Psalm 2, NRSV
1 Why do the nations conspire,
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and his anointed, saying,
3 “Let us burst their bonds asunder,
and cast their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord has them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6 “I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.”
7 I will tell of the decree of the Lord:
He 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,
with trembling 12 kiss his feet,
or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way;
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Happy are all who take refuge in him.
At the beginning of the psalm, we are given an image of rulers trying to plot against the people of God, but they do not stand a chance. God sits in the heavens and laughs because he has anointed his own King, to be set upon the holy hill of Zion where God dwells. This king that has been anointed by God is King David.
Not only was King David a great king for the united Kingdom of Israel, but God made covenant with David that his kingdom would reign forever throughout one of his offspring. God promises David that God “will raise up your offspring after [David], who shall come forth from [David’s] body, and [God] will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and [God] will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Samuel 7:12-13, NRSV). This psalm is speaking of this hoped-for descendant of David that would reign forever and defeat the evils of the world with the help of God. This promise for this king is one of the only things that give the Hebrew people hope as they persevere through centuries of exile, persecution, and occupation. They sing about this king of the house of David frequently. The king may not even come in their lifetimes, but they know that God’s promises of this anointed king from the house of David will come.
Even in exile, we can sing in confidence that God keeps God’s promises to bring the anointed one to defeat the pains and evils of the world. We have come to know as Christians that this king is Jesus Christ, a descendant of the house of David and one with God, who saves the world through the giving of himself, and through this, Jesus is anointed to reign forever at the right hand of God. We can learn a valuable lesson from the singing of the Hebrew people; let us sing in expectation for the promises that God has made to come to fruition, especially when times are dark.
Gracious and Almighty God, sometimes it is difficult for me to remember to hold on to hope. Let the words of this psalm remind me that when times are dark I should hold even tighter onto the promises that you have given me. I know that you have promised to be present with you, give me comfort, and give me abundant life through your Son. I lean into these promises today, O God, in the confidence that you always keep your promises you make to your children. Today, even though it is difficult, I rest in your faithfulness. I pray this in the name of your Son, Jesus King, Amen.