1 Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the LORD and against his anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.”
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.
5 He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6 “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.”
Psalm 2 is what we would call a messianic Psalm. A Messianic Psalm is simply a Psalm that prophetically speaks of the coming Messiah, Jesus. There are five key Psalms that are classified as messianic: Psalm 2; 22; 45; 72; 110. Psalm 2 is actually the most quoted Psalm in the New Testament.
The only way to really understand this Psalm is that we understand that it expresses the rebellious nature of the human heart against God. The nations are hostile against God because they despise His Son. C.H. Spurgeon put it this way: “We have, in these first three verses, a description of the hatred of the human nature against the Christ of God.”
We should not be surprised at this because this is the way it has always been and the way it still is today. The early church reflected on these verses in Acts 4:24-28 after the apostles Peter and John were released by the same religious council that had Jesus crucified. We can expect troubles because the nations have set themselves against Christ because the human heart is wicked and far from God! This is the very same reason there is so much persecution in the Christian church throughout the world today. The sinful man hates submitting to God’s rule.
Yet this psalm declares: “He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”
No matter how dark the times or how wicked our nations become we can rest with the assurance that Jesus Christ, the Righteous King still reigns as Lord and Ruler over all the Earth and His glory, His Righteousness and His justice will be made known. The Syrian emperor came and went, Rome conquered and fell, the Nazi’s won many a war, but were defeated, yet God sits firmly on the throne.