Bible Study: Psalm 2

Multitudes vs. The Messiah

This Messianic Psalm (Acts 13:33; Heb 1:5; 5:5) will be fulfilled at the end of the Tribulation when all the world’s armies gather in Palestine “against the Lord and against His Christ” for the last stages of the Armageddon campaign (Rev 16:14-16). It is then that Christ will appear as King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev 19:11-21), and will destroy those armies, and cast the beast and the false prophet into the lake of fire. The devil will be incarcerated in the abyss for a thousand years (Rev 20:1-3). Having quelled all rebellion, the Lord Jesus will set up His millennial kingdom (Rev 20:4-6).

This Psalm divides neatly into four paragraphs of three verses each. In each paragraph a voice is heard.

Unity seen in the Tribulation (1-3): Earthly action

The Frenzied Commotion (1)

The tumult (external): Demonic influence (Rev 16:14) causes the armies of the nations (the heathen) from all over the world to “tumultuously assemble” (Newberry).

The thoughts (internal): “Imagine” is the same word as “meditate” in Psalm 1:2. Here, the thoughts are not about Christ, but, rather, against Him. This worldwide effort to fight against God is “a vain thing,” a worthless cause.

The Final Confrontation (2-3)

Reunion (2) – Intervention: The fractured politics of earth finds, in the widespread hatred against Christ, a common denominator of unity, much like what happened between Pilate and Herod (Acts 4:24-28).

Rebellion – Intolerance: Kings and rulers sense that God’s Anointed, the Messiah, is about to return to take His kingdom, and with increasing anger (Rev 11:18) their message remains unchanged: “We will not have this man to reign over us ” (Luke 19:14).

Resolution (3) – Independence: The first voice is heard – man in rebellion against God. Sinful, willful men will not accept God’s Man. They prefer to show allegiance to the man of sin (2Thes 2:3).

Unity seen in the Trinity (4-12): Heavenly reaction

The Father’s Retribution (4-6)

The second voice heard in the Psalm, comes now from heaven. Jehovah speaks about the Messiah. “There were voices” (Rev 8:5).

His amusement (4) – Seated (Psa 29:10; Isa 40:22), Jehovah laughs and has them in derision. Contrast with the “seat of the scornful” in Psalm 1:1.

His anger (5) – At Jordan the Father’s voice was heard speaking with supreme pleasure (Matt 3:16, 17); here His voice is heard in sore displeasure.

His Anointed (6) – The person is “My King.” The last the world had seen of Christ, He was “The King of the Jews.” (John 19:19). The place, the center of world government, is Jerusalem, “My holy hill of Zion” (2Sam 5:7).

The Son’s Royalty (7-9)

The third voice is heard: the Son speaks to the Father.

His kinship – Manifested in His resurrection. Christ’s resurrection (Acts 13:33) declared Him to be what He had been from all eternity: the Son of God.

His kingship – Manifested in His reign. The kingdoms of men, like the huge image of Daniel 2:34, will be broken to pieces.

Ethnical composition: The heathen, “of all nations, and kindreds, and people and tongues” (Rev 7:9), who had never heard the gospel will be saved during the Tribulation and will enjoy the millennial reign of Christ upon the earth.

Geographical extension: Christ’s kingdom will stretch to “the uttermost parts of the earth” (cf Acts 1:8). “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth” (Psa 72:8).

The Spirit’s Recommendation (10-12)

The fourth voice, now of the Spirit, is heard speaking to men about the Lord Jesus (see John 16:14). He calls upon kings and rulers, who, during the coming Millennium, will be subject to the Messiah.

Humility of kings (10-11) – Their judgment (10): Be wise; do not think vain things (v 1). Be instructed; has the lesson been learned? “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Pro 1:7).

Their joy (11): Messiah should be served reverently, yet joyfully. (Psa 72; Rev 21:24).

Homage to the King (12) – They must beware: This “King shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment” (Isa 32:1). There will be severe judgment on the wicked during the Millennium (Isa 11:4, 5).

“Kiss the Son,” also translated: “Honor the Son.” They will be blessed: As Psalm 1 began with a blessed man, so Psalm 2 ends with a blessed multitude that trusts in the Lord.