Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"I have installed MY King on Zion!"

Another 9/11 goes by and all of the pictures bring back the feelings and emotions of 9/11/01.  It's a sickening feeling, an overwhelming feeling, a disheartening feeling.  So much has been said, so much is being said, so much could be said about the events of that day and the days since.  Eleven years have already passed - those who are 15 or 16 and younger don't have any memory of that day.  People my age remember where we were when JFK (that's President John F. Kennedy) was assassinated.  So what can we learn from such events?  Is there anything that is relevant for ALL generations at all times?  As Christians, how do we respond?  Where is our hope?

I love Psalm 2.  It was written during a time when God had established His rule through King David and the armies of Israel had defeated most of the nations around them.  But God had more in mind.  Just as the nations gathered together against Israel, there would be - there will be - another battle.  That battle will take place at some time in the future, perhaps the near future, but even now the nations of the world are in turmoil.  Memories of this day remind us of the hate and the evil that is in our world.  We are still at war in Afghanistan and just yesterday another leader of the enemies of freedom was killed in Yemen.  That there is evil in the world is plain.  That there are powers fighting against the establishment of God's kingdom is obvious.  BUT, Psalm 2 brings assurance to those who know the one true God.

"Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?  The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against His Anointed One.  'Let us break their chains,' they say, 'and throw off their fetters.'"  What in the world are "fetters"?  They are used to keep animals from moving.  God is restricting the nations, preventing them from being as evil as they otherwise would be.  As he speaks to the men of Athens, Paul says, "From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live"  (Acts 17:26).  God sets the rulers in place and guides the events of this world toward His appointed purpose:  judgment for those who do not believe, but salvation for those who come to Him through faith in Jesus Christ.

What is God's reaction to those who fight so hard against Him and His kingdom?  "The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.  Then He rebukes them in His anger and terrifies them in His wrath, saying, 'I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.'"  Remember, God knows the future as He does the present and the past.  God speaks as though it had already happened ... as though Jesus were already ruling from His throne in Jerusalem, as He will be in the future.  God says it WILL happen, in spite of the efforts of the nations to deny God - the one true God, the God who has revealed Himself in His Word.

That's how GOD responds to the nations; so how do WE respond?  Speaking in the voice of Jesus the Psalmist says, "I will proclaim the decree of the LORD:  He said to me, 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father.  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."  Jesus will reign over all the earth.  Read Zechariah 14 and Isaiah 2:1-4.  God is at work in our world, as He was at work in the days when the Psalmist wrote - 3,000 years ago!  The Savior has come; He has paid the sacrifice for sin on the cross, and He has risen from the dead and has been exalted to His throne at the right hand of the Father above every power and authority!

The Psalmist comes to this conclusion:  "Therefore, you kings be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.  Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling.  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in you way; for His wrath can flare up in a moment."  Jesus Christ is God's anointed.  The Gospel is good news - IF you believe it ... IF you receive Jesus Christ and acknowledge Him as King.  "Kiss the Son," means LOVE the Son.  Believers love Jesus because He FIRST loved us!  Our hope is in Him and our purpose in life is telling others about Him.

As we witness the evil of those who stand opposed to God, opposed to good, opposed to life, we need to be about our Father's business!  "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil  with good" (Romans 12:21).

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