Coronation of the King
Ephesians 2:6; Psalm 2
Ephesians Series #058
January 26, 2020
Dr. Robert L. Dean, Jr.
“Father, we thank You for Your Word. We thank You for the written word that tells us about the Living Word—that Jesus Christ is the Living Word. He came as the light to the world to illuminate us to Your character. He is the Only Begotten of the Father who came to explain You. Father, we thank You that we have that revelation; we thank You that He is our Savior who died on the Cross for our sins.
“We thank You for the fact that Jesus didn’t just pop up in history out of nowhere, but that there were guidelines, guideposts, predictions, prophecies, symbols, signs and types rom the time of the first sin in the Garden of Eden all the way through the Old Testament.
“There is prediction after prediction about the coming of this Messiah, telling us: that He would be both God and Man, that He would suffer, that He would die, that He would pay for our sins, that He might justify many; all of this is in the Old Testament. Also, that He would come to rule, to reign, that He would establish His kingdom upon the earth.
“As we study the significance of that for our spiritual life, we pray that You would help us to understand these things as we put together these various passages from the Old Testament. We pray this in Christ’s name, amen.”
Ephesians 2:5–6 makes some significant statements. Ephesians 2:5 tells us that He has made us alive together with Him. “Together” in the context refers to Jew and Gentile, which have previously been dealt with separately, but now in this Church Age they are united together in Christ.
Ephesians 2:6 talks about Christ’s session in heaven—that we’re seated together in Him and in the heavenly places in Christ. We’ve been studying that, going back looking at the ascension of Christ: that we have been raised together with Him; and looking at the session. As we put these passages together, we are now looking at the last Old Testament passage, which is Psalm 2, the coronation of the king.
Ephesians 2:6 tells us that He—that is God has:
1. Made us alive together with Him
2. Raised us up together
3. Made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus
This is really a summary statement, as I have said week after week, that little is packed into this. However, if you go back to Ephesians 1:19–20, there’s a reference there to the ascension and the session, and again we will see it in Ephesians 4:17. This is a major theme that underlies the teaching of Ephesians.
There is the assumption that His readers understood the depth of each one of these statements: that as quickly as we read past the phrase that “we are seated together in Him in the heavenlies,” we pass on instead of stopping and thinking:
- What does it really mean that we are seated together with Him?
- What is this “seated” business?
- What is the session?
We’ve been studying what the Bible teaches about the session of Christ.
We started by looking at Old Testament passages:
First, Psalm 110:1, “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool.”
Secondly, Psalm 110:4, “I have made You a priest according to the order of Melchizedek …” tying those together, which tells us that the High Priestly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ is connected to His current session.
Next, we looked very briefly at Psalm 68:18 because this is the psalm that is paraphrased in Ephesians 4:7–11, which reminds us that when Jesus arose, a purpose for that ascension and session was so that He could distribute spiritual gifts to the Church.
He told us in John 14 and John 16 that He needed to ascend, so that another Comforter would come. There it’s talking about giving the Holy Spirit, so that’s another aspect of the necessity of the ascension and the session, but those things are related to priestly ministry,
Thirdly, we looked at Daniel 7:13–14, which we will allude to a couple of times as we go through Psalm 2 today. Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the Father, but He is waiting. He is told to sit “… until I make Your enemies Your footstool.”
What’s going on? He is seated until that happens. Psalm 2 tells us when that is going to happen and how that is going to happen, and it doesn’t happen until the end of the Tribulation.
Jesus is currently seated at the right hand of the Father, and then He will come. According to Daniel 7, He will approach God the Father and His throne—God the Father is referred to as the Ancient of Days; He will then ask for the kingdom.
Why does He ask for the kingdom? That’s answered in Psalm 2. This is one of the most significant Psalms that we have in the Old Testament related to the Messiah’s mission and purpose. Psalm 2 focuses on the Messiah’s victory over those enemies.
Last time I went through an introduction to the Psalms. One of the points I made was that the way the Psalms have been put together has been, I believe, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. That was done after the exile, so there is an order to the Psalms, there’s a purpose, there’s a structure.
Psalm 1–2 really fit together, and they serve as the introduction to the Book of Psalms. The Book of Psalms is not just an individual collection of a lot of psalms that got thrown together, there is rhyme and reason to their organization and structure.
Psalm 149–150 is a couplet, which represents the conclusion—another time to study those things in detail.
We saw that Psalm 2 is one of the most quoted psalms in the New Testament. In a number of these passages:
- Matthew 3:17, and the parallels in Mark 1:11 and Luke 3:22.
- Matthew 17:5, again in the synoptic Gospels of Mark 9:7 and Luke 9:35.
- Acts 4:24–26, Acts 13:33, which we will briefly look at today.
- Hebrews 1:5 and 5:5, which we will look at briefly, and Revelation 2:7.
