This glorious Psalm is all over gospel, and speaks of nothing but of God, and his Christ, from beginning to end. The Holy Ghost, by his servants Peter and John, in one Scripture, and by his servant Paul in another, hath not left the Church to any uncertain reasonings and conjectures respecting this, but decidedly shown to whom the whole belongs. Here is the kingdom of Christ set forth under the type of David's kingdom, and all kings of the earth exhorted to bend to it.
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
Observe how triumphantly it opens, in contemplating the Redeemer's kingdom, speaking of it as of a thing already granted and done, although the Psalm was written under the spirit of prophecy, at least a thousand years before Christ became incarnate. Yea, the Psalm looks back to the annals of eternity. I said, the Holy Ghost hath decided the point by his servants Peter and John. In proof, read Acts 4:25-26.
Not only the rabble, and the common people, join in the confederacy against God and his Christ, but the kings and potentates. 'Herod and Pontius Pilate, of a truth, ' said the apostle. And how many since their days? Acts 4:27. But Reader, is there not a yet more violent opposition made against Jesus? Is not hell up in arms against the kingdom of Jesus? Nay, my soul, was not all thy powers, when in a state of unrenewed nature, as rebellious as any? And even now, are not the breakings out of the remaining indwelling corruptions of thy sinful body, too often rising up against thy lawful Sovereign? Hear Paul's complaint: see whether it is not thine own, and lie low in the dust before God. Romans 7:21 to the end.
What is here said of the sovereignty of Jehovah, of sitting in the heavens, of speaking in his wrath, of laughing, and the like, is intended to convey, by expressions of this nature, is best adapted to our comprehension, how impossible it is for the wicked opposers of God's holy will, either to escape his knowledge, to counteract his designs, or to avert his judgments. Sweet consideration to the humble believer, both to support him under his fears, as if he was overlooked and forgotten, when the enemy seems to triumph; and to give him the firmest confidence, that as Jesus knows all his path, so he beholds all his conflicts with the enemies of his salvation, and will assuredly in his own time, which is always the best time, deliver him out of all his troubles.
Although in the first sense these words may be said of David as a type of Christ, when the Lord set David upon the throne of Zion, (which was also typical of the Church of Christ, which is called Zion), yet we must look beyond David, and all earthly kings, to behold Jesus as God's king; for it is the peculiar character of Christ, that he did not, uncalled, assume the spiritual kingdom in this world, nor the eternal kingdom in the world above, but was called of God as was Aaron. Hebrews 5:4-5. And it is the peculiar joy of God's people, that their King is their lawful Sovereign, Redeemer, and Mediator, being so appointed and constituted by Jehovah. Reader, always keep this view of Jesus, as the head and king of his Church and people, in remembrance; for it will give confidence in all your approaches to God in Christ. How sweet is it when we come to God to tell him, that what we plead, and what we seek, is in the name of him, whom God hath set up as his King in Zion. Oh! what unknown, and innumerable arguments are comprehended in that one prayer of the Church! Behold, O God, our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. Psalms 84:9.
Is not this Jesus speaking in answer to what Jehovah the Father had said before? As soon as God had declared that he had set his King upon his holy hill of Zion, the Son of God comes forward to declare the decree. What decree? Certainly no other than what was from everlasting decreed upon, in the council of peace which was between them both. Zechariah 6:13. And is not this the same decree which the Lamb was alone found worthy to make known, whom John saw by vision, as opening the book, and unloosing the seals thereof? Revelation 5:1-10. Oh! precious Lord Jesus! thou hast indeed declared the decree! Thou hast proclaimed salvation in thy blood and righteousness! Thou hast declared that it is the decree of Jehovah, that whosoever believeth in thee shall never perish, but have everlasting life! Hail, thou Son of God, declared to be the Son of God with power, by thy resurrection from the dead! Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever.
Reader, do not overlook the chief scope of this beautiful Psalm, in God's setting his King upon his holy hill in Zion, namely, that it is to show his Mediatorial Kingdom. As the Son of God, the kingdom is his by right, being one with the Father, over all, God blessed forever, Amen. As such, therefore, Jesus could not be said to be set upon the holy hill, or to receive a kingdom: but, as Mediator, the glorious Head of his Church, this kingdom is given to him as the reward of his sufferings, obedience, and death: and therefore he is represented here, as exercising his priestly office, as well as his kingly; and asking the heathen for his inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for his possession. I hope the Reader will not fail to remark with me, how peculiarly all this belongs to the Lord Jesus, and to him only. Never did God say to David king of Israel, nor to any other potentate of the earth, "Thou art my Son; " or, " Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance."
How precious again is this promise, both as it concerns the haters of our God and Saviour, whose knees are never brought to bend to the sovereignty of his grace, and which must be broken before him: and as it concerns those whose stubborn hearts shall be conquered, and made willing in the day of his power, and are brought over to the interests of his kingdom. Lord! I would say for myself and reader, conquer all that would rise up in rebellion against thee! I would be led the willing captive of my Redeemer!
Who can complain after so gracious, so kind, and tender an entreaty, if neglecting so great salvation, they should lose it? Gracious Lord, I would approach thee with reverence and godly fear. I would desire the kiss of reconciliation, of affection, of homage, of adoration! I would say with the Church, 'Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for thy love is better than wine.' Song of Solomon 1:2.
O Lord, avert from me the wrath of the Lamb; for if He, who is the only mediator, be angry, while God my Father is justly angry for my sins, who shall be my intercessor? Witness for me ye angels of light, that my whole trust is in Jesus, the rock of my salvation. Psalms 95:1.
HERE Reader, let you and I pause over this sweet gospel Psalm, and contemplate in the person and victories of Jesus, the glorious Mediator, and head of his church and people, and the sure events of that salvation, which Jehovah, in his threefold character of person, hath appointed for the final happiness of his redeemed. Hell may and will oppose; the world, with all its powers, will join the confederacy; and poor fallen man, while continuing in the unrenewed state of nature, will be as outrageous as either. But the opposition is in vain. Jehovah with his own right arm hath gotten himself the victory; and all the enemies of the cross, and of the crown, shall be broken in pieces, as the vessel of the potter. And oh, how blessed the thought! behold we already see Jesus the King on his throne. All power is his in heaven and earth. The decree is gone forth, and he himself hath declared it. Precious Lamb of God! let my eyes, by faith, gaze upon thee with unceasing rapture! Let me behold thee, not only exercising all authority in heaven, but in earth, with a plenitude of power, bending the nations to the sceptre of thy dominion, until every knee is brought to bow before thee, and every tongue, constrained to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. And oh! grant thou Universal Almighty, Monarch, grant me the blessedness of acknowledging thee to be my rightful Sovereign, by the Father's gift, by the purchase of thy blood, and by the conquests of thy grace; and may every thought be brought into captivity, to the obedience of Christ!
Reader, let us seek grace while meditating on all the great things recorded of our adorable Lord, and the Father's appointment of him, as in this Psalm, that we may exercise such faith upon his glorious person, whose praise is here celebrated, so as to feel our own personal interest in him, and in all that is here said of him. Is he the Father's king in Zion? Then is he also our God and King. Is he set upon the holy hill of Zion? Then let him be King in our hearts also. Hath he subdued all his enemies? Then hath he subdued our enemies also. And is he set down upon his throne, remember his blessed promise to all his people that overcome in his name, that they shall sit down with Him in his throne, even as he hath overcome, and is set down with his Father in his throne. Even so, Lord Jesus! Thou hast made us kings and priests unto God and our Father, and we shall reign with thee forever. Amen and Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 2". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week after Epiphany