Psalm 2 The Utter Futility of Trying to ‘Fight’ God

January 15, 2017

1 Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6 “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”
7 I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
12 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. Psalm 2 (ESV)

As I mentioned in the first part of this message, I have divided up our study this way:  First, in verses 1- 3, we will see “The Question”, in 4-8 we have “The Reaction”, in 7-9 “The Proclamation”, and then, finally, in verses 9-12, we have “The Conclusion.” In today’s section, we will cover “The Reaction”.

The Vanity of Raging Against God

Part of “The Reaction” by God is hinted at in verse one where it says, “The people plot in vain.”  Their actions are vane, useless and worthless. Why is this so?

King Nebuchadnezzar
King Nebuchadnezzar – The Christian Image Source


There was at least one earthly king who was made to understand the vanity of setting oneself up higher than God. In Daniel, we read the story of King Nebuchadnezzar. This king was totally full of himself. In fact, early in the 4th chapter, it says that he was walking on the roof of the palace and said aloud, “Look at this marvelous kingdom I have built with my own hand and for my own glory!” Immediately after that, the king was struck down and ending up sinking so low that he ate grass in the field with the livestock. But, as is true so often of God and his mercy, he restored the sanity of the king and allowed him to speak with clarity once again.


King Nebuchadnezzar – The Christian Image Source

And when he was able to speak, these are the words he spoke, “At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?” Daniel 4:34-35

Nebuchadnezzar was made by God to understand and to submit to the fact that we are, all of us, even the most royal and regal of kings, utterly impotent in the sight of almighty God.

Christ on His Throne
Christ on His Throne – Viborg Cathedral,
God’s Reaction to the Heathen’s Rage–Laughter

Revelation 11:15-16 says,  “Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”

If you are anything like me you are now humming “The Hallelujah Chorus” in your head. Hebrews 10:12 describes Christ finishing his earthly work of dying for us and then being seated at the right hand of God–not only in a place of honor but “seated” as an action–the action of being seated which signifies completion. His work was finished and his place was secured as the king of the universe. When he cried aloud, “It is finished” from the cross, he didn’t just mean he was through being punished by men, he meant that he had accomplished all that God had sent him to do.

[box]So God is in control of the situation and it doesn’t matter at all what the situation is. God’s reaction to those who plot in vain is contained in verse 4. It says that he laughs. He laughs at them and their foolish belief that they can win the day.[/box]

There are those who walk around in our day and age who are so sure of themselves. They are so certain that they are right in believing that there is no God or that if there is a God, he has no interest in us. They are so certain that they have no one in this universe to whom they must answer. And there are those that rage and rail against God and openly mock him. I love the word that the English Standard version of the Bible uses to describe the nature of this “laugh from God.” It says, “He holds them in derision.” This word, derision, means contemptuous ridicule or mockery. It is so very descriptive of what is happening on the throne of heaven!

God vs. Man–No Contest!

Imagine for a moment that there was a contest or competition for the toughest guy on the planet, and it was held when heavy weight champion Mike Tyson was in his peak form. For those of you that remember much about Iron Mike, he may have talked kinda funny, but he was one tough hombre. Imagine in this contest that they would offer ten thousand dollars to anyone who could last for two rounds with Mike Tyson.

Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson By Octal@Flickr –, CC BY 2.0


Now suppose that me, in my present physical condition, were to decide that I needed ten thousand dollars worse than I needed to live. And imagine that I climbed into the ring with Mike Tyson. I can imagine that his very first reaction to seeing what was standing before him would be to laugh. I mean imagine that for a moment! I would be no match for this guy!–No match for his power and his speed and his skill.

Iron Mike would probably not be laughing, because he would be thinking of all of the pain that he would soon inflict. In fact, I can imagine that the pain would be minimal. The fight would consist of just two hits–him hitting me and me hitting the floor. He would not laugh because of the pain he would inflict. He would laugh because of how utterly ridiculous the situation is. How goofy I must be to think I could go even two rounds with someone like him!

[box] And yet, there are those who live among us who think they can go two rounds with God Almighty. The Lord in heaven laughs. He holds those who mock and rage and push against Him in derision–utter contemptuous ridicule. Because he knows exactly what is the truth of the matter.[/box]

God Is In Control

While the campaign against Christ may look formidable to us, to God it is despicable and small and pitiful. While we may think, on our darker days, that the enemy is winning in this world, in doing so, even in our weaker moments, we are seriously underestimating our God. The United Nations may hold their counsels and they may plot and scheme and decide things, but the Lord sits on his throne and says to them, “The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

The Hymn says, “O tell of his might. O sing of his grace whose robe is the light, whose canopy space. His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form, and dark is his path on the wings of the storm.”

Nikolai Ge, Christ and Pilate (“What is truth?”), 1890.

When Christ stood before Pilate, he knew enough of the power of God to say to him, “You have no power except that which is given from above.” So when Pilate says those fateful words, “Take him yourself and crucify him!”,  God sits in the heavens and says to Pilate, “Go ahead–you ain’t seen nothing yet!”

[box] At the most significant event in the history of mankind, at the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we didn’t put a king to death–we crowned one and He shall reign forever and ever![/box]


Watch the full sermon on our Youtube Channel here!

Continued inPsalm 2  In the End, Christ Will Reign… Are You Ready?


[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Pastor Dan Woody is a founding elder for Koinonia. He has been serving churches as a pastor for the past 13 years. He and his wife Peggy are the parents of two sons, Chris and Jonathan. Pastor Dan is currently studying for his Mdiv with The North American Reformed Seminary. His interests include music, and most outdoor sports like golf, hiking, tennis and fishing.[/author_info] [/author]