Why do the heathen nations rage? Why do the peoples plot in vain? Earth’s kings combine in enmity; Her rulers join against God’s reign.
They take their stand against the LORD And challenge his anointed one: “Let us break off their chains from us; With their restraints let us be done.”
The One enthroned in heaven laughs; The Lord on high derides them all. Then he rebukes them in his wrath; His rage and terror on them fall.
The LORD has made it known to them: “My chosen king I have installed On Zion, my own holy hill. He is the one whom I have called.”
The king then solemnly declares: “I will proclaim the LORD’s decree. ‘Today your father I’ve become; You are my son,’ he said to me.
“ ‘Ask me, and for your heritage I’ll give you nations near and far. You’ll break them with an iron rod, And smash them like a potter’s jar.’ ”
Now therefore, kings, true wisdom find; You judges of the earth, give ear. With rev’rence come and serve the LORD; Bow down with joy and trembling fear.
Pay homage to the royal son Lest you in wrath aside are thrust, For swiftly can his anger blaze. Blessèd are all who in him trust.
This can be sung to the tune Mainzer (best known to the hymn Jesus shall reign.) Here you can hear a Free Church congregation sing this to the tune Crassellius (from v 5).
Psalm 2 has been widely regarded as one of the messianic psalms and so for Christians it points to Jesus. There has been much written about it and discerning the meaning of it makes an interesting study. However, one of the wonders of the Bible is that it can certainly be read and studied with depth and academic rigor but also God can speak to us in far simpler but profound ways. So, I would encourage you to spend a little time meditating on the line in the penultimate paragraph which says:
With rev’rence come and serve the LORD Bow down with joy and trembling fear.
In these two lines, we are led to contemplate how we approach the Lord, in these few words there is a rich content and a seeming contradiction with having ‘joy and trembling fear’. Perhaps though it is when we approach God with a godly fear and reverence that we can know true joy.
Dear Lord, help me to meditate upon these words from scripture, I invite your Holy Spirit to speak into my heart and mind as I do so. With rev’rence come and serve the LORD Bow down with joy and trembling fear. Thank you Lord, Amen
The Rev’d Andrew Willett is an Evangelism and Renewal Advocate for GEAR and a local church minister.
Sing Psalms (C) Psalmody and Praise Committee, Free Church of Scotland, 15 North Bank Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2LS.