The Shepherd of Hope blog is here to serve you, to help you know Jesus better and to find hope in Him. This blog relies on the Spirit of God using the word of God to build people of God. All material has been prayerfully submitted for your encouragement and spiritual edification. Your questions and comments are welcome.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Kiss the Son

"Kiss the Son . . ." - Psalm 2:12a
Our nation is divided. One of its greatest divisions is between those who believe in God and those who do not. An example of this is atheists have paid for a national campaign to encourage people to stay home for Christmas and not go to church. Playing on the theme of the wise men coming to see Jesus one of their bill boards has the caption, “You Know It’s a Myth.” Another has a supposed note to Santa from a child that reads, “Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is to skip church! I’m too old for fairy tales.” President Elect Donald Trump on the other hand stated at one of his recent victory rallies, “We’re gonna start saying Merry Christmas again!”

The apostle Paul was inspired to warn that in the last days there would be a great divide. There will be a clearer differentiation between those who seek God and those who do not, between the godly and the godless. Paul wrote:

·         2 Timothy 3:1–7 (NKJV) - But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

“Having a form of godliness but denying its power” refers to a divide between those who define God from a Biblical perspective and those who do not. Those who define God from a Biblical perspective understand the pattern and standard of righteousness for life that God has conveyed in His word and that is the path to abundant life (e.g. John 10:10b). These people understand that God’s plan for them is to conform them to the likeness of Jesus Christ (e.g. Romans 8:29; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2:6). Those who define “God” by personal opinion or from sources outside the Bible find themselves caught up in practices that are very unchristlike. God created man in His own image (Gen. 1:26), but people who neglect the Bible in understanding God create and “God” that is in their own image; or what they conceive in their limited minds what God would be like. Such a “God” usually approves or at least condones various sinful practices this group indulge in.

All of this can be very disconcerting for the Biblical Christian. We can get caught up in politics, racial/generational/economic divides, the injustices and lies present in the world and a host of other negative life factors and it can bring us down. The world can be pretty depressing. What are we to do in response? We are to go to God and His word for instruction and hope.

Psalm 2 was written by David (cf. Acts 4:25) some 10 centuries before the incarnation or birth of Jesus Christ. It is a royal psalm[1] and therefore recited at the inauguration or crowning of Davidic kings. One commentary sets the context of the Psalm stating:

Its contents describe a celebration at the coronation despite opposition by rebellious people in surrounding territories. In a word, the psalmist exhorted the pagan nations to abandon their rebellious plans against the Lord and His anointed king and to submit to the authority of the Son whom God has ordained to rule the nations with a rod of iron. [2]

Studying this Psalm in light of the upcoming presidential inauguration should not lead us to too closely associate the next president with an anointed kingship. But what a study of this Psalm should do is encourage us to adopt a hopeful and heavenly perspective on the world we live in. There are some very encouraging truths in this Psalm that can prove to be a blessed Christmas gift to us. If we look at our future in light of this Psalm from the past, it will give us strength to press on to victory.

Psalm 2

1           Why do the nations rage,

And the people plot a vain thing?

2           The kings of the earth set themselves,

And the rulers take counsel together,

Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,

3           “Let us break Their bonds in pieces

And cast away Their cords from us.”

God is in control. In another Psalm it is written, “For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge; He puts down one, and exalts another” (Psalm 75:6-7). The prophet Daniel was inspired to tell the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” (Daniel 2:20-21). In the New Testament John the Baptist stated, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven” (John 3:27). Later in the New Testament Paul is inspired to write, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1).

Some rage against God. The Psalm refers to pagan nations and their kings and those who do not believe in God. They oppose God’s chosen leaders and God’s people. They “rage” against those chosen by God (Heb. Ragas meaning to be in a tumult, commotion, looking to conspire against.) There is an opposition to those anointed by God to lead. But such opposition is useless as it opposes one that God has “Anointed.” “Anointed” is translated from the Hebrew term masiyah from which we get the English word messiah. It refers to one consecrated or set apart to a position (e.g. king; priest; or saint). It refers to one in a God-given position. And as one in a God-given position, if that person looks to God for wisdom and power to lead God will give it. Problems in leadership arise when leaders look away from God to themselves and others for power. We should look to others to help in leading, but only after we have first sought God. An effective leader is one who puts God first in all things.  

Wise is the leader who realizes his position it ordained by God. Powerful is the leader who trust in God to lead him. Look at these proverbs in this regard:

·         Proverbs 8:12–17 (NKJV) - 12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And find out knowledge and discretion. 13The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate. 14Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength. 15By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice. 16By me princes rule, and nobles, All the judges of the earth. 17I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me.

