In the previous part of this study on Psalm 2, we looked at the second promise of Psalm 2 concerning the future reign of Christ. Today I’ll look at the warnings of the Holy Spirit in verses 10-12.
The Spirit Warns
Psalm 2 begins with David speaking as a prophet, lamenting over the way the world’s rulers scoff at the Lord. It proceeds with the Lord laughing over the feeble attempts of men to frustrate His will. It is then punctuated by a proclamation of Jesus in which He announces His Father’s promise that He, the Son, will one day triumph over all the kingdoms of the world.
The psalm concludes with a warning given by the Holy Spirit:
10 “Now, therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with reverence,
And rejoice with trembling.
12 Do homage to the Son, lest He become angry,
and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.”
The Spirit’s warning is addressed to the kings and judges of the earth. It is a solemn call for the political leaders of the world to clean up their acts and submit themselves and their nations to the Lord’s will before He bursts from the heavens in wrath.
Unfortunately, this stern warning seems forever to fall on deaf ears and hardened hearts. The warning was spoken 3,000 years ago, and power grubbing and political corruption continue unabated to this day. The world’s political leaders continue to thumb their noses at God and mock His Anointed One.
But a “day of reckoning” (Isaiah 2:12) is fast approaching, and what a day it will be! The book of Revelation says that on that day “the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong…” will hide themselves in caves and will cry out to the rocks of the mountains: “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” (Revelation 6:15-16).
The Lord has delayed the outpouring of His wrath because He does not desire that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). But there is a limit to the Lord’s patience, and while He waits, “He reserves wrath for His enemies” (Nahum 1:2). The Lord may be slow to anger, but “He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished” (Nahum 1:3).
But the political leaders of the world are not the only audience for the Spirit’s warning. The warning is also aimed at the redeemed, for — as I have already pointed out — we will one day serve as the kings and judges of this world. So, let the redeemed take notice of what we are called to do as we await the Lord’s return.
A Call to Worship
First, we are called to “worship the Lord with reverence” (Psalm 2:11). The actual Hebrew word here is “serve” rather than “worship.” But I like the use of the term, worship, because it emphasizes that our ultimate worship of the Lord is expressed in how we serve Him.
We so often think of worship only in terms of what we do when we come together corporately as a congregation of believers. Don’t get me wrong — corporate worship is extremely important. We were created to worship God (Deuteronomy 6:13), and God actively seeks people who are worshiping Him in spirit and truth (John 4:23).
But the ultimate worship is expressed in what we do when we leave the congregation and return to the world. Do those who come in contact with us recognize that we have been in the presence of the Lord? Do we return from worship “to bless our household,” as was the case in King David’s life? (2 Samuel 6:20)
Do you have a passion to worship God? Do you desire to celebrate Him for who He is and what He has done? And do you desire to express that worship not only with the praise of your lips but with the labor of your body and the money you have earned?
One other thing — Do you understand that one day soon You will stand before the Lord and be judged of your works?
In the next part of this study on Psalm 2, I’ll look at the significance of the believer’s works.