- Also, in the opening verses of Romans 1, there is an allusion to this that is significant.
We learned that Psalm 2 was written by David. It doesn’t say that in the superscript, neither does it say that in Psalm 1, but as these are written to go together, we can assume that because the New Testament writers understood that Psalm 2 was written by David.
Acts 4:25, where Peter says, “By the mouth of Your servant David have said, ‘Why did the nations rage and the people plot vain things?’ ” he’s quoting Psalm 2. He tells us that David wrote Psalm 2 under inspiration of Scripture; so Psalm 1, I think was also written by David.
King James translation, “Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing?” So, you have this rebellion that begins that is focused on the beginning.
You might look at the first line, especially if you’re looking at the old King James Version, it says, “Why do the heathen rage?” That looks like it’s a pretty generic statement: Why do the heathen rage? Why are unbelievers angry? But that’s not what it’s saying, so we have to recognize that that was an inadequate translation—that this is talking about a specific future situation which hasn’t taken place yet.
We need to figure out in God’s timetable when this is going to take place. It takes place when God the Father crowns the Lord Jesus Christ as King, installs Him as King in Jerusalem. That occurs at the end of the Tribulation at the Second Coming when the Lord Jesus Christ comes back. This is premillennialism: the “pre” means before Jesus returns before the beginning of the Kingdom.
This is important because today we have a lot of people who have very loose understandings of the kingship of Jesus and the Kingdom. They talk as if we are in the Kingdom. If you’re amillennial the view is that we are in a spiritual form of the Kingdom and Jesus is ruling in heaven now from David’s spiritualized, allegorized throne.
Post-mills teach that Jesus comes back at the end of the Kingdom. Progressive dispensationalists take the same passages in Acts the same way that amillennialists do—they think Jesus is on a spiritualized throne.
What’s very clear here is that Jesus isn’t installed as King until He comes to defeat His enemies. That means there’s no king, there is no kingdom until Jesus returns at the end of the Tribulation.
- Jesus returns at the Second Coming, at the end of the Tribulation
- The thousand-year rule and reign of Christ on the earth
- The Great White Throne Judgment, which is the judgment for all unbelievers
Jesus, therefore, is not ruling on David’s throne from heaven now; this is historic dispensational premillennialism.
Slides 10, 11
Last time I showed you this little organizational chart, which helps us to understand the structure of Psalm 2. It’s very simple: there are four parts and each part has three verses. The set up order is a chiasm, which comes from the Greek letter CHI, an “X”, so it’s shaped like the left side of an “X,” and it points to the center. There are extended chiasms that may have 5, 8, 12 different sections, and it always points to the center as the most important.
Here it is dealing with YHWH’s response to these rebellious kings, and His response is to declare the Sonship of the Messiah—that is the centerpiece of this. We will go through each section at a time, looking at the three verses in each section.
Psalm 2:1, New American Standard Version, “Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing?”
Psalm 2:2, “The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD—YHWH—and against His anointed—in Hebrew Mashiach—saying,
Psalm 2:3, “‘Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!”
Psalm 2:1, “Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing?”
This is set up in a parallelism where the second line repeats part of what’s in the first line, then adds something to it. In this parallelism, the term that they have in common is the synonyms “nations” and “peoples.”
The Hebrew for “nations” is goyim—Gentiles. The second line talks about the “peoples,” so this is primarily focusing not on the Jews, but on the Gentiles. Psalm 2:2 talks about the “kings of the earth” and the “rulers,” so the “nations” and the “people” in Psalm 2:1 are further specified as the “kings of the earth” and the “rulers of the earth” in Psalm 2:2. This is looking at those nations who are opposed to God.
We see a lot of nations, a lot of entities and religious theocracies in this world today, such as the religious theocracies of Islam that are set against God. But these all foreshadow this ultimate rebellion that takes place during the Tribulation period when all of the nations are aligned against God and against Israel.
Anti-Semitism will be at its absolute worst during the Tribulation period. The Antichrist will make a covenant of peace with Israel at the beginning of the Tribulation. That’s how you know when it begins, according to Daniel 9:24–25, that the Antichrist, the “prince who is to come,” will sign a treaty with Israel.
This provides some protection, but that treaty is broken in the midpoint of the Tribulation. The Antichrist will desecrate the temple and set up an idol up in the temple to be worshiped as God. About that point Jesus said, Mark 13:14, “When you see the abomination of desolation take place, flee to the mountains.”
That is when anti-Semitism comes out from its camouflage, and the whole world turns against the Jews. Anti-Semitism has always been one of Satan’s great strategies to defeat God. If he can destroy the Jews and Israel so there’s no Jew left on the planet, he thinks he can win because God then can’t fulfill His promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and he will prove that God really can’t control things.
