectious diseases?
Certainly not! God laughs out of derision.
Is there anything more ridiculous and insane than an arrogant man who challenges the Almighty
God by holding out his fist against him?
Brothers and sisters, God makes fun of proud arrogant people who claim to manage
conflicts and crises alone, but he has mercy on those who humble themselves before him
and plead with him for help and grace.
Man, God’s creature, needs to bend his knee and heart before the Lord of the universe. It is not
until every knee bends and every tongue confesses that Christ is Lord that peace will reign in the
God’s anger and fury
Ps.2/5: « He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath; »
We sometimes find it very difficult to understand God’s attributes. The problem is that our unique
basis of comparison is our own character traits.
What do we think when we consider God’s love? We think of the most tender and loving father we
know, and we assign that kind of love to God. It obviously helps us to understand God as a
person; yet, it’s far below God’s love.
And how can we understand the wrath and fury of a Thrice-Holy God?
We might think of the most angry father we have ever met, the most exasperated father at his
children’s disobedient behavior. But does God raise his voice in his anger? Does he lose control
of himself? Does he allow his feelings to compromise his justice?
Absolutely not! God’s wrath is as pure and holy as his justice and his love are.
But God will eventually speak out. And when he does, it’ll be with such anger and fury that his
enemies will be terrified.
God’s sovereignty
Ps.2/6: “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.”
This is the Lord’s answer to man’s challenge and rebellion against him.
He is a sovereign God.
The enthronement of his king will take place on the highest hill in Jerusalem. The fulfillment of his decree is as certain as if it had already happened.
The Lord calls the Messiah his king to show that they share a very intimate relationship, very different from that which he shares with the kings of the earth to whom he has entrusted the government of the peoples.
The hill of Zion, the highest hill on which Jerusalem is built, had been conquered by David from the Jebusites. He made it his home and brought the Ark of the Covenant, which was the visible symbol of God’s presence among his people.
Ant this is why, although the temple was built on the hill of Morija that it’s the hill of Zion that remains the most famous hill because of the memories attached to it.

It was called the mountain of the Lord, the mountain of his holiness, of his grace, the center of his Kingdom. There is a striking contrast between the kings and princes who establish and raise themselves and the king God enthrones. Those who rise will be lowered whereas who has humbled themselves will be raised. God enthrones his king and subjugates those who oppose him.
Man’s deplorable challenge is taken up thanks to this powerful declaration.
The NT identifies this King as Christ, the risen and glorified King.
3) God’s revelation – his king is also his Son
Ps.2/7-9: I will proclaim the LORD’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father.
Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.
You will break them with a rod of iron ; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
The risen Lord speaks with authority: ”I will proclaim the Lord’s decree.” Let’s think.
Does God need to proclaim a decree? What God says is always final. So why a decree?
This shows us that He has an extraordinary message to convey. Those who do not want to be
subjected to God’s decree will be the object of his anger.
And we see, through the world’s and the Bible history that rebellion against God is always
It is Christ, the Anointed One, who conveys the divine decree to those who love him:
He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father.
The title of “Son” given to the Lord Jesus is first linked to his title of “Messiah”. The Eternal “Son of
God” is the Messiah, the Christ who is to establish the eternal kingdom of David announced in the
Scriptures. Speaking of the Messiah, the Lord had said to King David,  » I will be his father, and he
will be my son. »2
Above all, the title of “Son” describes the unique and privileged relationship Christ shares with his
Father; a relationship manifested through his incarnation and confirmed at the resurrection. The
title of “Son” describes the love binding Father and Son together, and the Son’s voluntary
submission to his Father. Trough his birth, death on the cross, resurrection and ascension, Christ
accomplished the eternal plan of redemption established by God in his grace.
The verb  » to father » is normally used to describe a natural birth. Abraham fathered Isaac, Isaac
fathered Jacob.
But the word can also have a figurative meaning. God the Father gave life to the humanity of
Jesus when he was born and resurrected.
In Acts, the apostles explain that the verses in Ps.2 were fulfilled through Jesus’ incarnation and
Ac.13/32-33: “We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors
he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: “
‘You are my son; today I have become your father.’

The word « today » shows that “the Son of God” was incarnated at a specific time in history. He’s
been God from all eternity, but he demonstrated his role through His incarnation and confirmed it
through his resurrection.
Rom.1/4: « … and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his
resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. »
When Jesus Christ was resurrected, God wanted the whole world to know for sure that He who
was crucified by the religious leaders and the people, was his Son. Jesus’ resurrection is the
compelling evidence that he is the “Son of God”.
Let us read Ps.2/8-9 once again: “Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends
of the earth your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces
like pottery.”
Jesus demanded nothing on earth. Even at the time of the extreme trial in Gethsemane, he
prayed his Father: « Let your will be done ».
Yet, some promises are linked to the title of « Son of God ».
The Father gave him authority to rule over all nations. The time will come when “the Son” will
claim his rights over the whole earth. His anointing as king will then find his ultimate fulfillment
during the millennium.
The scepter will be in his hand to govern with justice.
The Father’s eternal plan is that all rebellion and resistance will be crushed and that everyone,
big or small, will submit to “his Son”, his King.
This divine perspective offers another contrast.
While there is chaos on earth, because of the arrogance and pride of men who have rejected
God’s authority, the Lord and his ANOINTED are sitting in heaven with power and grace.
4) God’s invitation to love his Son and to obey Him fully
Ps.2/10-12: « 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. How blessed
are all who take refuge in Him! »
The tone of these verses is surprising. In their mercy, the Lord and His Anointed offer men an
opportunity to repent rather than immediate punishment,
David, who begins this psalm with many questions, concludes by giving five exhortations to the
. Show discernment
What is discernment (or wisdom in some other translations)?
Ps.111/10: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have
good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.”
Here’s what God’s saying to us this morning: Seek God and you will find him; draw near to him
and he’ll draw near to you; and get to know him, love him and obey him.
. Take warning, O judges of the earth
This is also our role today as God’s children. We are proclaiming this message. Let us give a
clear and faithful presentation of the Gospel, let us profess the truth in love.
. Worship the LORD with reverence
To serve, to fear, to rejoice: that’s a true language of worship.

Men are called to live, not in rebellion but in submission to the one living and true God, all-
powerful and merciful.
This involves a major change that only God can produce by His grace when a person, who
repents, welcomes him in his heart through faith.
. And rejoice with trembling
There’s a strange paradox in this experience that submission to the Lord with fear and trembling
eventually brings freedom and joy.
True happiness comes from love for God and total submission to the authority of the One who will
reign over all the earth.
. Do homage to the Son
Here’s a demonstration of submission to a king.
The urgency of submission is explained by the imminent wrath of God.
In the OT, homage is both a term of affection and a sign of submission. Traditionally, those who
wished to serve, expressed it symbolically.
Today, God still requires the same thing.
We, as his children, who love and serve him, are called individually to bear witness around us to
the work of transformation he has brought about in our lives, to our love for him and to the
submission of our lives to his authority.
Conclusion – Ps.2:12: “How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! »
Psalm 2 ends in the same way as Psalm 1 opens.
The « blessed » in Psalm 1 drew their joy from the book of God.
The “blessed” in Psalm 2 find a source of joy in the personal knowledge of the Son of God, Christ,
his King.
They’re awaiting his reign of peace with confidence.
His message for the lost around him rejoins the Christian message today:
2 Cor.5/20: “We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. »
To trust God is to find rest in him and live for him. It’s to have the assurance that, no matter what
happens to us, our future is in safe hands, those of our Heavenly Father and those of his Son, our
Savior and Lord, our God of glory and grace.
Let us pray