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Psalm 2 begins with a dark picture of all nations and countries on earth plotting and planning against God. They feel as if they are enslaved by God, because of their wrong picture of who He is. The kings conspire together to get out from under God’s oppressive thumb, and, the text says, from that of His “Anointed One.”
God looks down on their foolishness and laughs at them. But they don’t get off as easy as simply being ridiculed. After God has had His laugh, He rebukes them angrily out of His wrath. Although the kings of earth believe they can overthrow God, He tells them that He has set up His King in Zion.
Then the narrator (not named) gives us firsthand the words of God to Him: “You are my Son, today I have become your Father.” God goes on to give the unknown narrator the whole earth as his inheritance, that the narrator may rule and judge the rebellious nations.
After which the Psalm warns the rebellious to cease and desist from their rebellion and serve the Lord, and kiss the Son, unless they just want to be destroyed by God’s flaming wrath. Finally, the Psalm ends with a benediction toward those who take refuge in God.
This is a Messianic Psalm. That is, it is a location in the Old Testament that points forward to Christ. “The Anointed One” is first mentioned in verse 2, as an equal with God—the kings and nations conspire against them both, saying “Let us break their chains…and throw off their fetters.” In fact, every time God is mentioned, two persons seem to be indicated. In verse 2: “against the LORD [Yahweh] and against his Anointed One [Messiah].” In verse 4: “The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord [Adonai] scoffs at them.”
It’s a little different, however, in verse 7. Here, the unknown narrator (not the actual person who wrote it down) turns out to be the Son himself. Yahweh tells the narrator that he, the narrator, is Yahweh’s Son. The second line, “today I have become your Father,” is possibly better translated as “today I have begotten you.” While we all become God’s children when become Christians, only one Son was begotten by God, and that is Jesus Christ [John 3.16]. The Sonship of the narrator is made more clear in the next few verses, as Yahweh promises to give the Son the whole earth as his kingdom, and that the Son will be a part of the judgment (“you will rule them…dash them to pieces…”).
The final dual reference is in verses 11-12. “Serve [Yahweh] with fear… Kiss the Son, lest he be angry.” It is not clear from the text whether the “he” that will be angry is Yahweh or the Son. Perhaps the reference is meant to be ambiguous, suggesting that the “he” refers to both—since both are God.
Although most of the Psalm is an indictment of the rebelliousness
of man towards God, it is fitting that it ends with a benediction blessing
those who take refuge in Christ. After all, it has just got through telling
us that the Messiah is going to inherit the whole earth and rule it with
an iron rod. Also, that his wrath can flare up in a moment and destroy
anything that is against him. Pure logic would say that it would be a
good idea to side with him rather than against him. But those who put
their trust in the Messiah and take refuge in him purely and honestly
will surely be blessed.
This paper originated as an extra credit assignment for Old Testament History, Missouri Baptist College, Fall, 2000.
©2000 by Jandy Stone