That’s the backdrop for understanding this. This is not talking about historical nations. This is talking about future Gentile nations. It’s interesting, I ended up last time talking about the importance of nations biblically. We live in a world today where you hear from the left that nationalism is evil, and they have twisted and distorted it. But biblically nationalism was instituted by God at the Tower of Babel when God divided the languages
That is referred to in Deuteronomy 32:8, “When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance—inheritance is just a word that basically means property: when He gave them their land. God distributes land on the earth to nations, according to His will—when He separated the sons of men”—when He separated out humanity.
How did He do that? He divided up the languages. That forced them to isolate themselves in different people-groups, in different nations. “He set the boundaries of the peoples …” God set the boundaries. The idea that we don’t need to have borders is a direct attack on God’s plan in history to keep the nations separate.
I pointed out last time that God in His omniscience knew about all of the evil, all the wars, all the violence that would come down through human history as a result of territorial wars and battles, as a result of the abuse of nationalism. He knew all of that. But God also knew that internationalism would be more evil, more destructive, more terrible, and that it was better to have people divided into nations than to have one international body of people with one with one language.
In Acts 17:26 Paul reiterates this principle, so you can say it’s true for the Old Testament, it’s true for the New Testament, “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times—the rise in the fall of nations—and the boundaries of their dwellings.”
God is the One Who has established these national distinctions, and God is the One Who’s established these borders, and to try to turn that back is to recommit the sin of the Tower of Babel, and this is why the UN is an evil organization.
If you’ve ever been to the UN building, in the front of it you will see that—and you can go out and do a search on various images for the United Nations headquarters in New York—they have a statue of someone beating swords into plowshares. And they quote the verse from Isaiah 2 that their spears will be beaten into pruning hooks and their swords into plowshares, and man will make war no more.
That is a description of the Millennial Kingdom. So the UN is saying “We’re going to bring in the Kingdom. We are the messianic agency.” The UN itself is anti-Messiah. It is anti-biblical, and it is seeking to do what only God can do. That is a picture of the kings of the earth being hostile to God. It’s just not the fulfillment of this passage.
The use of these two terms, goyim for the Gentiles and le’om for the people, focus on the Gentile nations as opposed to Israel, even though Israel is sometimes called Om or “L” which is the same word translated as “peoples”. The context here is talking about non-Jews; it’s clarified by that first statement.
This is further explained in Psalm 2:2 that the kings of the earth are those Gentiles; and that term itself is significant.
“Why are the nations in an uproar …?”
The King James translates it, “Why do the heathen rage?” It’s not “heathen,” it’s goyim, the Gentiles; and it’s not “raging” either. The word that is translated “uproar” is the Hebrew word ragash, which means to plot a rebellion, to conspire against.
They are devising a vain thing. “Devising” is in synonymous parallelism with “uproar” and this is a Hebrew word hagah, which sometimes is used to refer to meditation, meditating on the Scripture. It means to moan or to whisper. When you memorize something, you’re saying it over and over to yourself. You are whispering or talking to yourself and memorizing a passage, so that’s where it comes to be applied to meditation.
Here it is the whispering of rebels who are developing a plot to rebel against God. This is defined or described as something that is empty or vain. They’re devising a vain thing; devising something that’s impossible for them to bring about. They’re just in a fantasy world, thinking that somehow they can throw off the authority of God and live apart from Him.
This is further expanded then in Psalm 2:2, “The kings of the earth take their stand.” The New King James says, “The kings of the earth set themselves.” They have taken up a position totally against God. The second line in parallelism to that says that “the rulers—that is the kings of the earth—take counsel together against the LORD.”
We have our first divine personage mentioned here, “the LORD,” YHWH, and against a second personage, the “Anointed,” the Hebrew Mashiach. We have YHWH—God the Father; and the “Anointed One”—the Mashiach who will be later identified as the King.
The phrase “kings of the earth” is significant, and it’s interesting to read through, and I’ve got several verses I want to throw up on the screen to show you, but what’s interesting is it’s much broader than just the few verses that I’m showing you. This term is used again and again in Scripture. It is a technical term for the nations that have arrayed themselves against the plan of God, and it’s almost all eschatological, talking about this future battle against God.
Isaiah 24:21, “It shall come to pass in that day …” When we see the phrase “in that day” in the prophets, it almost always refers to this end-time battle, this end-time war that takes place just before the establishment of the kingdom.
“It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord will punish on high the host of the exalted ones, and on earth the kings of the earth.”
This is interesting because it shows that the end-time battle at the end of the Tribulation isn’t just the Lord Jesus Christ returning against the human armies of the Antichrist, but He is also going to defeat Satan and the fallen angels. He is dealing with two enemies.
