Introduction ~ This is one of the many psalms that King David wrote (see Acts 4:25). It shows the rebellious nature of mankind. The theme is “God’s King” and it has also been described as “Christ—The Mighty Prince.” It is the first of the Messianic Psalms and has been referred to as “A Hymn of the Coming Messiah.” From a global perspective it is about the Messiah’s triumph and kingdom (see Acts 4:23-31 which quotes part of Psalm 2).
Outline ~ The 12 verse psalm can easily be divided into four sections of 3 verses each.
1The Nations Are Raging ~ ”Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us’” (Psalm 2:1-3).
2The Lord In Heaven Derides Them ~ “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: ‘Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion’” (Psalm 2:4-6).
3The Son Proclaims The Decree ~ “I will declare the decree: the Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel’” (Psalm 2:7-9).
4Advice Is Given To The Kings To Yield Obedience To The Lord's Anointed ~ “Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 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” (Psalm 2:10-12).
Summary ~ The basis of this particular outline is from “The Treasury of David” by the “Prince of Preachers” Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who suggests that the four-fold division above is not only suggested by the sense, but is warranted by the poetic form of the Psalm, which naturally falls into four stanzas of three verses each. He also wrote that the whole psalm “Shows us the nature of sin, and the terrible results of it if it could reign.” It refers to the deity of the Coming Messiah (2:7) and to the Messiah’s ultimate reign (2:8).
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