The Christ in Prophecy Journal

Psalm 2: The Nations Raging


In the previous part of this study on Psalm 2, we looked at a fearful world’s need for hope. Today I’ll explain why in the first three verses of Psalm 2 the nations of the world are raging against God.

Rulers Scoff

Unlike most of the psalms, Psalm 2 does not have a superscription that identifies its author. But we know it was written by David ben Jesse because Luke, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, identified David as the author in Acts 4:25.

The psalm begins with the author lamenting the world’s condition:

1 Why are the nations in an uproar,
And the peoples devising a vain thing?

2 The kings of the earth take their stand,
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His Anointed:

3 “Let us tear their fetters apart,
And cast away their cords from us!”

(Psalm 2:1-3)

The language of these verses is rather stilted in the English translation, so let me try to put the words into modern English for you.

The psalmist is asking: “Lord, why is it that everywhere I look in the world the nations are in turmoil? Why are they always devising some vain thing to the glory of Man — things like the tower of Babel, the Roman Empire, the League of Nations, and the United Nations? Why is it, Lord, that the presidents, and prime ministers, and kings of the earth are always conspiring against You and Your Anointed One, Jesus? Why is it that the world’s political leaders are always saying, ‘Let’s put aside the limitations of God’s Word and cast away His laws and do what we please!'”

As you can see, nothing has changed in three thousand years. As in the time of David, the nations of the world today are still in full revolt against the Lord. And so it is that Psalm 2 is just as relevant as if it were written yesterday.

Probing Questions

One thing you must understand about Psalm 2 is that the questions which David poses at the beginning were not asked for the purpose of eliciting answers from God. David already knew the answers.

These are rhetorical questions, asked for the purpose of provoking thought. They are designed to motivate the reader to think about the nature of the world in which he lives, and to do so in response to what God’s Word reveals about that world.

I say David knew the answers to the questions because the answers are provided in the book of Genesis, and David must have been familiar with that book as well as all the Torah — the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures — if only by oral tradition.

A Phenomenal Gift

If you will think back for a moment to the opening pages of Genesis, you will remember that God presented an incredible gift to Adam and Eve shortly after their creation.

God gave them something on a silver platter that Hitler lusted for. He gave them something that Stalin dreamed of, that the Romans yearned for, and that Alexander the Great almost achieved. God gave them dominion over all the earth (Genesis 1:27-28).

But almost as soon as Adam and Eve had been given this gift, they lost it. When they rebelled against God, Satan stepped forward and stole the dominion that was intended for Man.

Satan became the prince of this earth. That is the reason Jesus referred to him as “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31). That is the reason that Satan could tempt Jesus by offering Him “all the kingdoms of the world” if Jesus would only worship him (Matthew 4:8-10). That would not have been a legitimate temptation if the kingdoms were not Satan’s to give.

Even after the Cross, the apostle John stated that “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). The Cross sealed the ultimate fate of Satan, but that fate will not be experienced until Jesus returns and Satan is crushed beneath the feet of the Lord’s people (Romans 16:20).

God’s Sovereignty

The fact that Satan rules as the prince of this earth does not mean that God has lost control. Satan is not omnipotent. He has always operated within limits prescribed by God.

The oldest book in the Bible, the book of Job, begins by picturing Satan before the throne of God asking permission to afflict Job (Job 1:6-11). God gives him permission to touch all that Job has but denies him permission to take Job’s life (Job 1:12).

Satan was further limited by the Cross, for since that time believers have been indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and “He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

The book of Daniel makes it clear that God is the one who raises up nations and puts them down. As Daniel put it, “He [God] removes kings and establishes kings” (Daniel 2:21). Paul affirms this in the New Testament when he speaks of “governing authorities” and states that “there is no authority except from God” (Romans 13:1).

But the other side of the coin is the fact that the moment God puts someone in a position of governing authority, Satan comes against that person and attempts in every way possible to corrupt and compromise the person so that he ends up serving Satan’s purposes.

It doesn’t matter whether the person is a school board member, the governor of a province, or the president of a nation, Satan attempts to control all governing authorities. That is why we are so strongly urged to pray “for kings and all who are in authority” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

In the next part of this study on Psalm 2, I’ll review the ongoing spiritual war between God and Satan.

[Watch on Christ in Prophecy!]

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ABOUT AUTHOR View all posts Author Website

Dr. David Reagan

Dr. David Reagan is the Founder and Evangelist Emeritus of Lamb & Lion Ministries. He is a life-long Bible student, teacher, and preacher and he led over 45 pilgrimages to Israel. Dr. Reagan was the host of the radio then television program Christ in Prophecy for nearly 40 years.

10 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Well, I'm not sure if what I experienced today was a little bit of "nations raging" or not, but it was strange.

    I had a phone call this afternoon, and an recording asked if I was a Tea Party supporter, to which I replied, "Yes." Then it asked if I supported Palin, to which I said "Yes." Then, it said, "This is survey number {a string of numbers}," and the call ended.

    I suppose the government will come drag me off and put me in a concentration camp now.

    Anyone else had a similar experience? What do you make of this? My husband says I shouldn't have answered, but I like to do legit surveys. This one just sounded kind of weird, though.

  • That does sound like a strange survey. I always wonder how they select the people that get surveyed. If this is it, how do you know if they throw out you answers if it is not what they want to hear. Very interesting.

