The Lord is King

Psalm 2

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.

The second psalm joins the first (as we talked about last week) in setting a framework through which to see the other 148 that follow. These two psalms are understood as a prologue written by whoeverPsalm 1 introduces the overarching theme of these two ways, the way of the righteous and of the wicked. Here, Psalm 2 introduces another theme that will recur throughout the psalms: kingship.

The psalms were first sung and prayed by the people of a monarchy. From the days of the prophet Samuel until the time of the exile, kings governed and ruled over the people of Israel. These kings, at least in the beginning, were chosen by God, anointed by his prophets, and held in esteem by their people as “sons of God”. Israel’s kings were to govern them in peace and protect them from foreign enemies, but also and most importantly, to lead them in being God’s people and to worship him.

In the time of their exile and thereafter, Israel waited and longed for a king to come from the line of David whom God would raise up to restore them as a nation and rule over them in peace once again. They hoped for the fulfillment of God’s promise to David that his throne would endure and be established forever (2 Samuel 7:16). In fact, the word that we translate as “anointed” that Israel’s kings were called is the Hebrew word “messiah”, otherwise known by its Greek translation, “christ”. Maybe you can see where this is going…

The citizens of Israel’s monarchy sang this psalm in homage to their king who was anointed by God himself to lead and protect them. The exiles of Israel in Babylon sang it in longing, waiting for the messiah who was to come and remembering that God was still in control. We, the church of the New Covenant, can pray Psalm 2 in celebration of the Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, God’s begotten Son who, for the joy set before him, endured the raging and plotting of peoples against him, and has set his kingdom, branching out from a holy hill in Zion, to make of all nations his inheritance to the ends of the earth.

Though the nations rage and plot in vain, Christ the Lord is king over all. Serve him. Rejoice in him. Trust him to lead and protect you. For blessed are all who take refuge in him.


  • Think of the biggest struggle or obstacle you're facing today. What does it mean for you in that for that situation that Christ is King?
  • What is one small, practical way you can serve him today?


Father, help me to see and know that Jesus reigns over all. Even when the brokenness of the world around me seems overwhelming, when the raging of the nations and rulers of the earth are deafening, remind me that the He who sits in heaven laughs. Teach me to trust my good and gracious King, and lead me to live in the reality of his Kingdom. Amen.

Taylor Whitson, October 27, 2020
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