When we went through Revelation, I pointed out that in the second half of the Tribulation Satan is thrown to the earth. I believe that the demons and Satan will all be made visible to mankind, just as they were prior to the Flood of Noah. That God is going to bring all the rebellious forces together on the earth, human and angelic, and then there is going to be this great final judgment upon them.
In Revelation 6:15; this is the time of the sixth seal judgment: “And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains.”
This is talking about all of the rulers of those nations that are arrayed against God, aligned with the Antichrist during the Tribulation period.
Revelation 16:14 connects this with the spirit of demons. “For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth—showing that they are demon influenced—and of the whole world to gather them together to the to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”
That’s the Battle of Armageddon. It’s named for the valley that runs to the southeast from Haifa that is also known as the Valley of Jezreel, and it’s just below the hill of Megiddo, which is a very ancient settlement. Some of you have been there with me, and last time I was there—every time I go it’s a different number—it had around 30 or 32 layers of settlements, so it’s ancient.
Solomon had his chariot core station there, it’s on the crossroads of the major trade routes. This is an incredibly long valley, and it’s fed from the only deep-water port in the Eastern Mediterranean, which is at Haifa, so that’s a great place for ships to come in and offload all of their troops and equipment and everything else necessary to go into a huge battle.
Revelation 17:2 says, “… with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication …”— talking about that revived Babylon in the end time—the kings of the earth committed fornication with the empire of the Antichrist.
Revelation 17:18, “And the woman—this is the empire of Babel, the empire of the Antichrist—the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.” This is the whole of the satanic civilization that is led by the Antichrist at the end of the Tribulation.
Revelation 18:3, “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her.”
Revelation 18:9, “The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her.”
All of these refer to this group of Gentile kingdoms that are allied together under the authority of the Antichrist in the end time. When we read this phrase in Psalm 2:2, this is a technical term that is carried out through Scripture related to the end time battle at Armageddon.
Psalm 89:27 is a prayer based on the Davidic Covenant. We spent some time studying it last year. God is speaking, “Also, I will make Him—that is the Davidic heir, talking about the Messiah—the highest of the kings of the earth.”
This is why His title in Revelation 19 is King of kings and Lord of lords; He will defeat them. “I will make Him my firstborn, the highest of the kings” indicates His defeat of those kings.
Revelation 1:5 in the introduction to the prophecy of the Book of Revelation, “and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.”
That really helps us understand that this has a prophetic significance: it is talking about something that comes in the future at the end of days.
Psalm 2:2, “The kings of the earth take their stand—they set themselves against the Lord—the rulers take counsel together against Yahweh—God the Father—and against His Anointed—Mashiach …”
Psalm 2:3, we read what they say. I have a couple different translations up here. The New King James says, “Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!”
Holman Christian Standard Bible says, “Let us tear off their chains and free ourselves from their restraints.”
Both of those do a good job of reflecting what the Hebrew says.
Getting into the second part, God’s response to the conspiracy of the kings of the earth, the whisperings and mutterings of the Gentiles in Psalm 2:4–6, the response of Yahweh and His Messiah, the Anointed One.
Psalm 2:4, “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh, the Lord—here it’s not YHWH, it’s Adonai. He’s referring to God the Father—shall hold them in derision.”
Psalm 2:5, “Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury saying,”
Psalm 2:6, “But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.”
I want to stop here while we have these verses up here. When you look at Psalm 2:5, it just says that He will speak. I have read some commentaries which say that the One who speaks is the Messiah. But that doesn’t make sense because what He continues to say in Psalm 2:6 is, “as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion.”
This only makes sense if it is God the Father who is the One sitting in the heavens on His throne, not the Messiah sitting at the right hand of the Father. The language reminds us of Psalm 110:1.
Psalm 2:4, “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh, The Lord—Adonai, God the Father—shall hold them in derision.”
Notice that it is in the first phrase. “He who sits” is translated in Holman Bible and the NET as “the One enthroned.” I think that is a good translation. That’s the significance of the verbiage as we will see.
It is Yashav. Interestingly, in Israel you have kibitzim, a communal village that was established back in the late 19th century. Also Mashavs, with an “M” in the front, is a noun based on the verb Yashav. It’s a dwelling place. So that’s one of the meanings of this root word Yashav, but it also means to sit, and it is frequently used to describe someone who sitting on a throne.
When you look at that in the sense that this is one who is enthroned, it reminds us that this is the same word used in Psalm 110:1, “Yahweh said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand …’ ” He is sitting, though, according to Revelation 3:21. Jesus says that He sat on His Father’s throne. He is sitting there on His Father’s throne. He’s not on His own throne yet because He hasn’t been crowned as we will see as we go through this passage.
As these verses are translated by Holman and NET translations, it should be understood as “the One enthroned in heaven,” and that it is God the Father contextually.
