Monday, November 16, 2009

11/16 - Psalm 2 Christ's kingship

Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

11/16- Psalm 2

Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together
against the LORD and against his anointed, saying, 3 "Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles." 4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. 5 He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, 6 "I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain." 7 I will proclaim the LORD's decree: He said to me, "You are my son; today I have become your father. 8 Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. 9 You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery." 10 Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. 12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry and you and your ways will be destroyed, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Calvin abridged: We know many conspired against David and tried to prevent his coming to the throne. If David only used his sense and reason, he might have been so fearful that he would give up any hope of ever becoming king. David says that attacks against him places God in opposition to his attackers, for by seeking to undermine the kingdom which he erected, they blindly and ferociously waged war against God. David saw his kingdom as a type of the Redeemer’s kingdom. Those things which David declares about himself are not violently or even allegorically applied to Christ, but were truly predicted about Him. This is sufficiently attested to by the apostles who seeing the ungodly conspire against Christ, arm themselves with prayer (Acts 4:24). The point appears to be that all who do not submit to the anointed one (the authority of Christ), make war on God. It is a true saying “He who does not honor the Son, does not honor the Father who sent Him” (John 5:22). There is an inseparable connection between the Father and the Son, as the majesty of God shines clearly in his one and only Son, so the Father will not be feared and worshipped except in this person. There is a twofold comfort that comes from this passage: First, even though the world rages, in order to disturb or try to put an end to the prosperity of Christ’s kingdom, this is just a fulfillment of what was predicted long ago. We should compare our persecution to what happened to the apostles long ago. The other comfort is that when the ungodly have mustered their forces- their vast numbers and great riches, pouring forth proud blasphemies, we may safely laugh at them because they are attacking God who is in heaven. This prayer is not just restricted to Christ, but it applies to all of us as is shown by how the apostles applied it in their prayer (Acts 4:18-25).

Thoughts: This Psalm, according to scholars, was read at the coronation of the Davidic kings. It remembers God’s covenant with David. It brings out the praiseworthiness of Almighty God, and then transfers some of that power to the anointed one- the King (ultimately Jesus the King of Kings and the ultimate anointed one- “Christ” and Messiah mean “anointed one”). This passage is quoted (or referred to) extensively in Acts 4:25-28, but also in the following places: Mt. 4:3; 3:12; 21:38 Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5; Rev. 2:26,27; 6:15; 19:15. This is an important Psalm for Christians- for it elevates the anointed one (here the Judaic king- but ultimately the Messiah), and even calls this anointed one “Son” (implying Son of God). There appears to be in this life a constant tension between those in earthly power and God’s Almighty power. The exception would be those who recognize they come into power by God, and seek to fulfill His purpose for them. In the end, those who fight (or struggle, or argue) against Christ are fighting against Almighty God. Those who are fighting against Christians are fighting against the kingdom of Christ (Acts 4:18-31). Governments (Jewish and Roman- representing Gentile unbelievers and believers) killed Christ. But that was not the end of his kingdom. They did their worst- robbing him of this life. But this life is not all there is (we tend to forget that these days), and so the resurrection occurred after the crucifixion. So the Lord has the last laugh. In our day- 21st century America- my concern is for the government that has become in the last 25 years openly secular- trying to separate itself as much as possible from God’s blessing. But I am also very concerned about Christians who act as if our government is our only hope. I have heard good Christians say some evil things about both republicans and democrats as if everything depends on them- it does not. Politics and government are only tools of God- they are not to be equated with God’s kingdom, or God’s power itself. The Church and Christians need to see, it is important to be good citizens and to be involved with politics individually; it is important and part of our calling to pray and be a conscience to government. But our lives do not depend on our government. Mao and Stalin tried the experiment of placing government in the place of God- and it didn’t work. We should be careful about saying evil things about our government or praying curses on those who govern us. Instead, we should ask that as those whom God has placed over us, they should be blessed with faith, and turn to Him for guidance- making their government in line with His kingdom (Rom. 13; 1 Tim. 2:1,2).

Prayer: Lord, thank you that no power can unseat your throne. Help us to remember that when we line ourselves up with you, we are lining ourselves up on the winning side.

No comments:

Post a Comment