Theme: God the Son Speaks
In this week’s studies we are reminded of the sinful folly and the tragic results that await all those who live in rebellion against God, and of the need to bow before the Lord Jesus Christ in grateful submission.
Scripture: Psalm 2:1-12
The third section of the psalm, verses 7-9, contains the words of God’s Anointed, the Lord Jesus Christ. Scholars who see Psalm 2 chiefly as a psalm of coronation for a Davidic king take the words “You are my Son; today I have become your Father” (v. 7) as a formula for the symbolic adoption of the Jewish king by God at the time of his inauguration. But aside from the fact that nothing like this is ever said or suggested in the Old Testament, the Bible’s own handling of the words is always in regard to Jesus. The words “You are my Son” or “This is my beloved Son” were spoken of Jesus by the Father twice during his earthly ministry–once at his baptism and once at the transfiguration. At the baptism a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17; cf. Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22). At the transfiguration God said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him” (Matt. 17:5; cf. Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35).
The other part of the verse–“today I have become your Father”–is used by Paul in a way consistent with the Gospels’ use of the first part. In the first of his sermons recorded in Acts, he refers it to Jesus’ resurrection (Acts 13:33). That is, he refers “today” not to Jesus’ eternal begetting by the Father, which is wrapped up with the doctrine of the Trinity, but with God’s raising him from the dead by which he became what is elsewhere called “the firstborn from among the dead” (Col. 1:18).
Verses 8 and 9 have special bearing upon our obligation to tell others about Jesus Christ today. Notice that although verse 6 speaks of God having established his king in Zion (past tense), these verses actually speak in a future tense, saying, “Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” These verses are an acknowledgment of what the author of Hebrews says in applying another psalm to Jesus. In chapter 2, he quotes Psalm 8:4-6, noting that the Father has placed everything under Jesus’ feet. But he says, “At present we do not see everything subject to him” (Heb. 2:8). Jesus is Lord, but there are still many, like the rulers of the psalm’s opening lines, who resist him.
Here is the great missionary challenge of the church. It is for us, the grateful subjects of Jesus’ divine kingdom, to make his name known among the nations, until every ear shall hear and every knee shall bow. Harry Ironside wrote, “I never come to a missionary meeting but I feel as though there ought to be written right across the entire platform, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” He wrote that “it is the will of God that his Son should have a great heritage out of the heathen world, the world of godless gentiles.”1
Our assignment is to carry the message of God’s decree and Christ’s rule to them. It is to proclaim the rule of King Jesus.
How do some scholars understand verse 7? How does the New Testament work with the idea and what does it teach us about the Messiah?
Why is it significant that verses 7-9 are written in the future tense? How does the writer of Hebrews address this?
Application: How can you be a more effective witness to the truth that Jesus Christ is King and Lord?
Key Point: Our assignment is to carry the message of God’s decree and Christ’s rule to them. It is to proclaim the rule of King Jesus.
1H. A. Ironside, Studies on Book One of the Psalms (New York: Loizeaux Brothers, 1952), p. 21.