I’m up to my elbows in busyness this week, so I’m posting a few chapters from my new book, Deep Roots, which I’ll publish later this year. I’m in the middle of the final rewrite, so please give me any feedback which can make these chapters better.
Recognize (Psalm 2)
Who said the following?
“As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.”
These words sound like they flowed from the lips of a legend of faith—maybe John Calvin, Augustine, or Martin Luther King, Jr. The person who actually spoke them?
History is filled with godless men who have used religion as a weapon to bully their way to power. They twisted religion, used political coups, and flexed military muscle to grasp authority and maintain control over those they ruled. Millions have died under the likes of Nero, Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, and Saddam Hussein. These godless tyrants and many like them have spilled oceans of blood onto the pages of history.
Yet, you don’t have to read a history book to see how power corrupts. The latest news headlines reveal people who will do anything for power. Bank executives receive multimillion dollar bonuses while their insti-tutions deny hard-working people loans. Politicians barter back-room deals to gain clout while their constituents wonder why nothing gets done in Washington. Athletes use banned substances to gain a competitive edge while children idolize them, hoping to “make it to the big leagues.” Men boost their reputations with friends through sexual conquests while the women they sleep with deal with the baggage. Some of us have suffered abuse at the hands of someone who wished to wield power over us.
Sometimes we want to take a permanent vacation from all the brokenness.
The author of Psalm 2 (an ancient king of Israel named David) felt the same way about the world he lived in.
Why are the nations in an uproar
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!”
As a warrior king who was constantly at war, David often expressed anger, frustration, and depression at the rogue people-groups who surrounded Israel, infecting the land with their godless culture and religious practices. Yet, David knew there was Someone far stronger than any nation who would make things right again: the all-knowing, all-powerful God of the universe.
The New Testament writers quote Psalm 2 seven times, all in reference to Jesus. That means Psalm 2 looked forward to Jesus, speci-fically His resurrection and rule over the universe:
‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”
Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
Worship the Lord with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry,
and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!
Rebel against Jesus, expect His wrath.
Find refuge in Jesus, expect His blessing.
How can we reverence God and rejoice with trembling? How can we take refuge in Him? We must recognize Jesus for who He is: the King of kings and Lord of lords. Only then can we have the proper perspective on the evil that infects our world and the people that power corrupts. Right now, the world is a dark place. But one day, the One who rules because of His death and resurrection will return and restore order, peace, and purity.
It’s alright to get discouraged and disillusioned. Who wouldn’t living in such a messed up, sinful world? The good news is that victory is already certain. We’re now waiting for the return of the King.
We must recognize Him as such. Now.