I am journaling through the book titled The Essential Jesus: 100 Readings Through the Bible's Greatest Story written by Whitney T. Kuniholm. The above quote is from Kuniholm's introduction to this next group of five passage readings from the Psalms.
on top of the world
In reflecting on Psalm 2 Whitney Kuniholm wrote "...the name given to Jesus, Messiah, means "Anointed One," the very phrase used in this psalm (v.2)".
Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the LORD and against his anointed, saying, "Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles." (Psalm 2:1-3)Many times there are different levels on which a passage can be read. These levels are the result of the eternal nature of the words. The words have meaning and purpose in every generation. Here I find at least three levels in Psalm 2. This was a royal psalm written for the coronation of kings in Israel. Specifically for King David and his royal line running through Israel's history. On another level, when this psalm was written it was looking forward in time to the coming royal Son of David, the Anointed One, the Messiah. We learn in this Psalm that the coming Messiah will be the very Son of God. At the same time the Israelites are focusing on the coronation of a king they are getting a preview of God's ultimate plan.
"I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain." I will proclaim the LORD's decree: He said to me, "You are my son; today I have become your father. (Psalm 2:6-7)
Kiss his son, or he will be angry and you and your ways will be destroyed, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (Psalm 2:12)
This is a psalm that starts with questions. Questions about authority. Why do kings and rulers of this world put so much stock in their authority, in their power, in their abilities, and ignore the authority of God the creator of this world? Why do they oppose the authority of God's anointed King? Why do they want to be free from the power and authority of God? Why are they so presumptuous?
We get a glimpse of what the kings and rulers of this world and their power and authority really look like to God from his vantage point. A vantage point beyond the physical world outside of space and time by the One who created everything. It looks a little silly. A little presumptuous. It must look like a big waste of time and energy.
The third level I see here in this Psalm has to do with me right now - today. Do I presume to have authority over my life? How do I view my abilities, my power, my authority? How do I view God's ability, power, and authority? Do I oppose God's authority? Under who's authority do I live my life? In who do I take refuge? Do I accept His anointed King?
Who is on top of the world? Who is on top of my world? Who is King?
I can answer these questions right now intellectually in thoughts and words, but do I answer these questions with my actions? Do I submit to God in my actions? In his letter to the Romans Paul urges them to worship God with their bodies.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is true worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)Do I offer my body as a living sacrifice? I want to answer yes. This is my goal for today, tomorrow, and the next day. I pray this is my goal for the rest of my life.
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