Study Guide – Psalm 2

1 Why do the nations conspire*
    and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”

A look at our current news makes it seem like the world is in more of a mess than ever before. But which aspects of verses 1-3 of this nearly 3000 year-old psalm could reflect the world's troubles today?


Why do rulers and people plot against the Lord?


To whom could the Lord's "anointed" be refering?


4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
5 He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6 “I have installed my king
    on Zion, my holy mountain.”

In verses 4-6, what is the Lord's attitude towards those who rage against him?

What fact makes the Lord confident? (What principles for your own life can you draw from this?)

7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:

He said to me, “You are my son;
    today I have become your father.
8 Ask me,
    and I will make the nations your inheritance,
    the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You will break them with a rod of iron**;
    you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

Compare God's opinion of a ruler that He annoints verses the rulers described in verses 1-6:

Considering the context of Israel during the days of the monarchy, what bold claims are being made by this psalm? What prophetic claims are being made?

Take a quick moment to look at Isaiah 54:17 or Romans 8:38-39. In the midst of such a troubled world, what truths about God should we be sure to remember?

10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
    be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear
    and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
    and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
    Blessed are all who take refuge in him. NIV


What admonishment do we need to take into account for ourselves from verses 10-12?

Take some time to pray for the rulers of our world and to give thanks for God's strength and confidence today.

*Some translations (esp. LXX) have "rage"

** Some translations have "iron sceptor"

Related articles

Study Guide – Psalm 1
Study Guide – Psalm 3
Study Guide – Psalm 24
Study Guide – Psalm 61
Study Guide – Psalm 113
Study Guide – Psalm 117

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