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It is time for a look at Psalm 2, the reason being that the current world situation is such a parallel to that at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Lord, and the Psalm covering both cases, then and now, so well and aptly, it would seem a pity not to point it out.
Thus in this Psalm the prediction is two-fold, stretching not merely to the Jew, but to the Gentile, not merely to the crucifixion but to the resurrection, and again, not only to the physical but to the spiritual crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Let us then look.
How often in World War I was the Reveille sounded, the alert, the awake, the call to arise. The stalwart bugler, awake first, must now awaken the others. The clarion notes, the bold persuasive sound of the vigorous trumpet mingles with the more subdued sounds of the Camp, and action is posted, the agenda is activated.
Churchill sounded long enough as he warned against Hitler, that miserable squirt, that insignificant stirrer, as they conceived him in their security, so often; for the sedate British Empire had larger matters to attend to, until its very life was threatened and spared only by what has all the look of a miracle, at Dunkirk.
That was a political reveille, and the 'troops' were in no mood to respond. Was not this Winston Churchill irresponsible, if not, my dear, at heart a war-monger, a political opportunist ? So to some it may have seemed, until the knife at the national jugular, shall we say, persuaded them that the case was not so; that indeed, it was far other. In fact, this man should at once and without more ado become Prime Minister! So he became so, no war-monger but war minister.
There is much more at stake now, than England. It stood for something then, with a measure of clarity: Protestant, Bible believing religion was not de rigueur, but in some legal, formal way, it related to THE BOOK, taken by the Queen, and the legal prohibition of Rome as the religion centre for the monarch. Indeed, there had been many find, brave and courageous Anglicans like the expelled 2000 Ministers in the 17th century, and ... Cranmer, Ridley and Latimer.
As to Rome's exclusion from the monarchy, this was scarcely surprising in view of what had happened from the Spanish Armada on, and indeed before; and in the fires of Smithfield, and in the very sanctimonious assurance that all the tortures and deaths of British subjects from this foreign ruler, were really a very heavenly matter. Lacking Biblical warrant, and in profuse contradiction in word and deed to the same, this religion was bundled out of power. Like Communism, it had one phase, in that the Pope formally claimed as shown in The Shadow of a Mighty Rock Ch.10, to be the ruler of princes, which was so close to an international conspiracy that the difference would need to be found by highly paid lawyers. He exercised these imaginary prerogatives many times in Europe, inviting or inciting even up to World War I, many to this or that war.
This geographical CLAIM was
some sort of religious contrivance, which we have shown unbalanced and
unscriptural (SMR pp. 911ff.,
946ff., 1042-1088H), indeed
a flat contradiction of the MASTER who rebutted
1) the devil, offering Him the kingdoms of this world (Matthew 4), as likewise
2) Pilate (John 19), announcing that His kingdom was not of this world, OTHERWISE His servants would fight. However, this they did not do for the very simple reason that HE FORBAD IT.
Not so Rome.
England stood, to some extent, for liberty from international conspiracy, but its liberty was by no means perfect. Nevertheless there was great liberty of speech and considerable liberty of action. Now increasing coziness with Rome (cf. A Question of Gifts, pp. 65ff.) and with the United Nations, that Moses ex-God (cf. The Other News, Appendix 1), with a vast betrayal of the church's reformation stand (A Question of Gifts, loc.cit.) is making this Bible-based liberty perilous, as indeed in Australia (cf. The Other News, Appendix 1, and Joyful Jottings 14).
Nevertheless, at THAT TIME, in 1939, England did indeed stand for something, and its ideals cast a shadow in which many could hide, for a time.
Yet no nation is stable and secure, and at best a nation may give some reminder, more or less, of the Prince of Peace, the Truth, Jesus Christ. As the nations fall in morals and many churches fail, declining from their former greatness (which is always to show the greatness of Jesus the Christ, and the faithfulness of His word in power and in truth, as ambassadors - cf. SMR pp. 687ff., 837ff.), there is coming a more and more obvious crucifixion of Jesus Christ again, this time spiritually. The thought is not new. It shown most clearly in the book of Hebrews, where we read this, addressed to people living long past the actual slaughter of Christ in the flesh:
"Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God under foot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?" - Hebrews 10:29.
