The 2nd psalm itself does not claim an author. However, in Acts 4, Peter and John were released and went to their friends to tell them what had happened. Together, they worshiped, saying, "Sovereign Lord . . . who through the mouth of our father David, your servant said . . ." and they quoted Psalm 2:1,2. So, Scripture testifies that this is a psalm of David.
It is a prophetic psalm fulfilled in the person of Jesus. The synagogue invited Paul to preach encouraging words in Acts13. He summarized Israel's history up to king David. He reminded them that from David's offspring would emerge a savior (Psalm 132:11). Then, Paul says Jesus of Nazareth is this Savior (Acts 13:23). Psalm 2, prophecy fulfilled (Acts 13:32,33). But the Word of God is the living Word, profitable for all people, everywhere, at all times. So, what encouragement does it bring today?
I notice two primary subjects in the second psalm: one, the world, and two, the Lord's Anointed (who we now know is Jesus). David portrays the world as rebellious. Nations fight against each other; people dream up senseless plots and schemes. Amid division and discord, the world unites in striving against the Lord's Anointed. The "world" war against Christ was real in the first century, and it wages on even now.
As David continues, he reveals the outcome of the war. The world that took sides against Christ loses. Jesus owns the nations, the world, and all it contains (v. 8). Everyone who rose up against him inherits destruction (v. 9).
Then I noticed a third subject—those who did not rise up against the Lord's Anointed. Rather, they were once on the rebel's side (for all have sinned), but they repented and crossed over when they realized they were in the losing army. They chose not to be scoffed at, mocked, and retributed by the King of kings because of their laughable efforts to thwart his power and authority. They decided, instead, to submit to him.
That's my takeaway from Psalm 2. There are two categories of people in the world: those who will bow their knee of their own volition and those who will bow their knee by Christ's. The warning in verses 10-12 is to prefer submission, for the outcome of rebellion is eternally catastrophic.
The battle is daily. When I wake up, I have to remind myself, "Today is for Christ, not against." Throughout the day, I must remember that it's not just a life I'm living but a battle I'm fighting. My might is insufficient, but I take refuge in the Lord. He fights the war for me. His Word guards and guides me. His Son sanctifies and will save me from God's wrath, which he may soon kindle. How blessed are all who take refuge in him. Grace and peace to you in Christ. Amen.
Adam Somers is the preaching minister of KVCC.