Still in the process of introducing the collection, Psalm 2 depicts the enthronement of a Davidic king over God’s people Israel. On coronation day, the rightful heir and king was proclaimed to be a son of God. The Patriarch of the ages ruled from heaven; his son ruled on earth. This is a royal psalm and a Messianic psalm. The words of the ancient song aptly describe the time when God’s only begotten began his reign.
When a new king took the throne, spears rattled in the nearby nations. The heathen peoples dispossessed by God’s gift of Canaan to Israel were not happy through the ages. Neither were the perennial powers to Israel’s north. But God sends them a warning. The nations think they have broken free of God’s control, but he is just getting started. “Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling” (Psa. 2:10-11).
The New Testament sees Psalm 2 as being fulfilled in the reign of Jesus the Christ. God’s Anointed is his rightful ruler, prophet, and high priest. The familiar word “Christ” is a transliteration of the Greek word for “anointed.” The word “Messiah” expresses the Hebrew word “anointed.” Rightfully so, newer translations are tending to use Messiah more frequently in the New Testament. This establishes continuity between the Old and New Testament expressions for God’s Anointed One.
When unbelieving Jews began to ramp up their opposition to the gospel of Christ, they warned the Apostles not to preach in the name of Jesus anymore. Upon being threatened and released, Peter and John returned to a gathering of the church and prayed for God to give them boldness in the face of persecution. Psalm 2 is quoted in the prayer, and persecution of the church is seen as the fulfillment of the nations raging against God’s ruler (Acts 4:23-31). Jesus reigns. To reject him is to reject Almighty God. Let us live in reverent fear and take refuge in him (Psa. 2:12). Let us celebrate the reign of the Messiah.
My comments are not an inspired commentary, but rather a few words to draw attention to the background, context, and dynamic situation of the book of Psalms. May God bless your reading of His Word. T.C.