Why Do the Nations Rage?

Psalms 2 (ESV) Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” 4 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. 5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, 6 “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” 7 I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. 8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” 10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Isaiah 46:8-11 (ESV) 8 “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, 9 remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ 11 calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.

God has enthroned his King, and the nations of the earth should turn from their rebellion and take refuge in God’s King. That’s a decent summary of Psalm 2. 

I capitalize King because as Christians we believe that King is none other than Jesus. In Acts 4:24-28, the saints gathered to give praise to God and ask for boldness because of their delivery from the hands of the governing authorities who had told them to stop preaching in the name of Jesus. They are applying Psalm 2 to the sovereignty of God in installing Jesus as the King of Psalm 2. They are appealing to Jesus, God and King, the Triune God of the bible who the need to move his mission forward through their obedience and they believe he has the power to make that happen, so they ask him. 

That’s amazing. 

Isaiah reminds us that God’s hand is extended and he will accomplish all his will from calling a bird of prey or a man of his purpose from a foreign land. 

We can take away this solid rock truth: Jesus is THE King, and God the Father has installed Jesus as King, and it is absolutely futile for nations and the people of the nations to push against the immovable hand of God. 

This is NOT a reason to take a fatalistic position on anything. Fatalism has no place in Christian theology. Fatalism is the godless belief that whatever will be will be. That’s not what Psalm 2 and Isaiah is teaching us, and that is not what the saints in Acts 4 prayed for.

The proper theology of God’s sovereign providence does help us to see a loving, powerful, prophetic, holy, righteous, and good God-directed mission to see that Jesus, as King, regains the rule over all things that are rightfully God’s are redeemed from the dark curse imposed on them from the rebellion in Genesis 3. 

This gives me great hope and peace as we see our nation and the peoples of our nation rage against the Lord and seeking to tear his bonds of sovereign providence from their limbs even as some use his name in their rebellion against him.  

God will not let his King, Jesus, be in any way be denied recognition and worship as King. Nations and people will either bow the knee in willing salvation or in unwilling eternal condemnation. Every knee will bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth to the glory of God the Father, some in salvation and some in condemnation. 

If you have trusted in the Lord Jesus in repentant faith, rest in him as we strive to see Jesus, the biblical Jesus, exalted in holiness and righteousness. Resist any effort to throw off his restraints. This is a vain effort, and perhaps the vainest effort of man in the history of the world. 

There is abundant grace available to be daughters and sons who get nothing but love, but it is only had in submission to Jesus, the Jesus of the bible. 

May you find the greatest freedom and peace and rest under the good and holy rule of King Jesus in humble submission to his mission to be worshipped among the nations beginning right here.

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