“Why are the nations so violently moved, and why are the thoughts of the people so foolish? The kings of the earth have taken their place, and the rulers are fixed in their purpose, against the Lord…” (Psalm 2:1-2 BBE)
One would suppose that mankind would welcome the reign of a King such as Jesus Christ. What nation has ever been ruled by a more benevolent, just and trustworthy ruler than the Lord? But so thoroughly and pervasively has mankind been corrupted that the instant reaction to any suggestion of subjecting themselves to God’s authority is met with universal rage.
It has been suggested that David penned this psalm just after he conquered Jerusalem, when the surrounding nations united together to attack Israel. Whatever the original intent might have been, the psalmist was (perhaps unknowingly) foretelling the crucifixion of Jesus Christ a thousand years later, and even more significantly, mankind’s final insurrection against the establishment of Christ’s kingdom on earth.
Why such violent resistance to this peaceful King? Because man does not want to be ruled by God. This is true both corporately and individually. People fiercely resist the gospel because they instinctively know that accepting God’s authority over their lives means the end to self-will, pride, impurity and all of their other carnal passions. Adam Clarke describes the opposition as being “the unwillingness of rebellious nature to submit to the obligations of Divine laws, which cross the interests, and lay a restraint on the desires of men. Corrupt affections are the most inveterate enemies of Christ…”
No single Bible version thoroughly captures the violent passion of the follow-up statement found in verse 3 so I will offer it in four different translations:
- “Let us free ourselves from their rule,” they say; “let us throw off their control.” (GNB)
- “Let us break their chains,” they cry, “and free ourselves from slavery to God.” (NLT)
- “Let us tear off their chains and free ourselves from their restraints.” (Hol)
- “Let us break Their bands [of restraint] asunder and cast Their cords [of control] from us.” (Amp)
The sad fact of the matter is that the human race would prefer Satan’s rule over their lives so long as they can continue to indulge their vices and have their way.
And how about you? Have you completely acquiesced to God’s desire to extend His loving influence over every area of your heart and life? Or are there still pockets of resistance actively engaging in rebellion to His rule? The flesh rages when its dominion is threatened, but the Lord will conquer anyone’s heart who is truly willing.