“Why are the nations in an uproar
And the peoples devising a vain thing?” (Psalm 2:1)
Isn’t this the cry of history? The question of God’s people in every generation? We watch countries roil in war or lie in a fragile peace. We mourn as nations turn away from God.
“The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
‘Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!'”
We like to think this is unique to our generation: the injustice, murder, and atrocities perpetrated on national and international levels. But it’s not. It’s the result of a fallen, sinful world with fallen, sinful leaders running it.
Mankind as a whole hates God and His rules. We despise our Creator and chafe against the eternal law He’s imprinted on every heart. We aspire to freedom: a liberation from shackles that bind us to goodness and truth, a liberation that isn’t freedom at all.
It’s a terrible place to be, and even worse when this is the aspiration of kings. When leaders of nations themselves hate what is right, how can their nation stand? Even if it seems to thrive, it will crumble from the inside out.
He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying,
“But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.” (Psalm 2:4-6)
The psalmist asked the same questions that we ask today. But he also had an answer. Psalm 2 is a glorious prophecy of the coming King and His kingdom.
The kings of the earth might take counsel together, but God’s own anointed King is coming. He will possess the ends of the earth and shatter them like pottery. The rulers who so proudly take their stand will bow before Him or else perish before the flame of His anger. (Psalm 2:7-12)
He came once already, and this is what we celebrate this season. The King of all creation lay in a feed trough under a starry Judean sky. His kingdom, for now, is in the hearts and minds of His people: a kingdom of saved sinners, who conquer by humility and love rather than military might.
But He is also coming again. He will come in might, with His arm ruling for Him (Isaiah 40:10). He will physically rule over all the kingdoms of this earth: the first and only perfectly righteous and just King.
Does this mean we don’t fight against injustice? No. We’re children of a just and righteous God – we can’t stand by and do nothing. Whatever that looks like – and it looks different for everyone; I’m still figuring it out – we do stand up against evil.
But we also know that this fight is not the end. There will come a day when we don’t have to fight anymore, because our King will come.
He came. He will come again. That is our hope this Advent.