Psalm 2: ‘Resistance is futile’

(Read Psalm 2.) Some believe that, from its structure, Psalms 1 and 2 compose a single unit. Blessed would then form an inclusio, at the beginning, 1.1, and end, 2.12.

The psalm deals with the rebellion of the nations against the Lord and his anointed, calling them to submission. The covenant with David is behind the psalm (see 2.6). The whole world is his domain, pointing to fulfillment in Jesus. There is no resisting his authority. True happiness is in submission to the Sovereign. The final appeal shows God’s goodness in giving opportunity to repent, signaling hope and victory of the king.

The structure shows the movement from beginning to end: the nations’ rebellion on earth, 1-3; God in heaven, 4-6; the Lord’s decree, 7-9; the appeal to the kings of the nation to submit, 10-12. In each part we hear the words of each one: the rebellious, 3; God himself, 6 and 7-9; the psalmist, 10-12.

If on the one hand the righteous flees the wicked, 1.1, the Son of God, on the other hand, destroys the rebellious in his wrath, 9, 12, guaranteeing the success of those who take refuge in him. In spite of the instability and tumult in the world, those who are submissive enjoy the blessing and peace of their Lord.

Much language of the OT has its fulfillment in Jesus, the Anointed One and Chosen One of God, who gains the victory over all opposition against himself. “Resistance is futile.” Submission is the way to security and joy. May we submit to the authority of Jesus as Sovereign and serve him with joy.

This post is a partial translation of the Brazilian devotional site “Deus Conosco”. (See what you missed.) It comes from a new series of commentaries on the first book of Psalms.

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

What do you think?