Psalm 2

Video: Alice Tinker Still Believed in the Easter Bunny

Last month there were plenty of Christmas songs being sung.  Did you notice the irony of that?  There were people happily singing songs about someone they don’t believe in and who doesn’t exist but not so happy to sing Christmas carols about someone else they don’t believe in but who does exist.

You don’t do that, do you? You know that Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny don’t exist, don’t you? Perhaps, like Alice you think they do.  If so, then will you be out there buying chocolate eggs, bunnies or the more politically correct version of an Easter Bilbie.  Keep an eye out for them! Easter is only 3 months away and I saw Hot Cross Buns in Coles only last Tuesday.

But don’t tell the children Santa doesn’t exit or you might upset their parents.  I have been corrected! Don’t spoil things for the children; let them enjoy the fantasy while they’re young! Unfortunately that usually means that it’s OK to believe in the non-existent Santa but not in the reality of God the creator or in the real and historical Jesus, the King of kings. 

People don’t believe in God and they think of you, as a believer, finding comfort in myths and legends whereas our God and Father and our Lord Jesus Christ are as real as you and me.  The truth is in Psalm 14:1 when it says, ‘The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’

It’s no new thing for people to get together to show their disdain for the Lord, their creator and eventual judge.  They got together to try to put him down even when he was in their physical presence, God in the flesh, when Jesus the Christ, the anointed one, the messiah was in their midst.

According to Matthew 11:19 his critics tried to dismiss him as “A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’”, when he was ministering to those who needed him most.

They arrested Jesus and bound him as if he were a common criminal when he was demonstrably faultless.

John 8:52 reports that the religious scholars said of Jesus, “We know that you have a demon!”, claiming that he was demon possessed when they had seen him releasing a sufferer from Satan’s power.

In John 8:19 Jesus is asked, “Where is your father?”, questioning his legitimacy, making out he was of no account and not to be heard.

Then they demanded that he be killed on the charge that he was a blasphemer.  

This final charge demonstrated their total spiritual blindness. They could not see what was before their very eyes, that his words, his actions, his fulfilment of millennia of prophecy and his very presence demonstrated him to be the awaited messiah, God with us. He didn’t blaspheme when he acknowledged he was God.  He just told the truth.

We live in an age of fake news and false truth.  Who do you trust? Things are no better than when David wrote in Psalm 12

Help, Lord, for no-one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.

Everyone lies to their neighbour; they flatter with their lips but harbour deception in their hearts.

Be dismissive! Make a joke of Christ and his followers.  Laugh it off! Tell us about the unfortunate dyslexic atheist who sold his soul to Santa.

Then look at Psalm 2 and see who’s laughing now!

Psalm 2:1-4 

Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? 

The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, ‘Let us break their chains

and throw off their shackles.’

The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.

He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, ‘I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.’

Day after day in the media, in our society and in the world there are people, organisations, governments who conspire in vain against the one who is so much greater than they are.

We don’t want to be told what to think, what to believe, what to do. We don’t want the creator, almighty God to rule over us.  We want to do things our way.  We want to make our own decisions.  “Let us break God’s chains and throw off the shackles” is their response to God who knows best. At their funeral they want the song, I did it my way.

They get together to encourage each other in their rebellion against the one before whom they should bow, the one they should serve.

They mock him and those who follow him. They are full of scorn and derision. They laugh at Christians, at Christ, at God himself. 

But who has the last laugh?  The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.

Really, it’s so pointless rebelling against God. The only one to suffer in this case is the rebel him or herself.  God himself is untouchable, unbeatable, all powerful, eternal. Even those who rebel against him can only do what God permits.

Romans 8:28 tells us that ‘furthermore, just as they did not think it worth while to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.’

It seems God is saying to people, ‘if you want to do it your way and not mine, go alone, then.  You know what I think of that and what the consequences are of your decision.’

In their blindness, in their depravity, in their foolishness, people cannot see that God has already installed his king on Zion, his holy mountain.

That event took place some 2000 years ago when those heathens crucified God’s anointed one, Jesus, God the son. But their satisfaction was spoiled, their plans nullified when God raised Jesus from the dead in the power of God the Holy Spirit.   

History records that the risen Lord Jesus walked among people for some time, showing his supreme authority and Lordship, his right to rule as king over all things and all time before he was taken from this physical earth to be seated on the right hand of the Father as king of kings and Lord of lords.

