Theme: A Warning to Submit
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
In the final section of this psalm, verses 10-12, the narrator speaks again, uttering words of warning and entreaty to those who have not yet bowed before God’s Son. Since the author of the psalm is not specifically identified, it is perhaps not overly whimsical to follow Ironside at this point too, since he speaks of “four voices” in the psalm: those of the world, of God the Father, of God the Son, and of God the Holy Spirit. It is the role of the Holy Spirit to draw us to Jesus, which is what the individual I have called the narrator is doing here. Ironside calls his “a very gentle, a very loving, a very tender voice.”1
What does this gentle, loving and tender voice call on these rebellious human beings to do? A number of things: to “be wise,” “be warned,” to “serve the Lord with fear,” and to “rejoice with trembling” (vv. 10-11). But chiefly they are to “kiss the Son” in submission.2
That is what these rulers will not do, of course. It is why they are in danger of a final, fierce destruction. Make sure you are not among them. The rulers of the world rage against Christ. But why should you? The hands he holds forth for you to kiss are hands that were pierced by nails when he was crucified in your place. One day he is coming as the great judge of all. On that day the wicked will be punished, but today is the day of his grace. He invites you to come to him.
The final verse says, “Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” It is a reminder that the only refuge from the wrath of God is God’s mercy unfolded at the cross of Jesus Christ.
What does the voice of the narrator call the kings to do? Explain what each of these means.
What does the voice call you to do in response to this psalm?
Reflection: Recount how the Lord has been your refuge in the past. What does that teach you about Christ and how you are to rely upon him in both the present and the future?
For Further Study: For a fuller understanding of how Jesus is our refuge, download and listen for free to James Boice’s message on Psalm 31, “Rock of Refuge.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)
1H. A. Ironside, Studies on Book One of the Psalms (New York: Loizeaux Brothers, 1952), p. 21.
2 This phrase has been the subject of imaginative reworking by scholars because the word translated “son” is bar, the Aramaic word for “son,” rather than the Hebrew word ben, which would be expected. But use of an Aramaic loan word is not impossible and may even be appropriate since the admonition is directed, not to Jews, but to the Gentile nations. The word did not seem to bother the oldest Jewish commentators, who explained it as an attempt to avoid the dissonant sound that would result in the Hebrew sentence if ben were used. For a discussion of the debate see Peter C. Craigie, Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 19, Psalms 1-50, p. 64; H. C. Leupold, Exposition of the Psalms (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1969), pp. 56-57; and Franz Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Psalms, vol. 1, trans. Francis Bolton (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, n.d.), pp. 97-98.