PSALM 2 then covers both of these revolts. It deals with "the KINGS OF THE EARTH" who are in concert with "THE PEOPLE", who are busy plotting a "VAIN THING". It is vain, that is empty, futile, useless, because you cannot control God. You can merely show your intention, giving the show away for all to see (cf. Isaiah 43:13).
The OBJECTIVE of this negative
attitude is this; "LET US BREAK THEIR BONDS IN PIECES,
AND CAST AWAY THEIR CORDS FROM US" - Psalm 2:3.
THEIR BONDS ? Yes, the reference is BOTH to the sovereign God in heaven, with His moral laws and requirements, and to the MESSIAH on earth, or as presented on earth, with His immediate presence, either personally or through the Holy Spirit (cf. John 16:7-13).
The DIVINE RESPONSE to this act in two phases, the breaking and the casting away: It is derisory laughter, contemptuous and even scathing scorn at these idle antics, paranoid mouthings, nebulous nothings, wicked children playing with words (and with God's property in the saints) as if they were toys.
Against such an assault on
the divine name, nature and mission, His salvation and His grace, His word
and His ways, His morals and His kindness, His provision and His power,
God simply announces that He will not merely laugh in the heavens, but
THEM IN HIS DEEP DISPLEASURE" - Psalm 2:5. He will ALSO SET HIS
ON HIS HOLY HILL.
His power may seem weak when men can murder (and now they may do so on the mistaken and para-Roman claim that murder can glorify God, as in the Inquisition, as with the Orthodox conceptions in Kosovo, and decidedly unorthodox conceptions in many Communist death-lines).
THE FATAL SLEEP
It is not that way, however, when He replies. Freedom is given its bid, its bastions and its follies; fact remains. Judgment is according to truth. Only the love of God in Christ can avert this. Only the salvation in His name is relevant. Meanwhile history continues.
God's reply is an orderly development of history, a wonderful series of opportunities for nations to seek Him if by any means they may find Him (as in Acts 17:23-27), with a climax prescribed as in Matthew 24, II Thessalonians 1, and elsewhere as shown in SMR Ch.9 and elsewhere in our set.
This is now reaching its full development in detail (cf. Luke 21:24-28). We are instructed by Jesus the Christ that when this happens we should "look up". The time for total deliverance by the divine power which raised Christ from the dead, and has given man so long to repent and to seek Him: this is near, at the gates (cf. Matthew 24:14, II Peter 3:9 A Spiritual Potpourri, Ch. 18, Scoop of the Universe 45, Part II).
While the divine movement to the impatient may seem slow, as Peter implies; yet it is sure, orderly; and the result is near. England has had her opportunity, as has the United States, and the ridiculous blindness of the United Nations, a body ex-Head, is now arising in the darkness of civililsation's twilight, a gathering darkness which shows more and more, by the absence of light, the onset of the final answer. A constructed head will head only a beast.
Thus, PSALM 2 tells us not this alone, that Christ is to be resurrected as signified in more detail in Psalm 22 and Psalm 16, and implied in Isaiah 53, but that this mighty act would be wrought together with the DIVINE DECREE, attesting that He is in fact the Son of God - as noted fulfilled, in Romans 1:4, where He is declared to be the Son of God with power, by the Holy Spirit. 'Begotten' from the dead (Psalm 2:7, cf. I Corinthians 15:20, Revelation 1:5), He overcomes the thrusts of the kings and princes, the people. He is declared by this act to be who He in fact is, the incarnation of that eternal Person, Himself deity: the Word of God.
As to the reference in Revelation, to His being 'firstborn from the dead', at this site, John also notes that He is "ruler over the kings of the earth", He being the One who "loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father ..."
You will notice the close parallel between those words of John the apostle in Revelation, and those of David the King, in Psalm 2. He will rule. The RULE however, while now in the direction of all history to its appointments with His word, will only on His return (Revelation 19 shows something of its manner, as does II Thessalonians 1) be seen in the way the blind unbelief of this world will be able and willing ... to comprehend: with the rod.