People then and people now should see this unique victory for what it is.  By these actions God rebukes people who do not submit to him and his appointed king. If they actually considered who God is and what God has done they would not be mocking God and dismissing his right to rule but would be terrified of his judgement to come, of his wrath.  

But no, they continue to fool themselves, to live in a fantasy of their own invention rather than in the reality of God, of Jesus and who he really is.

They fantasise that they can laugh off the existence and authority of God but this is as illogical and unrealistic as continuing to believe in the Easter Bunny. There is no such thing as the Easter Bunny but we can be sure that Jesus lives!

This is great news to be proud of, to be declared. This is our gospel, an announcement we make to the world around us.

 

Psalm 2:7-9

I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:

He said to me, ‘You are my son; today I have become your father.

Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron;

you will dash them to pieces like pottery.’

We proclaim to the world what God has decreed.

God decreed that Jesus the Christ is his only begotten son and in Jesus God became flesh and dwelt among us.  The angels declared it with glorious and unmissable proclamations to the shepherds in the fields. 

There are Christmas songs about make believe characters that are so valuable to retailers but we sing Christmas Carols which tell the story of the birth of the son of God and give praise for the wonderful news that brings of hope, of love and of peace with God for those of us who gratefully receive Jesus and Lord and Saviour.

God decreed Jesus Christ as his son at his baptism, having the Holy Spirit settling on him and filling him and declaring that Jesus is God’s son with whom he is so pleased and telling us to listen to him, to pay attention to him, to serve him. 

We serve a Christ who was crucified on our behalf even when that crucifixion looks so foolish to people who do not grasp its love and power.

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

We are approaching International Pride Week with big celebrations to be held in Sydney.  It makes me ask myself, ‘what have I to be proud of?’ And I remember, 

1 Corinthians 1:31 ‘Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.’

And Galatians 6:14 ‘May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.’

We can be proud of Jesus!  Being crucified seems to people in our world as the most ridiculous way of winning a battle! Yet, it was God’s way of overthrowing evil and became such a victory of all victories that we can boast about it! In international Pride week be proud of Jesus! Come out about Jesus!

God said to Jesus, ‘you are my son’ and gave him all that was created, all the nations all the way to the ends of the earth.  They belong to Jesus who was raised from the dead.  They are his inheritance.  They are his possession.

Jesus can do what he likes with the creation, with the world and with us.  So how are the people on earth to respond to that? 

Psalm 2:9-12

You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.’

Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.

Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.

Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment.

Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

We are told to “be warned”. To be wise. To serve the Lord. To celebrate his rule. To love him.

The end is inevitable and clearly laid out for us.  One day Jesus will return.  There will be a complete destruction of all he created and he will bring in the new heaven and new earth for the sake of those he knows, who loved and served him but for the others he will dash them to pieces like pottery.

Read all about it in the New Testament, including the book called Revelation.

We don’t know when this will happen - he will come without any other warning than we get in passages like this one. He will be angry and wrathful and he will be unavoidable. His wrath can flare up in a moment.

We might not like the truth sometimes and we would like to pretty up the  ugliness of reality sometimes but the awful truth is spelled out for us.

In Psalm 11:5-7 it is put this way,

Psalm 11:5-7

The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.

On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulphur; a scorching wind will be their lot.

When was the last time you heard someone preaching about fire and brimstone?  It’s very unfashionable! We try to avoid preaching about it  but there it is in the Bible for all to read. 

And that’s why in Psalm 2 we are warned, serve the Lord with fear, meaning with caution, submission, reverence, with due respect, because when we do that we are a position to celebrate!  

Yes, serving the Lord isn’t onerous, it’s doesn’t spoil life, it’s not dull and uninteresting.  It’s certainly not boring. 

When you serve the Lord you come to celebrate!  Celebrate his rule because it is a rule of love, care, provision and salvation. It brings with it joy, peace and in a remarkable way it brings freedom.  

Jesus promises the peace that passes understanding.  When he sets you free to serve him you are free indeed. You find wisdom not the foolishness of the world.

Be wise, serve Jesus.

Kiss God’s son. Appreciate the love he showed you when he took on himself the wrath, the punishment of death as he was crucified for you — if only you will accept that love he showed for you and love him in return, serve him in return.

Blessed are all who take refuge in him! 


1422 Modified: 19-08-2023
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