God's King Rules (Psalm 2)

Psalm 2:1-12; 6a

"I have installed my king..." (Ps 2:6, NIV). For the Lord declares, "I have placed my chosen king on the throne...." (Ps 2:6, NLT).

From Psalm 1, we learn the "secret" of happiness, which is really no secret at all, since it is self-evident and freely accessible to anyone and everyone. For anyone to be happy, we simply need to be prayerful and watchful about how we live (Ps 1:1)--who we hang out with (including on the internet), and what we entertain and desire in our hearts (Ps 1:2)--what we delight in and meditate on, which God sees and knows (1 Sam 16:7).

In Psalm 2, the psalmist declares, "God's King Rules!" God's king will rule, regardless if the kings and nations of the world oppose and rebel against Him. A longer title would be "The world rebels, yet God's King still rules." The four natural parts of Psalm 2, each with three verses, are:
  1. God challenged (Ps 2:1-3): Kings (and nations) Oppose God (Gentile kings revolt; exposing human rebellion).
  2. God laughs (Ps 2:4-6): God Installs His King (Heaven's perspective on revolt; expressing divine reaction).
  3. God decrees (Ps 2:7-9): God's King Rules (King speaks; establishing divine rule).
  4. God summons (Ps 2:10-12): Serve God's King (King advises; exhorting human responsibility).
I. God Challenged (Ps 2:1-3): Kings (and nations) Oppose God
  • Their anarchy (1).
  • Their arrogance (2).
  • Their folly (3).
II. God Laughs (Ps 2:4-6): God Installs His King
  • God's amusement (4).
  • God's anger (5).
  • God's announcement (6).
III. God Decrees (Ps 2:7-9): God's King Rules
  • His position (7).
  • His possessions (8).
  • His power (9).
IV. God Summons (Ps 2:10-12): Serve God's King
  • Demands stated (10-12a).
  1. Wise up (10).
  2. Worship (11-12a): serve, celebrate, kiss.
  • Dependency solicited (12b).
Psalm 2 speaks of the everlasting succession of the Davidic kings of Israel. The NT reveals that ultimately Christ himself is the King who fulfills Psalm 2.

  1. Can you divide Psalm 2 into four equal parts of three verses each? Give a title to each part.
  2. To whom are the nations and the kings of the earth conspiring against (1-2)? What do they want (3)? Why?
  3. How does God respond to their rebellion (4-5)? What does he do (6)?
  4. What does the Lord decree (7)? How will this be fulfilled (Ac 13:33)?
  5. What did the Lord promise his king, his son (8)? How (Mt 28:18; Eph 1:20-22; 1 Pet 3:22; Rev 1:5)? What will happen to the nations (9; Rev 2:26-27)?
  6. What wisdom and instruction does the psalmist give to kings and rulers (10-12a)? Why should we take refuge in the Lord (12b)?
  1. Motyer, J Alec. The Psalms. New Bible Commentary. Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1994.
  2. Kidner, Derek. Psalms 1 - 72: An Introduction and Commentary. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1973.
  3. Psalm 2 -- The Ultimate Victory of the Messiah.
  4. Psalm 2. D.A. Carson. 3 NT texts. Heb 1:5 (Ps 2:7; 2 Sa 7:14, 1-17: 1-10 [A king with religious initiatives rebuffed]; 7:11-14 [A king suitably broken given superb privileges]) - superior over angels; Heb 5:5 (Ps 2:7) - high priest; Ac 13:32 (Ps 2:7) - raised from the dead. Psalm 2 can be broken down into 4 parts:
    1. God challenged (1-3).
    2. God laughs (4-6).
    3. God decrees (7-9).
    4. God summons (10-12).