As a kid I didn’t have an X-Box or Apple Wii. I had an ant-farm. It was perched on the desk in my bedroom. I derived a simple, if voyeuristic, fascination from hours of observing these industrious creatures in their diminutive universe, bustling about their business, oblivious to my all-seeing gaze. I would ensure they always had ample nutritious sustenance to stockpile, and even the occasional sugary delight. And I vigilantly protected them from the clumsy curiosity of our dogs.
But one day they discovered a tiny crack in the plastic, and they staged an adventurous emigration into my room. I began to find ants on my desk, in my closets, under my bed.
At first I was compassionate and patient. Scooping up each escapee and whisking it back to the comfort of the well-stocked farm. Until one day I got tired of having a nation of ungrateful tenants that were constantly rebelling. So I picked up the whole contraption and tossed it into the garbage on the street, cast from my presence.
I suppose it’s this type of petulance in my character that makes me appreciate God’s patience with me. But the scene of that ant-farm rebellion is also a picture of another species of recalcitrant rebels who are puny in comparison to the one who provides their sustenance and safety.
Let’s see, in four scenes of Psalm 2, what God thinks of humans who rage against being subject to his rule…
Psalm 2:1-3 Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
Humans are rebellious at heart, from childhood tantrums to deathbed stubbornness. Like disgruntled denizens the nations of earth shake their fists at God in absurd unbelief and assert their independence. But they do so in vain. All their protestations and defiance have as little effect on the eternal plan of the Creator as the ants had on my life plans.
What do you think is God’s response to the unbelievers’ rebellion?
Psalm 2: 4-5 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, …
It’s like the cartoon Pinky and the Brain, where, every night they, “try to take over the world.” If that TV show were a documentary about a terrorist cell continually planning to bring the Western world to its knees, it would not be humorous. It would be terrifying. But when the threat comes from two lab mice…that’s just funny. There’s no real threat, just entertainment.
That is how God views those who confidently assert that he does not exist. That is how God views governments who write constitutions designed to curtail Christianity. It’s simply laughable.
But it’s not merely amusing to God, it’s offensive. The Lord not only mocks, he punishes.
God is incredibly gracious, and he is merciful, and patient, but he is not playing around.
He is not sheepishly knocking on the door of your heart like a salesman hoping to be acknowledged. God is commanding everyone everywhere to repent of sin, avail themselves of his grace through Christ, or there will be Hell to pay. Literally.
Acts 17:30-31 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed…
He tells of his intention in the next scene…
Psalm 2:6-9 “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
Here God predicts the future using the prophetic past tense. God is so sure about the future that he speaks about it in the past tense! “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”
This verse promises that Jesus will one day come and rule on a throne in Jerusalem. Jesus’ reign on earth will act decisively with rebellion. In that day he will not deal gently with rebels against his kingdom.
So we are all informed as to how we need to respond…
Psalm 2: 10-12 Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
God tells us of his fury in order to warn us, to incentivize our escape. Christ offers to save you by absorbing the wrath stored up for his enemies, out of love for those enemies (Rom 5:6).
“Kiss the Son” is a picture of homage that was performed by conquered kings. It was the way your life was spared. It was an inversion of rebellion into submission. You could either spit on the king or kiss his hand (or feet).
Unlike some other recently elected world leaders, Jesus does not obsess about what people think of the legitimacy of his reign.
He is the King of Kings, and all rebellion is futile and foolish, puny and pathetic. For those not yet submitting to God’s reign, it is my hope that today you will cease from the ineffective animosity of an ant-farm rebellion, and make peace with your Maker through Jesus Christ.