Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The Kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His anointed,… Psalm 2:1-2
The questions of the Psalmist are perpetually relevant to every human in every age in every culture. As a Christian and a pastor I ask myself the same questions as I am confronted with the twenty four hour news cycle. Why is everyone so angry? Why do people spend short lives focused on vanity? Why does everyone seem to live contrary to God’s good way and law? I believe the Bible gives us the answers to these questions. We have an explanation, but the reality still hurts and stings. The anger of the earth is essentially rebellion against its creator. We know who made us and why there is evil and where we can find good, salvation, and redemption. However, we do not want salvation as a gift we want to achieve it for ourselves. Every day our inconsistencies and imperfections remind us that that is impossible and it causes anger. Things are not the way they should be. The world knows it and hates it and wants to blame outward and upward instead of inward.
To distract us, or to vent our anger, humans plot vain things. We obsess over the temporary. Even Christians are not immune to this obsession. The state of the American church shows us that. Churches are more interested in meeting temporary appetites than eternal needs because the temporary appetites motivate more people and attract money. Feeding people’s pride makes them comfortable whereas God wants them comfortable only in Him. The nations plot business deals, wars, parties, political movements yet people still starve, get sick, and succumb to addiction, loneliness, and death. We ask with the Psalmist, “Why?”.
Among the discord and anger of the world there appears to be unity against the Bible and its commands. People who have nothing in common are agreed that Christ, as the Bible presents Him, needs to be stifled. Scripture should not be taught, preached, loved, known, or understood. This is an emptiness that is aggressive and destructive. What is a 21st century Bible church to do? So much seems against us, apathy and disinterest are the rule of our day. How do we deal, and what is our strategy?
I would venture to say we deal, do, and think the same way the Psalmist did. The issues and problems are not new and neither is the solution. Verse eleven and twelve say to serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss or embrace the Son! There is blessing with total trust and reliance on the Lord. The anger, vanity, and evil of the nations will be dealt with by a righteous and just eternal king. It has an end that is outside of our hands and we need to be satisfied with that. The Christian needs to keep his or her focus on serving and rejoicing knowing the awe and might of God and reverencing Him! Don’t look for human recognition. The Psalmist when distracted by his news cycle returns to the unchanging, unshakable, indestructible rock that is God and Savior. Cling to that rock and His Word. Serve Him and dispose of your pride and vanity. Our strategies are flawed and must be repented of. Our worries and fears must be handed over to God every day. Our future and His kingdom’s future is safely in his hand and providential care. Embrace the Son! Live in Him walk in Him, fear Him, delight in Him! Why would you rage, plot, or rebel when you are justified, being sanctified, and will be glorified? May Christ be all and in you all!