WRF International Director Dr. Flip Buys Examines Psalm 2: "Kiss the Son"
What does Jesus mean to you?
I have heard people in Africa say: “Oh. He is our first Ancestor. Thus he is very far. You cannot approach him or talk to him. He is not really concerned about us.”
Some people just have the picture of a friendly smiling Father Christmas who never becomes angry and just hands out gifts all the time.
Psalm 2 gives us an Old Testament picture of Jesus.
This is one of the most quoted psalms in the New Testament when the Person and work of Jesus Christ is explained.
The Psalm concludes with a command, a threat and a wonderful invitation.
To understand the command one needs to read the whole Psalm.
The Psalm portrays 4 scenes.
Scene 1: In verses 1-3 the orator is speaking. One almost gets the picture of someone reading his morning paper and sighs with disgust: Why is the world as it is? Why is the world in such terrible turmoil? Why are there so many corrupt rulers and suffering nations in the world. Why are there more than a million displaced people around the globe? Why are there around 27 million human slaves as the result of human trafficking in the world?
The orator then gives the answer: Sinful humanity is thoroughly, hopelessly, and collectively rebelling against God and his instructions to obey to see human flourishing on earth through obedience.
In Psalm 1 it is said that God’s laws are a delight to the godly man.
In Psalm 2 we get the picture of the general cry of the world that God’s laws are a chain and a fetter.
The author makes it clear that there is a thread running through all the chaos, suffering and confusion in the world. David says he has discovered what is driving and motivating the lives of these people. It is rejection of God and his will – opposition to God and his laws.
He says: I have found the secret and link of what makes them tick. The motivating driving force behind their actions is opposition to God and his laws. The thread that connects, what lies behind every news item about corruption and violence and hatred is rejection of God and his Son and their laws.
We are led to realize that the slightest sin is an act of defiance against cosmic authority. It is a revolutionary act, a rebellious act where we are setting ourselves in opposition to the One to whom we owe everything.
It is an insult to his holiness.
With sin in our lives we sin as the image-bearers of God. We are saying to the world: “This is how our God is. This is how your Creator behaves. Look in this mirror; look at us and you will see the character of the Almighty.” We say to the world: “God is covetous; God is ruthless; God is bitter; God is a murderer, a thief, a slanderer, an adulterer. God is all of these things that we are doing.”
Look, Acts 4 says that the crucifixion was a manifestation of the spirit of rebellion against God.
On the Cross Jesus suffered the wrath of God, but also all the focused hate of the human race as it is written in Isaiah 53. He was despised and rejected of men. Jesus portrayed the same picture in his parable of the tenants of the vineyard saying to one another: “This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.” So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard (Mk 12:7–8).
Scene 2: In verse 4-6 David is speaking and saying what is happening in heaven. Jahweh is not in a state of panic.
No. He is laughing, not because sin is funny, but laughable, ridiculous, ludicrous and absurd. All their power is nothing in comparison with God.
In all rebelion sinful people are like toddlers who think they can take God on. Sin is stupidity. It is all in vain, because we can’t knock God off his throne. The supreme folly is that we think we will get away with our revolt against God.
He is enthroned and is ruling. God is in control although the world seems to be in shambles.
This portrays an atmosphere appropriate to the unquestionable grip of God. In contrast to the milling, haranguing nations, God is at ease and enthroned.
Scene 3: In verses 7-9 the speaker is the Son quoting the Father. He proclaims the decree the Father has made. It is an echo of what the Father has said. He is absolutely submissive and obedient to the Father. There is no rebelling here. In John’s Gospel Jesus often says that everything he does is in absolute obedience to the Father. He speaks what the Father gives him to speak. He is ruling exactly in accordance with the plan and purpose of God.
His allegiance is to the Father, and every single human being of all the nations will acknowledge it.
In Acts 13:32–34 Paul links Psalm. 2:7 with Isa. 55:3 through the topic of the resurrection.
The victory of Christ is announced in verse 9: The smashing of all rebellion will come. The complete defeat of sin and the punishment of the rebels is sure. John reveals that the scepter does its work at the second advent (Rev. 2:27 ; 19:15 )
God did set a day that He will judge the world by the man He has appointed. This Son of God will put down the rebellion.
Christ must rule over every one everywhere and will smash all human rebellion. Whatever God does to the nations He does through the Son.
Scene 4: In verse 10-12 we are told: “Any rebellion against God is senseless. Stop it! Serve the Lord with fear. Leave your rebellion behind.” With fear implies recognizing his greatness and absolute authority.
God’s grace may allow even the hardened rebel to turn to Him. The poem displays a striking literary contrast; the Bible’s teaching elsewhere on God’s longsuffering explains it.
Rejoice with trembling. He is going to smash but he has not smashed you yet. It means the hour of judgment has not yet come. There is a reason for joy, a trembling joy, a shaking joy: How close have I come to the brink of eternal damnation. I have been warned and dragged back from everlasting rejection.
“Kiss the Son” implies paying homage to him, showing loving surrender to him. A kiss speaks of love and reconciliation. God has been reconciled to the world by the cross of Christ
To trust the appointed Son brings not only safety, but also happiness.
We may wonder where history is going and why God is mocked en masse, but when we learn that a resurrected Son will have the last word, then our response, along with the psalmist, must be to tell others of the grace that has been provided.