Monday, 26 September 2011
Psalm 2: God is great! (and good)
How often do you turn to Psalm 2 for comfort? For me the answer is never. Oh I read it whenever I am going through the Psalms in sequence. But choose it as a tool for devotion? Praise? Thanksgiving? Help? Nope.
Hmmm. That says more about me and my circumstances than the value of this piece of Scripture. The early church used this Psalm spontaneously during a time of trouble (Acts 4:23-31). Their leaders had been arrested, intimidated, threatened, and finally released. How were they to respond? Psalm 2 stirred them to praise, prayer, and bold action. I guess if you have enemies and they are acting up, you need this Psalm.
I wonder if we may be coming up on times that will cause us to need it, too. This week began with the ten year anniversary of 9/11 and the attacks on our country. That event alone reminds us that our nation has enemies. Other events may remind you that you have personal enemies. This Psalm shows how God relates to his enemies. Of course, his enemies are our enemies, if we have become his friends through faith in Jesus. There’s food for thought in this Psalm. Let’s dig in together.
1. First, read to hear the author’s voice.
- Read Acts 4:24-25. Who is the author of this Psalm? Do you see that there are two voices speaking every verse of Scripture?
- Divide the Psalm into four 3-verse sections. For each section write down who is speaking, to whom are they speaking, and what are they saying?
- Is the question”why” (v. 1) answered? Is it meant to be answered?
- Why might David have written this psalm? What were some of the nations and kings he might have had in mind (see 2 Samuel 10)?
- How does the Psalm end? What is inevitable in the psalm and what is still open to choice? How does this last phrase show that God is not just great but good?
2. Second, read to hear Jesus’ voice.
- As Jesus recited this Psalm during his earthly life, what enemies might he have had in mind?
- How might this Psalm (especially vv. 4-7) have helped Jesus in the wilderness, when Satan tempted him by offering to give him the kingdoms of the earth (Matthew 4:8-10)?
- When during Jesus’ life did he hear the Father echo the words of v. 6, “You are my Son”?
- Jesus taught us to pray for the kingdom to come. According to Psalm 2:8 where does this prayer originate?
3. Third, read to hear your own voice.
- Who are the bad guys in your life? Who opposes you or intimidates or threatens you?
- How does this Psalm give you confidence in God? courage? hope?
- Read Acts 4:23-31 to see how the early church used this Psalm. What is God stirring you to pray for?
- Acts 4:31 shows the results of their prayer–the Spirit’s filling and bold speech. How does this strengthen your faith in God today?
Take away. My take away from Psalm 1 was meditation. That Psalm showed me its value and removed the burden of guilt I feel for past failure. Only one Man perfectly meditates on the law of the LORD day and night. Through faith in him, I share his perfect record. This frees me to keep taking little steps along the path of meditating on the word.
Let’s practice on Psalm 2. Bite off a bit of this Psalm and carry it with you all day, even all week. Chew on it. Mutter it to yourself. Ponder each word. Talk to the Lord about how it applies to your life today. And see if it doesn’t turn into a prayer.
If you get a minute, share it with us.