You are my son; today I have become your father. Psalm 2

The Book of Psalms was the hymn book for the people of Israel. Some are hymns of praise for God’s acts of creation and salvation. Some are hymns of personal thanksgiving; others are songs of lament or confession. Some Psalms were used in worship to approach God and others had a special use in the enthronement of a new King.
Ten of the Psalms are called ROYAL PSALMS. They talk about the Rule of the King of God’s chosen people Israel and the King’s spiritual role in the worship of Yahweh.
Psalm 21 1 The king rejoices in your strength, LORD. How great is his joy in the victories you give! 2 You have granted him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips. 3 You came to greet him with rich blessings and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
Psalm 45 1 My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skilful writer.
Psalm 72 1 Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness.
The other ROYAL PSALMS are 18, 20, 101, 110, 132, 144 and our subject for tonight, Psalm 2.
But there are also three psalms which are called Messianic Psalms, because they look beyond the times of the Psalm writers and forward to God’s coming King, The Messiah. One of those Messianic Psalms is Psalm 22. Many people think Jesus was meditating on Psalm 22 as he was dying on the cross. It 1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?
And Psalm 22 ends 31 They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it! In other words “It is finished, it is accomplished!”
The second Messianic Psalm is also a Royal Psalm, Psalm 110. That Psalm is quoted by Jesus in the Gospels and by Peter on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. Psalm 110 begins,
1 The LORD says to my lord. ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’
The third Messianic Psalm is Psalm 2. It speaks about God’s appointed King of Israel, but at the same time it also looks forward to the coming of God’s anointed one, The Messiah.
1 Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the LORD and against his anointed, saying, 3 ‘Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.’
So this Psalm begins talking about the King of Israel and the reality that other nations have always been opposed to God’s chosen people and His appointed King. The sad fact is that there will never be peace while people reject God and his anointed servant. All plotting by nations and kings and rulers is always pointless of course, because the Almighty Creator God is sovereign over all the earth as verses 4-6 will declare. But the Psalm is also looking one thousand years beyond those times to “the Lord’s anointed”, to the Messiah. It is foretelling that when He comes the Messiah will be the object of a conspiracy between the nations. Psalm 2 verse 1 was quoted by the first Christians when they began to face opposition from the Jews.
Acts 4:25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:
“ ‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.’
27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.
Psalm 2 is clearly looking forward to the coming of the Messiah. It foretells the rejection and indeed the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and this is the subtext for the whole Psalm.
But the Psalmist goes on to proclaim the complete victory of the Sovereign God.
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.
5 He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6 ‘I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.’
God is enthroned in heaven and He is victorious over all, a theme picked up in so many other places in the Old Testament.
Psalm 37:12 The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; 13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.
Isaiah 40:22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. 24 No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.
We saw this picture of the wicked like chaff being blown away last week in Psalm 1. The wonderful truth is that God is Sovereign over all the nations and the rulers of this world. God protects his chosen people and He protects the King of Israel who he has appointed to be ruler in his holy city of Jerusalem. 6 ‘I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.’
But again this ultimate victory is looking beyond the King of Israel in the Psalm writer’s time a thousand years in the future to the Messiah who is to come. And here we find one of the most exciting prophecies in the whole of the Old Testament.
7 I will proclaim the LORD’s decree:
He said to me, ‘You are my son; today I have become your father.
8 Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.’

Verse 7 refers back to the promise God made to great King David about one of his descendants which we looked at in the run up to Christmas, great David’s greatest Son.
2 Samuel 7 “ ‘The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son.
Here is the amazing promise that a descendent of David will rule over a Kingdom which will last forever, building the eternal Temple. And more than that. I will be his father, and he will be my son. Even more amazing, his descendent of David will be the Son of God!
7 I will proclaim the LORD’s decree: He said to me, ‘You are my son; today I have become your father.
The New Testament quotes Psalm 2 verse 7 three times to demonstrate the divinity of Christ. In Acts 13 we find Paul preaching in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch about Jesus.
Acts 13 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people.
32 “We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm:
“ ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.’
The resurrection is God’s proof that Jesus is the Son of God, as Psalm 2 foretold. Then again Hebrews 1 applies Psalm 2 to Jesus to demonstrate that he was the son of God.
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. 5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son; today I have become your Father”?
And Hebrews 5 relates Psalm 2 to Jesus as the great High Priest.
Hebrews 5: 4 No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was. 5 So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”
So Psalm 2 verse 7 looks forward to Jesus the Messiah. Its words are echoed in the voice from heaven which came as Jesus was baptised
Matthew 3:22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
And there is the same echo in the voice which came from heave at the Transfiguration.
Matthew 17:5 “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
‘You are my son; today I have become your father.
That could be translated as “today I have begotten you”. And that phrase is in the background of the phrase John uses naming Jesus as God’s only begotten son.
John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in the closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
‘You are my son; today I have become your father.
The fourth century Nicene Creed proclaims,
“We believe in … one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father….”
The Nicene Creed made clear that Jesus was not some kind of divine human or lesser God, but that his divinity was on a par with that of the Father Himself: “very God of very God,” “true God coming from the true God.” And all that was the glorious fulfilment of Psalm 2:7 written a thousand years earlier.
He said to me, ‘You are my son; today I have become your father.
8 Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.
So there is also the promise of the Messiah’s inheritance – the nations and the ends of the earth. He would indeed be Ruler and Judge of all.
10 Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Serve the Lord with fear. Celebrate His rule with trembling. This is our proper response to the awesome Holy Sovereign God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Serve the Lord and kiss His Son. As somebody has said, “There can be no service to the Lord without submission to the Son.”
This truth is expanded in the little parable of the son who is the apprentice in John 5
21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
Serve the Lord – kiss the Son. Whoever does not honour the son does not honour the father who sent Him. The heart of the Psalm is this solemn warning of the futility of conspiring and rebelling against God and his anointed one.
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. 5 He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, 6 ‘I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.’
9 You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.’
10 Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
These are terrifying warnings of judgment on those who refuse to serve the Lord and kiss the Son. God is Sovereign King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But then the Psalm ends with this wonderful promise for believers. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Psalm 2 is the greatest of the Royal Psalms and the Messianic Psalms. It declares the Sovereignty of God and of his anointed King. It foretells God’s masterplan of salvation, that God would send His only begotten Son for us. And it shows how we should respond: celebrate God’s rule: serve the Lord and Kiss His Son. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

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