But what is He doing? This may shock some people. God is making fun of these unbelievers. They have gathered their armies together; they’re shaking their fists to God. They are conspiring together, they are going to defeat God and throw off His laws, His rules, and they’re going to make their own kingdom. We see so many people who have that same mentality today.
But God looks at them, and He laughs in ridicule. The Hebrew word is sachaq, which means to sneer, to taunt, to the laugh in derision, or simply to deride, to mock, and to scorn.
We have all been pretty much taught that you need to respect other people’s religious beliefs, even if they’re wrong. God is not a respecter of other people’s religious beliefs. In fact, He ridicules them. He mocks them because it’s vanity. It’s just emptiness. They’re worshiping idols that in and of themselves they’re nothing, even though they are empowered by demons.
So God laughs in ridicule, and this is made a parallel in the passage with the last line. In this translation “He holds them in derision.” I’m translating it “He taunts them.”
The second word, laag, which has the idea to mock, to deride, to jeer, to make fun of, or to show contempt; I think “taunt” picks up that idea.
He is showing that He has great contempt for these rebels that they’re trying to do something that’s impossible. They think that they are going to throw off God’s rule. That would be like some little bitty ant that you see saying to you that he’s going to throw you down and stomp you to death. It just is not ever going to happen. It’s impossible.
Psalm 2:4, “He who sits enthroned in the heavens—God the Father—laughs in ridicule of the kings of the earth.”
We think they have such great power, and people are so concerned about reading all the tabloids about what’s going on with the royal families in Europe, the royal family in England and everything, and yet God just looks at all of these rebellious rulers with all their power, all their armies, all their alleged strength as meaningless, and it’s just nothing; and He just ridicules them and He taught taunts them.
Psalm 2:5, describing God’s response. First of all, He laughs at them; He ridicules and taunts them, “Then He speaks to them in His wrath, and distresses them in His deep displeasure.” New King James translation.
The other translations are a little bit different, so I put them up on the screen as well. New American Standard, “Then He will speak to them in His anger, and terrify them in His fury.”
They almost all use the word “anger” for that first word; New King James uses “wrath.” These terms somewhat overlap.
The second line, “terrifying them in His fury.” NASB uses “fury,” NET uses “rage,” and then the Holman uses “wrath,” which I think is a better term for theological reasons.
We need to look at this response because there’s some interesting things in this passage.
The first word is “then.” What does “then” mean? Well, this tells us that we’re talking about a timeline, that there’s an order of events here. First, we have the kings of the earth are conspiring to rebel against God and to throw off His authority.
Then we have God’s response to them. He laughs, He ridicules them and He derides them. After that, He speaks to them in His fury. In His speaking to them, the parallel is “to terrify.” When God speaks they are terrified; they are scared to death.
We think just of someone who is a believer like Isaiah before the throne of God, and when he realizes he’s before the throne of God, he just falls down on his face saying, “Woe is me, a man of unclean lips.”
He’s confronted with the righteousness and holiness of God, and he’s a believer, as opposed to these unbelievers who are not saved, and they are confronted face-to-face with the justice and righteousness of God and what their punishment will be.
So “then” is a very important timeline word, that first there’s this united conspiracy of rebellion. God laughs at them, and then He’s going to speak to them. And the speaking to them is what comes up in Psalm 2:6, which is when He declares the sonship of the Messiah.
That doesn’t happen until the time of this rebellion, and that rebellion, as we’ve seen, doesn’t happen until the end of the Tribulation. This just completely destroys the whole amillennial concept and post-millennial concepts, as well as this idea that we’re already in the kingdom, but not yet fully here, which is so dominant among evangelicals today.
The word translated “anger” is very interesting. I remember somebody writing an article some years ago, a friend of mine, and he was arguing that God has emotion. I wrote him a letter and I said, “I think you need to rethink a lot of things here.” First of all, there’s no equivalent in Hebrew or Greek to the word “emotion.” The English word “emotion” didn’t get coined until you get into the late 1700s. There were other more precise ways that these things were discussed earlier.
Scott Aniol has developed a lot on this; He will be a speaker at the  Chafer Conference. I’ve asked him to develop the thinking on this a little bit, because people just really don’t understand a lot of these things. But in classical education and during the period of the scholastics in the Middle Ages, they understood there was a difference between the passions—anger, hate, envy, jealousy—and the affections of the intellect.
The intellectual affections are attracted to that which is compatible with them, and they are not emotions as we think of emotions. So, God would be thought of as having these intellectual affections: they are affections of the mind.
One of my points was that when you look at all of the words that describe anger in the Old Testament, they are all rooted in this word aph. Aph literally means “your nose,” and it is often used in conjunction with another word that means “burning,” and we will see that in the second line where it says that His fury, that’s His burning. It is called in anthropomorphism.
Anthropomorphism is a big word which just means that we are assigning to God a physical human attribute that He doesn’t actually possess:
We talk about the eyes of God going to and fro on the earth
We talk about the finger of God.
