From Chuck Lane
Questions for The Book of Psalm
Calvary Christian Fellowship
Questions for each Psalm. (Not from J. Vernon McGee)
1. Who is the Psalmist?
The author is not named, however Acts 4:25 credits David with at least the first verse.
2. Who is/are the speaker(s)?
- 2:1-3. The voice of man focusing on mankind
- 2:4-5. The voice of man focusing on God
- 2:6. God speaks
- 2:7. The Son speaks
- 2:7-9. Father God speaks to Son
- 2:10-12. Holy Spirit speaks to man
3. Who is the audience?
Creation, in particular mankind. The eternal trinity.
4. List those described in the Psalm? How are they described (adjectives used, actions given, consequences prescribed)? Examples from the Bible? Do you know people like this?
- Mankind as heathen and people: Why do the heathen [Gentiles] rage, and the people [Jews] imagine a vain thing? [2.1]
The word “vain” (common in the Bible; Thou shalt not use . . .) means “empty.” Whatever has brought so many together will not be accomplished. There social movement will be in vain.
- They are also joined by kings and counselors, against God and his anointed: The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying [2.2]
Not just a “social movement” but a world-wide movement, with the only opposition apparently being the LORD and his “anointed,” which means Messiah (Hebrew), Christos (Greek), Christ (English).
So when did this protest start?
Interesting that David is credited with verse 1 in Acts 4:25, while what comes before is a description of how this protest against the LORD and his anointed began during the first recorded persecution of the church. The events of Peter and John’s healing of the lame man at the temple gate, their preaching and arrest that ensued, and their charge not to teach Jesus under threat and their miraculous release are followed by Acts 4:23-30.
Key words are Lord, thou art God. Acts 4:24 . . . we don’t seem to be sure of that today . . . followed by David’s attestation of things to be Acts 4:25-27 . . . the beginning of this movement against the LORD and his anointed . . . which continues to grow like a snowball. And the Lord tell us that the tares must grow with the wheat Matthew 13:24-39 , until the time comes, and then He will take care of the separating.
So how close are we?
- Mankind rejecting what God has done. Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. [2:3] What are bands? Marriage is one . . . need I say more. Yes, they are breaking that band, and indeed, it began long, long ago. And down a slippery slope it has gone, growing into quite a snowball.
And cords? The Ten Commandments are cords. . . . Did you know that not giving someone what they want when they want it is hate? And if you truly loved me like a “real Christian” you wouldn’t offend me with your “warnings” and criticisms. “Judge not lest thou be judged!”
YOUR GOD DOESN’T KNOW WHAT I NEED AND CAN’T GIVE ME WHAT I WANT!
- God let’s mankind know His response, through mankind. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. [2:4]
There is humor in the Bible, but He’s not being funny here. I think this verse is complimented by a verse from my Isaiah devotion this morning Isaiah 29:16.
Is vanity to be esteemed?
- Mankind also knows about judgment. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. [2:5]
One of the great quotes from J.R. Tolkien in The Hobbit is about God’s plan and how God’s plan will be accomplished with you, or without you. That you can choose to be part of God’s plan, or not . . . but He knows what you are going to do, as well as what is going to happen. And He has told us so. Here is Tolkien’s version:
Surely you don’t disbelieve the prophecies just because you helped them come about. You don’t really suppose do you that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck? Just for your sole benefit? You’re a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I’m quite fond of you. But you are really just a little fellow, in a wide world after all – Gandalf
Guess what? It’s not about me. I was created for his pleasure, my purpose is to glorify Him .
Hebrews 2:10 . . . to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings . . .
(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) [2 Corinthians 5:7]
Keep vanity where it belongs.
- And so, God explains about his anointed: Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. [2:6].
This is God’s plan. Whether you believe it or not, it will happen, and it’s kind of crazy to argue about whether or when it’s going to happen. It will. On His schedule. In His perfect time, as all shall see. Are you ready?
- How He arrived at His right hand on the throne. The Son executes His decrees, declares His Word. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. [2:7]
Paul’s reference to this verse makes it clear that the Word is indicating the resurrection of Christ, not his birth, in Acts Acts 13:33 ; Vernon McGee explains that He was not begotten in terms of a beginning, but He was begotten out of Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb. Christ the Son and Father God are eternal . . . this is the declared decree in this verse.
- God the Father continues: Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession [2:8]
The heathen and the people; the kings and the counselors . . . those who imagine a vain thing.
- Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. [2.9]
This is the second advent of Isaiah 61:1-3. Christ announced his first advent when He read Isaiah 61:1-2a from the scroll in the synagogue at Nazareth: Luke 4:16-19. . . telling us who He is work for word from the first half of Isaiah 61:1-3 Isaiah 61:1-3 , but stopping before reading the second half, which describes his second coming, as this verse does.
- Then the Holy Spirit of God speaks to mankind, in an effort to convict and bring contrition that mercy and salvation may come. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. [2:10-11]
Here God is using David through the Holy Spirit to get his message out, as he has always done throughout the ages, from Joseph, to Danie,l to the Baptist, to the teachers of the Word today. Again, He tells us in Isaiah that His Word is not vain (empty), that it will not return to Him void: Isaiah 55:11
- The Spirit closes with this: Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. [2:12]
It has been said that “Kiss the Son” is the Old Testament way o saying “. . . Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved . . .” [Acts 16:31] . . . Kiss the Son.
When Judas betrayed Christ with a kiss, do you remember what Jesus said?
Judas, you are now free . . .
5. What do you think the speaker is feeling and how do you relate?
6. How is this Psalm quoted in the New Testament? (use and context)
7. What other scriptures are brought to mind through the content, and how might that enlighten or expand the subject of the Psalm. (Column notes, chain references, commentaries, etc.?