·         Proverbs 16:12 (NKJV) 12    It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness,
For a throne is established by righteousness.

·         Proverbs 20:26 (NKJV) - 26 A wise king sifts out the wicked, And brings the threshing wheel over them.

·         Proverbs 20:28 (NKJV) - 28 Mercy and truth preserve the king,
And by lovingkindness he upholds his throne.

·         Proverbs 21:1 (NKJV) - The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.

·         Proverbs 29:14 (NKJV) - 14 The king who judges the poor with truth, His throne will be established forever.


4           He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;

The Lord shall hold them in derision.


So ridiculous its funny. What is humor? If you think about it humor is composed of absurdity on such an astonishing level that it causes a reaction of laughter. Humor involves introduction of something unexpected or so obviously ridiculous that it causes laughter. God knows everything so He can’t be surprised into laughter. But He does laugh at the ridiculous absurdity of anyone who would “rage” against Him or oppose Him. The absurdity of opposing God is expressed by the inspired psalmist by attributing to God the idea of ridicule in the form of  being laughed to scorn. To Him who is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent opposition in any form is something to be laughed to scorn. For us this would be a kind of “Oh really?” expression with a snicker when faced with a response from opposition that is so patently false and obviously untrue or hopeless that it solicits a chuckle.

Always remember God is not threatened by the challenges of human beings. God is big enough to take the attacks of the ungodly. God doesn’t run away from the questions or even accusations of people. And truthfully, the attacks and accusation of unbelievers and those opposed to God’s plans causes God to “laugh” (Heb. Sahaq) which here means laugh to scorn, deride, laugh mockingly, make sport of, laugh in contempt. So futile and weak does God view the accusations and attacks of those who oppose God that it causes Him to laugh in response. It’s as though a toddling child in their weakness opposes a full grown adult.

God’s derision. That God holds those who oppose Him and His anointed in “derision” (Heb. la’ag) means He derides, makes fun of them with unintelligible words, mocks, ridicules. It’s as though God responds to opponents with the words “Blah, blah, blah, blah blah.”

God is Eternal, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and so much greater than any other source of opposition as to create a comical situation when He is opposed.


5           Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,

And distress them in His deep displeasure:


Woe! Woe! Woe! No! No! No! Santa in his secularized red suit and jolly temperament says, “Ho! Ho! Ho!” But to ungodly opponents God says, “Woe! Woe! Woe!” Opponents of God, His Anointed and His people try to proclaim “Woe! Woe! Woe!” against God and His people. To that God says, “No! No! No!”

God steps in to protect His people. God sets the parameters of what can and cannot be done by humans. Even Satan has to secure God’s permission to attack God’s people (e.g. Job 1-2). God is merciful and loving, but there is a limit He sets where His patience runs out.

God’s righteous wrathful response. When God’s patience runs out in “wrath” (Heb. ap) or in deep profound anger like a fierce blowing of the nostrils God will express His “deep displeasure” Heb. haron) or a burning anger, fierce anger, fury, wrath. God by nature is love (e.g. 1 John 4:7-12). God is “holy”; there is none like Him (e.g. 1 Peter 1:15-16). But “righteousness and justice are the foundation of” God’s throne (Psalm 89:14). In Psalms it states, “Clouds and darkness surround Him righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. A fire goes before Him, and burns up His enemies round about” (Psalm 97:2-3). All of this is to say that we should not negligently presume upon or try to take advantage of God’s grace, mercy, patience and love. We should never lose our reverence or “fear of the LORD” (e.g. Proverbs 1:7).

In the New Testament it reveals, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). That is especially the case when one understands that we all fall short of God’s glory and have all sinned against Him (e.g. Romans 3:10, 23). With that in mind we should be very thankful that because God is gracious that “Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13b). This is the heart of Christmas.


6           “Yet I have set My King

On My holy hill of Zion.”

7           “I will declare the decree:

The Lord has said to Me,

‘You are My Son,

Today I have begotten You.


The birth of our Redeemer/Savior King Jesus. God has set His kings on His holy hill of Mount Zion. But all these earthly kings are a mere shadow of the King of kings, LORD of Lords, the Son of God King Jesus. Yes, we are lost in sin and hopelessly lost at that. There was, is and never will be anything we can do in our own strength to appease God’s just wrath toward our sin. We alone cannot atone for our sins. We are separated from God by our sins (Isaiah 59:1-2). We deserve eternal death, . . . but God who is rich in mercy has made a way and provided a provision to deal with our sins and sins’ penalty, death. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor, 5:21; cf. also Romans 6:23; Titus 3:4-7; Isaiah 53).

Jesus is the unique begotten Son of God. We can become sons and daughters of God, but only Jesus is the unique Son of God; the Second Person of the Trinity.