We talk about the arm of God, the hand of God
But God does not have a hand, a finger, an eye; God is a Spirit. We just use these human physical attributes because they communicate and help us understand something about infinite God and His plans and purposes and policies.
Anthropopathism —from a word that relates to emotion—is the same kind of thing. It’s taking a human emotion and using it to describe God, so that we can understand something beyond our comprehension in terms of a common frame of reference. It uses a human emotion that God does not actually possess in order to communicate something about God’s purpose, plan, and policy.
What am I saying here? When you look at the passages that talk about God’s anger, what it is saying is God’s nose is burning, literally; but does God have a nose? No, He doesn’t. So is using an anthropomorphism as an anthropopathism.
That gets really confusing. It’s attributing a physical human form to God to talk about an emotion. Because in Hebrew, you didn’t have a word really that meant just straight up anger. I think there is one, but in most places, it uses this figure of speech. Somebody gets angry, their face turns red; their nose is burning. That is an anthropomorphism that is used to describe this anthropopathism, but it goes a little a little further. The second word that’s used that’s translated “fury” is charon which means burning or heat.
It’s like going into court today. Let’s say you go to court. You got caught speeding, you’re doing 70 miles an hour in a school zone. That is not looked upon with favor. It’s not ever looked upon with even the least little bit of sympathy. So you go to court and the maximum penalty is leveled against you. How do we describe that using a figure of speech? “That judge threw the book at me!”
Did he literally throw the book at you? No. Was he even angry? Well, maybe, but probably not because we don’t want a judge to be emotional. We want him to be somewhat dispassionate, to be objective about the application of the law. But because it’s so harsh, we use strong, harsh idioms in order to express that.
These terms, “the wrath of God,” “the anger of God,” are simply terms to express the actions of God’s justice towards man that are very strong and what appear to us to be harsh. We use these terms, “The wrath of God,” “the anger of God,” but they’re used in a figure of speech sort of way.
The kings of the earth will be terrified; they’re going to be horrified when they are face-to-face with the justice of God. They are going to reap what they have sown, and God is going to penalize them to the fullest extent of divine justice, and they will be sent to the lake of fire, and they are terrified by that.
In this opening response is God’s statement, Psalm 2:6, “But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.”
This has to be God the Father speaking, which means He’s the One who’s enthroned.
He says that He has done something. He has installed His King. This is a Hebrew word that has this idea of installing somebody, crowning somebody. It’s the coronation of the New King, and where is He installed? On Mount Zion.
Zion is used four different ways in the Scriptures:
1. It is used to refer to the Temple Mount. (The Temple Mount is not actually on Mount Zion itself, but it’s often applied there.)
2. Mount Zion is the hill that is just to the southeast of the Temple Mount, which is Mount Moriah.
3. It is also used to describe Jerusalem.
4. It is just used as a term to describe all of Israel: if you’re pro-Israel, you’re a Zionist.
But guess what? It’s never ever used of Heaven. Not once. So, it’s not talking about this installation occurring in Heaven. It occurs on Mount Zion in Jerusalem where the King of Jerusalem and the King of the world, this Greater Son of David will be crowned King and installed in His kingdom.
This is just profound, and when He says, “My King,” that refers back to the Messiah. So, the King here is the Anointed One. He will rule and reign over His kingdom, but He’s not crowned King until He comes to defeat His enemies—the ones that will be made His footstool according to Psalm 110:1.
The second part of that response tells us something of the relationship between Yahweh and the Messiah, and this focuses on a decree in Psalm 2:7:
“I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord…” The speaker shifts here. The speaker in Psalm 2:4–6 was God the Father. The speaker here is the Anointed One; it’s the King. “I will tell you of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son.’—obviously “the Me” here is referring now to Jesus, to the Messiah—He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’ ”
Psalm 2:8, “‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession.”
Psalm 2:9, “‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”
Psalm 2:7, “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord.” The Messiah is going to announce what God decreed in the past.
“To surely tell” is the Hebrew verb saphar in an intensive form; the root is “to count.” This word was used for scribes; scribes were called “the sofar” or “the Sofarim” for the plural. A sofar was the word for counting. Why were they called that? Because when they were copying the Scripture, they wanted to make sure they got it right, so they would go back and count every letter and every word and every sentence, every line on the page to make sure everything was right. That’s why that term was used.
It has the idea also in the intensive stem of recounting or of declaring something. Technically in the grammar, this is what has a sense of what’s called an iterative sense, which means this is something that is done over and over again. It’s not continuously nonstop, it’s just something that is done many different times, separated by some gap in between.
That tells us that this announcement, this decree about the sonship of the Messiah, is something that is stated more than one time in history.