Thus again in Psalm 2 we read of this appointment with history, set for its fast approaching time:
of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends
of the earth for your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron."
The world has had a wonderful heyday, and the mayday has sounded again
and again while the rugged reachings for divine honours on the part of
man have been enabled to show their true nature and actual fruits, over
some thousands of years. Lenin and Marx, Mao and Alexander the Great, Napoleon
and Hitler, Communism and Anarchy have reached skyward, and fallen pitward.
All kinds of chilling philosophies of delusions of grandeur for this petty
potentate called man have been inspired from below and written in the skies,
only to fade away (cf. Joyful Jottings 14,
SMR pp. 902ff.). They lie, stricken
and fallen, illogical testimonies to the skewing power of fraud, desired
fraud, confusing and abusing, used on and by those who followed it. They
will of course NOW be shown in their folly, and THEN removed in their garbage
capacity: but NOT WITHOUT A TRIAL! History has been long, for the human
mind has endured several millenia of this.
ETERNAL VITALITY, WHEN THE DAY DAWNS
What then ?This therefore
- warning, exhortation - has had exposure for around 3000 years, and man
is not without a nudge, is he! What then are they to do ?
The fear of the Lord, of course, is clean (Psalm 19). It is neither self-serving nor craven: it is a sort of non-intoxicated delight, a regard for the sheer power of the sheer purity and the sheer cleanness and savour that is His, the beauty of holiness in Him; it is a response to the all but inconceivable privilege of actually working with Him, inside the envelope of the message of salvation, sent in His love (cf. I John 3:1ff.).
The rejoicing is natural,
therefore. To the Christian, it is endemic. It is all so marvellous that
it is topic of rapture (I Peter 1:8), as well as instrument for reason,
as we give a reason for faith.
It is fortified by the presence of His Holy Spirit, by which He projects not merely what the TV calls an image, but power that is personal as well, company, companionship and direction, for He IS Lord (Luke 24:49, Ephesians 1:19).
It is however NOT the sort
of 'rejoicing' which shows irreverence (Psalm 89:7),
THAT is close to contempt (cf. Matthew 6:22-24). What is not loyalty in this setting is characterisable, even by the Lord, as in effect, coming right down to despising ... Him.
Indeed, Psalm 2 proceeds: "KISS the SON lest He be angry!" (Psalm 2:12). This of course is an Eastern form of greeting, but what a mess poor Judas Iscariot made of it, using it to identify Christ for the Temple soldiers or guard, so that they could start up the rough stuff on Him!
No, in view is not some hypocritical kiss, kiss of death, kiss of dismissal, but the joyful kiss of true devotional friendship, a personal relationship with Him which begins at the new birth, and then acts in the NEW GROWTH which continues on this earth, thereafter (cf. II Peter 3:18).
hear so much more of being born again than of growing again, that it is
a comment on the Age. We are treated often enough to:
- The event (professed 'new birth') and not the life,
- the episode and not the performance, or even
- the performance (of some outrageous kind) without the birth.
But here, it is a kiss of savour which betokens the truth and expresses the delight in it - in Him, indeed, for HE IS THE TRUTH (John 14:6).
There is such a thing as
perishing, indeed as everlasting destruction and the smoke of their torment
is the result of despising truth (II Thess.1:9, Revelation 14:11); and
it is allied with everlasting contempt (Daniel 12). One does not need to
be an expert on hell in order to say that whatever may be that joint estate
of destruction and perishing on the one hand, and irrevocable outcasting
with exclusion that is not the same as annihilation on the other (as in
Mark 9, 3 times from the lips of Christ): it is not savoury. Others may
opine on the exact and ENDURING nature of consciousness, as they have wisdom,
or on its transmutation, and the character of time in such a setting; for
me, it is enough that whatever it is, it is interminable, and will have
its own species of existence. I do not probe. It is enough that it is without
the Lord. Nothing else matters (cf. Psalm 17:25,26, 17:15).