8           Ask of Me, and I will give You

The nations for Your inheritance,

And the ends of the earth for Your possession.


Jesus, anointed by God to be King. Jesus was born into the world and anointed by God with the Holy Spirit (e.g. Matthew 3:16-17). He was then lead into the wilderness where He was tempted by the devil (Matthew 4). One of the devil’s temptations to Jesus was to take a shortcut to accomplish His mission to redeem the world to God. All Jesus would have to do is bow to the devil and the god of this world would give Him the kingdoms of the world. But Jesus refused. Instead He followed through fully on God’s plan to redeem the world from sin and fallenness. That meant He had to go to the cross. The cross is where our penalty for sin (i.e. death) was paid by Jesus (cf. Psalm 22; Matthew 26-27; 1 Peter 1:18-19). God’s plan to redeem and regenerate this fallen sinful world goes through the cross of Christ.


9           You shall break them with a rod of iron;

You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ ”


A King powerful enough to enforce God’s righteousness. The cross of Christ may have at first seemed to be a great defeat. But it was at the cross where Jesus wiped away our debt record of sin and disarmed and publicly shamed Satan and all opponents to God (cf. Colossians 1:11-15). The benefits of the cross of Christ are offered to any and all who would turn from their sin and trust Him as Savior and Lord (e.g. Romans 10:9-10; also Romans 3-5).

In our present day even though Jesus has paid our debt of sin on the cross and risen from the dead, we still live in a fallen world. We still see the powers of darkness reigning and clinging to power in this world. But a day is coming when our prayer of “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10) will be answered. When Jesus returns at His Second Coming (Rev. 19) He will establish His Kingdom on earth for a thousand years (cf. Rev. 20).

The first time Jesus came as a Suffering Servant Savior to redeem the world. The second time Jesus comes will be as the King of kings and LORD of Lords to reign on earth. His reign is described by God as “You shall break them with a rod of iron” or Jesus will enforce His rule in power.


10         Now therefore, be wise, O kings;

Be instructed, you judges of the earth.

11         Serve the Lord with fear,

And rejoice with trembling.

12         Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,

And you perish in the way,

When His wrath is kindled but a little.

Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.


The only wise response to God. In light of God’s prophetic word on His ultimate victory the only wise decision to be made (that needs to be made) by both kings and their subjects, people in high positions and those in lower positions, for all people to make, is to turn to the LORD. We need to:


1.      “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little.” – Kiss” (Heb. nasaq) means fasten oneself to, to kiss, to touch. In other words, embrace Jesus by faith. By faith fall in love with Jesus. Make Him your all in all. Be married to Jesus (e.g. Eph. 5:21-33). Commit yourself for life to Jesus.

There’s another aspect of “kiss.” It also means to equip with weapons; be armed, be ready to rule. The idea is to take up your weapons and get ready to follow the king. Yes, we need to fall in love with Jesus in faith, but we also should step in His ranks to follow Him into battle. We need to put on the armor of God (e.g. Eph. 6:10-18). We need to prepare to war not merely in the strength of our flesh but in the power of the LORD! (e.g. 2 Cor. 10:3-4; Acts 1:8).

Trust Jesus as the only way to God (John 14:6). Go to God relying by faith in Jesus as your Savior. His atoning work on the cross is the only just basis for God who is Just and Holy to forgive your sins.


2.      “Serve the LORD with fear [reverence], and rejoice with trembling.” – Give your life to God in service. Revere God for His costly redemptive plan. By mercy (i.e. not getting what we deserve) God has made a way to avoid His just penalty (i.e. justice is getting what we deserve) and by grace (i.e. getting what we don’t deserve) God has opened the door through Jesus to an abundant life; one where we can know the living God and Jesus Who He has sent (John 17:3).


3.      “Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.” Life with God in Christ is a blessed life. There may be troubles and trials, but through all of them God in Christ will be there (Heb. 13:5). And with God in Christ there is the hopeful prospect of eternal life with Him where there will be no tears, sorrow, or hardship of any kind.


In this world we will often hear and feel “Woe! Woe! Woe!” But we need to remember that to that God says, “No! No! No!” He has His own “Woe! Woe! Woe!” to naysayers. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). It’s a done deal folks. Victory in Christ is in our future. Psalm 2 predicts it. Jesus in His own words promised it. God says, “No! No! No!” to any “Woe! Woe! Woe!” coming from this world. Kiss the Son. Embrace Jesus. Then step behind Him into the ranks of those wo call Him and follow Him as Lord. Follow Him to victory!



[1] Other royal psalms are 18, 20–21, 45, 72, 89, 101, 110, 132, 144.
[2] Ross, A. P. (1985). Psalms. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 791). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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