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Psalms 2:1

Spiritual Resistance

1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

This beautiful Psalm was undoubtedly written by David. It is unanimously ascribed to him in the book of Acts. When Peter and John were released, after being arrested for teaching the gospel, they returned and told the others. "And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ." (Acts 4:24-26)

The apostles' remarks also tell us that the Psalm is about the Messiah and there can be little doubt of that. Consider the sixth verse, "Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion;" And the seventh, which says, "I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee."

The Psalm begins with the question, "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?" In this case "heathen" should be translated as "nations," because it was not only the Gentiles who raged against the Messiah, but His own people, the Jews, also turned against Him.

The word "rage" means to make a tumultuous noise and is closely related to another Hebrew word, which means "to assemble." "Why do the nations assemble like a tumultuous mob?" Surely this applies to the people in Jerusalem, who riotously chanted, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" and to the Gentiles on the day when He shall return. "And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army." (Revelation 19:19)

"...and the people imagine a vain thing." The Hebrew word "hagah" is the same word translated as "meditate" in Psalm 1:2. It means to deliberately think about, to plot or to form a purpose. In this case, the psalmist asks why the people are forming a plot to prevent or to destroy the Messiah. It is a plan that cannot succeed; it is vain and useless.

This prophetic question has always been relevant. The nations will not willingly submit their sovereignty to the Lord Jesus Christ when He returns. They were never willing to do that, beginning with Jesus' own people. The Pharisees and priests were extremely jealous of His popularity, their religious authority was threatened by Him, their sins were exposed by Him, and they plotted to destroy Him.

But we must look deeper than just nations and mobs who rage against our Lord. It is a personal thing. It is the individual who refuses to give the Lord Jesus sovereign rule over his life. It takes individuals to plot the insane resistance to the Lordship of Christ. Angry mobs are made up of angry and cowardly individuals. The insanity of a mob reflects the tumultuous battle that takes place within a person's heart when he rejects Jesus' offer to take over.

Thus we must ask the question of ourselves, "Why does my heart rage, and my mind plot such empty schemes? Why have I not completely surrendered sovereignty over my life to Jesus?" If we do not find the answer and correct the situation, we become just one more face in the angry mob.

Before The Throne:

Ask God the question, "Lord, am I completely surrendered to You, or are there pieces of my life that still rage against You? Father show me how to correct this fault. Cleanse me of all rebellious attitudes. Claim sovereign control over me and direct my paths. Keep me from meditating on vain plans and give me a meaningful life, serving only You."

For Further Study:

** Why. Psalm 18:42; 46:6; 83:4-8; Isa 8:9; Luk 18:32; Act 4:25; ** rage. Luk 22:1,2,5,22,23; Act 16:22; 17:5,6; 19:28-32; ** people. Mt 21:38; John 11:49,50; Act 5:33; Rev 17:14;


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