    C~ in Salem

  • this may have been a rhetorical question, but i`ll bet many, many times David really felt that way and really asked this question. i`d venture to say that anyone who has seen the world has asked it several times. i know i have. it shows how the Bible is a real book about real people.

  • “Love Not The World”

    ”For the WHOLE world(not just a portion) is under the control of the evil one”…….(I John 5:19)

    “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world will pass away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of The Only True GOD will abide for ever.” (I John 2:15-17)

    “If you were of the world, the world would love it’s own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.” (John 15:19-20)

    “Where do wars and fighting among you come from? Do they not come of your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that friendship with the world is to be at enmity with The Only True GOD? Therefore whoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of The Only True GOD.” (James 4:1-4)

    “The world cannot hate you; but the world hates Me, because I testify that the works of this world are evil.” (John 7:7)” and “The Messiah gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of The Only True God, Our Father.”(Gal 1:4)

    The Messiah testified: “If the world hates you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”(John 5:18) Truly, Truly, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life in this world shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall have it unto life eternal.” (John 12:24-25)

    John testified: “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hates you.” (I John 3:13) “ James testified, “Whoever would be a friend of this world is the enemy of GOD”(James 4:4)

    The “earth and it's life forms” are The Creation of The Only True GOD, Father of ALL! The “worldly” systems are the creation of, and under the dominion of “the god of this world”, he who is “the father of lies”, he who “has blinded the minds of those who believe not The Messiah”! All the nations of this world are under the dominion of, and serve, the evil one for he provides the fuel that feeds mankind’s “imag”ination, and mankind’s “imagination is destroying Creation(land, air, water, vegetation, creatures) and perverting that which is Spirit(Light, Truth, Life, Love, Peace, Faith, Simplicity, Wisdom, .etc.) ;-(

    Once again, the “earth and it's life forms” are The Creation of The Only True GOD, Father of ALL! The current “worldly” systems are the creation of, and under the dominion of “the god of this world”.

    Those who “love this world” all serve “the god of this world”, and play their part in the processes that seek to destroy The Creation of The Only True GOD. “And The Only True GOD will destroy them who destroy the earth.” (Rev 11:18c)

    Global warming, polluted air, land and waters, toxic wastes, sexual perversion, evil inventions of destruction, greed, hate, carnal warfare, dis-ease ,,,etc,,, are all destructive processes that have their root in “the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life”.

  • The Truth Is Alive in those who have been born of The Spirit for “they no longer love this wicked, evil world and it’s things", and they do not "love their own lives in this world”.

    They but seek and desire The Will of GOD, HE WHO is their Father and Creator, as they await their final transformation. “Corruptible to Incorruptible" indeed and Truth!

    Now “the ground was cursed for Adam’s sake” because he “hearkened unto the woman”.

    Adam listened to a woman rather than obeying The Only True GOD. Yet because of Faithful Noah, The Only True GOD “no longer would curse the ground for man’s sake” because Noah obeyed The Only True GOD! (Genesis 8:21-22)

    And the Faithful today are exhorted to “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.”

    Be not of those who deny and defy “The One GOD, Father of All”. Be not of those who are destroying Creation(land, air, water, vegetation, creatures) and perverting that which is Spirit(Light, Truth, Life, Love, Peace, Hope, Mercy, Faith, .etc.)!

    “Set your affections on things above”. Desire heavenly, eternal things. Quit serving ‘time’ in the prison that is this world and take heed unto The Call of "The Only True GOD" to ”Come Out of her, MY people!”

    “Come out” from among those who are destroying Creation and perverting that which is Spirit. Be of those who follow The Messiah on “The Way to The Truth of The Life”.

    “Come out” of the worldly systems, which are the product of mankind’s “imag”ination, especially the systems of religion. "Pure religion and undefiled before GOD The Father is this, to visit the fatherless(those who know not their Father[Creator]) and widows(those who have not experienced The Messiah and The Power that raised Him from among the dead") in their affliction and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the world." (James 1:27)

    Simply, all other religions are impure, defiled and of this wicked, evil world…….

    "religion" is personal(oneself), not corporate…….

    Faith will not create a system of religion!

    Faith is Family, not "religion", and The Brethren of The Messiah seek and desire that which The Messiah sought and desired above all else:

    "Father, not My will, But THY Will Be Done"…….

    Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this world and it's systems of religion, for "the WHOLE world(not just a portion) is under the control of the evil one" indeed and Truth……

    Truth is forever, lies never existed and never will……. francis

  • Had already responded to Laura's comment but the owner of the blog chose not to post my response.

    Sad for whomever that might be ;-(

    "Do what"?

    "Come Out of her, MY people"!

    "Come Out of that which is of this wicked, evil world and it's systems of religion, for "the WHOLE(not just a portion) world is under the control of the evil one" indeed and Truth……. francis

  • ElderChild, no post came through, and as you previously posted you'll notice there's no moderator review ahead of posting. Repost, and I recommend keeping it brief enough that people will read it.

  • The response to "son of thunder" will suffice for Laura as well…….

    Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(religion) that is of this wicked world, for "the WHOLE(not just a portion) world is under the oontrol of the evil one" indeed and Truth…….

    Truth is forever, religion's lies reside in never, never land 🙁


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