“I will tell you of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’ ”
The phrase “decree” relates to some sort of ordinance or statute or law or covenant. Here it refers to the Davidic Covenant where in 2 Samuel 7:14 God’s promise to David related to his descendant, “I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.”
David was anointed in 1 Samuel 16:12-13, but he is not called king, he doesn’t have the authority of king, the power of king, and he’s not king until he’s crowned when he comes to Hebron in 2 Samuel 2. There is anywhere from 5 to 10 years between those two events.
That is analogous to the fact that Jesus is anointed by John the Baptist at the beginning of His ministry. That’s comparable to His being anointed, but He doesn’t become King until He returns.
With David, during that time between being anointed and the time that he takes the throne, he is gathering to himself a bunch of men who are considered unruly, they are considered outcasts; they are considered rebels against Saul. They are called David’s mighty men; they become the cadre of his later administration.
That’s analogous to the fact that in this Church Age, we are being called out. We are the fools for Christ’s sake, and we are the ones who are being trained in our spiritual life. Now—while Jesus is waiting on the throne for His kingdom—we Church Age believers are being trained and equipped.
That’s why we get back to this again in Ephesians 4:7–11. We are being trained and equipped to come back with Jesus as His cadre to rule and reign with Him in the Messianic Kingdom. All this is packed into that wonderful phrase that we’re “seated together in Him.” It’s all related to priesthood and preparation.
The decree that is made, is “You are My Son, today I have begotten You.”
Interestingly, Abraham had a son that was called “the only begotten;” it’s Isaac. Did he have another son? Yes, he did; he had Ishmael. Did he have other sons later? He sure did. But the designation of the heir is made by a pronouncement in the ancient Near East, “You are my son.” This is even spelled out in the code of Hammurabi, which preceded the Law of Moses. So, this fits—this is the designation of the heir, “Today I have begotten You.”
The phrase “today I have begotten You” is based on the verb yalad, which often is translated to bear or to give birth. You’ve read it, “So and so begat so-and-so, so-and-so begat so and so, so-and-so begat so and so.” That’s the basic verb.
But in several passages, it is talking about some sort of distinctive relationship or identity with someone. It’s translated based on the Masoretic Text one way, but it’s probably causative or declarative, and it means “I will declare Your sonship,” which fits the passage. I’ll show you when we get into the New Testament.
“I will declare Your Sonship. You are My Son, this day I have declared Your sonship. You are the heir.” That’s what the next verse we will look at—Psalm 2:8, “Ask of Me, and I will give you the nations for Your inheritance.” This is all related to the possessions that will be given to the Son as the designated Heir of the Father to receive the Kingdom.
Acts 13:33, “God has fulfilled this for us, their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son, today I have declared Your sonship.”
The resurrection was a declaration that Jesus is the Son of God. That’s what this is saying.
Romans 1:4 Paul says, “… and declared to be the Son of God with power.” He understood that phraseology back there in Psalm 2:7, “I will declare the decree,” that this is a declaration of something. This is declarative. It is not just a statement declaring. I “declared You to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead.”
Hebrews 5:5 uses that same language.
I had to correct the translation, which everybody does, because most English versions just distort it and butcher it. The last phrase in Psalm 110:3 should be translated according to several authorities, “from the womb of the dawn I have begotten You.”
We have this idea again, another connection with Psalm 110, of being “Only Begotten.” It is explained by Allen Ross in his commentary on the Psalms. I just thought this was so good, I had to quote him:
“The verb ‘begotten’ in its literal sense refers to a child who shares the nature of the Father (as opposed to words like ‘made’ or ‘created’). To describe Jesus as ‘begotten’ indicates that He has the nature of the Father; that is, divine and eternal; and if He is eternal, then ‘begotten’ refers to nature and not a beginning. This description is figurative. This is why the Nicene Creed clarifies the point: Jesus is ‘begotten not made’ When Scripture uses ‘begotten’ in that sense, the expression includes ‘only’ begotten (MONOGENES): there’s only one person who shares the divine nature of the Father and that is Jesus Christ.”
Psalm 2:8 is the verse where the Father tells Him “Ask of Me, and I’ll give You the nations as Your inheritance.” This happens at the end of the session. This is what Daniel 7:13–14 is talking about.
First, the Father says “Ask of Me, and I’ll give you the nations as Your inheritance …” Then the Son of Man comes to the Ancient of Days and requests the kingdom. That lays out the chronology, and then He’s given the nations as His possession.
That’s what these two words mean. They mean inheritance, possession, property. He’s given the kingdom. That becomes His.
Ross makes the comment here, “When God gives His ‘Son’ the kingdom, these nations will be His ‘inheritance.’ Ultimately, this will take place when the Anointed King receives the kingdom.”
