Friday, 19 September 2014
Psalm 2 Study: Blessed, Part 2
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. When I’m hungry for comfort I turn else where.
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, charged, threatened, and finally released. How were they to respond?
Psalm 2 showed them a big God who wasn’t intimidated by these enemies or anyone else. This Psalm comforted them in the old fashioned sense of the word–it fortified them to praise, pray, and take bold action. I guess if you and I have enemies and they are acting up, we need this Psalm, too.
I wonder if we may be coming up on times that will cause us to need it, too. Today is the 14th anniversary of 9/11 and the attacks on our country. The Iran Nuclear Deal has just been signed. The European Debt Crisis continues to affect the world economy. Because our nation has enemies, we need to be fortified as citizens.
Other events in your life may remind you that you have personal enemies. This Psalm shows how God relates to his enemies. His enemies are also our enemies, if we have become his friends through faith in Jesus. Let’s learn to redefine our enemies and see them through the LORD’s eyes. There are some surprises ahead.
1. First, read to hear the author’s voice.
- Read Acts 4:24-25. According to these verses who is the human author of this Psalm? Who is the divine author?
- 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 meditating as we study 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.