Psalm 2—On Rage and Refuge

Psalm 2—On Rage and Refuge

Psalm 2 is such an important song. The psalmist has zoomed out to see a big picture of nations and kings. And they rage and plot against God and his Anointed. Rage is aggression and anger born of frustration and stress. Nations and kings react vehemently against the Lord.

“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed…” Psalm 2:1-2

The Lord has made claims upon the earth. It is his by creation. Dominion. He states he is the rightful owner. Rebelliously, kings and nations become aggressive and angry. The nations rage. People within nations plot. In arrogance, rulers turn to each other and away from the Lord.

“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…” Psalm 2:4-5

The Lord of heaven and earth sits at rest and laughs. The Lord mocks at their arrogance. The rulers and nations claim what they do not own. He puts them in their place, speaking with wrath and fury. Regardless of their audacity, they will be terrified by his presence and power.

“I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.’” Psalm 2:7-9

Again, zoom out and see a glorious picture. The Father is declaring love to his Son and pledging the nations. A heritage is an inheritance, a special possession. The Father says that the Son may ask of him and he will give him the very nations that rage against him. He will give the very people who plot.

The world has turned its back on God.

Romans 3:23 should settle it for us: “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” Further, Romans 6:23 is clear that “…the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” John tells us in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

“We have a Savior to show to the nations Who the path of sorrow hath trod…” H. Ernest Nichol, “We’ve a Story to Tell”

The nations rage. The people plot. Rulers take counsel. They are no match for a praying Son asking of his Father to give him the nations as an inheritance. And they are no match for a selfless Savior who voluntarily gives his life as a ransom.

“Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers 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, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” Psalm 2:10-12

Kings and rulers have been warned. Wise kings and rulers need to recognize that God is sovereign over all. He is omnipotent. He is in control and in charge; they are not in control or in charge.

Arms open to all who repent, they are invited to serve him in fear and to rejoice in awe and fear. A fitting response to such power and love. Repent and kiss the Son. Accept his gift of forgiveness. Embrace the gift of salvation that removes his anger and your way’s sure destruction. He is not to be toyed with. His wrath comes quickly. Once facing destruction and annihilation, blessing awaits those who take refuge in him.

Rage has been overwhelmed and turned into an offer of refuge.

“This God is my strong refuge and has made my way blameless.” 2 Samuel 22:33


  1. Jerry Rankin

    The NT church prayed this Psalm in Acts 4 to be reminded of God’s sovereignty in suffering and persecution, even the crucifixion of Jesus, that He was on the throne and had a plan and purpose in it all. Appreciate your reflections.

    • D. Ray Davis

      Thank you, Jerry. And Amen! By the way, you need to know it has crossed my mind that you wrote a book on The Psalms. But again, I am writing because these psalms began to study me and scrutinize me after losing Kim.

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