So, it’s not now. He’s not a king on David’s throne, as progressive dispensationalists say, He is at the right hand of the Father, sitting on the Father’s throne waiting to be given the kingdom, because He’s building His Church.
Psalm 2:9 describes His reign, “You will break them with a rod of iron, You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
This word is interesting; it is very graphic. He’s going to break them, He is going to shatter them, He’s going to disperse them. They are just going to be pulverized by this rod of iron. The word for “rod” also refers to a ruling scepter. He is going to be a Ruler, His kingdom is going to pulverize these rebellious nations.
Psalm 2:10, “Now therefore, O kings, be instructed; take warning, o judges of the earth.”
Psalm 2:11, “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.”
Psalm 2:12 “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”
The kings of the earth are given a warning to submit to the Son for blessing. Otherwise, they will tremble under divine judgment.
Psalm 2:10 simply emphasizes the fact that they need to learn from this correction and this rebuke.
Psalm 2:10, “Now therefore, O kings, be instructed.” It literally means to be wise, as the NET has it and the Holman has it, so I would translate it, “Now, therefore, O kings, be wise”—be prudent; understand what’s happening, but they don’t.
The next line, “Be warned …” Simply that; just take instruction from this. This is a rebuke: Be warned. Respond to that.
Psalm 2:11, “Serve the Lord with fear—this is the positive; listen to the instruction; be warned and then—serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.”
The NET struck me; it’s so different. Every other version says “rejoice with trembling.” Literally the word means “to rejoice,” but they translated it “repent.”
Interestingly, the word used here for “rejoice” is used in a parallelism in Hosea 10:5, where it’s translated “shriek.” It’s in a parallelism to “mourn.” It is focusing in that passage that when they are confronted with their rebellion and who God is, they shriek in terror, and that fits the context. But just as it fits the context better in Hosea 10:5, it is talking about not rejoicing, but they’re shrieking with trembling.
The word that is used for “trembling” refers to those who are absolutely scared witless; they just have no hope whatsoever.
They are to serve the Lord with fear. That reminds us of Proverbs 1:7, that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” But they are fools: they have rejected God; they have said in their hearts there is no God.
Psalm 2:12, “Kiss the Son—literally doing homage to the Son—lest He be angry—lest He judge you; be obedient to the Son, lest He bring His harsh justice against you—when His wrath is kindled but a little.”
Then the positive, reflecting the first line of Psalm 1, a statement of blessing, “Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”
The Hebrew word for trust is chasah. I expected a different word there; chasah means to take refuge, to hide in the Rock that is our God.
It’s used in Psalm 2:12 (RD) here, “for His judicial wrath may ignite at any moment. All those who take refuge in Him are blessed.”
Psalm 5:11, “But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them—same word there—Let them seek refuge in You.”
Psalm 18:2, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
In Psalm 2 we see the King crowned when He returns and defeats His enemies at the end of the Tribulation. He’s waiting now; He is not functioning as prophet or king. He’s functioning as priest. He is training us—the Church Age believers—to be His cadre to rule and reign with Him in the Kingdom
When we read Ephesians 2:6, that we are “seated together with Him,” it shows that close identification with that high priestly ministry to be trained. That is our identity now. This is a great encouragement to us to align ourselves with that plan and purpose.
Not to try to bring in the kingdom, not to get confused with all these other erroneous theologies, but to focus on our spiritual life, so that we will be prepared for when He returns for our future destiny to rule and reign with Him in the kingdom.
“Father, we’re thankful that we have this time to just reflect on these tremendous truths that are interconnected in the Old Testament from Psalm 110, Daniel 7, Psalm 2, Psalm 68, and to see how they are brought together to give us a much greater, deeper insight into who we are in Christ: that we are seated with Him.
“There is a purpose to His session, and that we are identified with that, positionally, legally. That is our identity, and so experientially we need to align with that. Give us that desire, that motivation, that encouragement to push forward to excel in our spiritual life in preparation for the future, not just to relax and take everything for granted, but to move forward to trust in You.
“Father, we pray if there is anyone listening to this message that has never trusted Christ as Savior, may they recognize that Jesus is this Messiah, and He has already come once to pay for our sins. All of our sins are paid for, and we are to trust in Him for that: that’s the gospel. That’s the good news: we have eternal life. We’re identified with Him. Only by trusting in Him. It is not a matter of doing good works. It’s not a matter of somehow convincing You we’re worthy of salvation, it is simply to trust in Christ because He did it all on the Cross.
“Father, we pray that You would make that gospel message clear to those who listen. And for those of us who are believers, that we might recognize that we are not to live like unbelievers, like the kings of the earth who conspire against You, who chafe at Your control and Your authority. But we are to align ourselves with the Lord, we are identified with Him, seated in Heaven. Yet there is a training mission before us, and that we need to respond to that challenge.
“Father, we pray all these things in Christ’s name, amen.”