Psalm 2 is a short, but powerful psalm which effectively dispels the common notion of many believers today that “heaven is our home.” Let’s take a look and see what it says.
1 Why are the nations in an uproar,
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against Yahweh* and against His Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!”
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
5 Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying,
6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”
7 “I will surely tell of the decree of Yahweh:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.'”
10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
11 Worship Yahweh with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry,
and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him.
[quotation from NASB]
*Note:“Yahweh” substituted for “the LORD” throughout psalm for clarity
In verses 1-3, the psalmist begins by rhetorically questioning the foolish behavior of the nations and the kings of the earth. Together they plot, seeking to free themselves of the dominion of the sovereign God and his messiah, (an anointed, earthly representative of God), the king.
The second section, verses 4-6, contains God’s response to the uprisings of the nations and the kings of the earth: derisive laughter. (It’s never a good thing when the God of the universe laughs at you with contempt!) Did the nations of the earth seriously think that their rebellion against the exalted Lord, the one enthroned in heaven, would succeed?
Yahweh’s mocking laughter leads to action, and God utters a decisive statement in his anger, in which he affirms the authority of his messiah: “But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.”
In this statement, he not only affirms the authority of this king, but he gives us the locality from which he will reign: Zion, God’s holy mountain. Zion is another name for Jerusalem, the city of David (1 Kings 8:1).
According to God’s decree, this anointed king will reign on the earth, from Jerusalem.
In verses 7-9, the third section, Yahweh’s anointed declares the decree of the Lord, which further enforces the legitimacy and locality of his reign.
In verse 7, we read that the anointed king is considered to be “God’s Son.” This language of sonship recalls the covenant that God made with King David, in which God promised to raise up a descendant after him, the throne of whose kingdom, centered in Jerusalem, would be established forever:
“When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” (2 Samuel 7:12-16 NASB)
Though David had many descendants, the fulfillment of this promise ultimately came to pass in Jesus (See Paul’s sermon in Acts 13:20-33). Thus, Jesus is the anointed king who will reign from Jerusalem, of whom this psalm speaks.
Verse 8 further confirms the reality of Jesus’ earthly reign, for in it, God announces that upon the request of his anointed, he will give to him the nations and the ends of the earth as his inheritance and possession!
Jesus is promised by God to reign over an earthly kingdom, centered in Jerusalem!
Typically, believers today are promised eternal life in Heaven, God’s abode, by their well-meaning pastors.
However, according to Jesus (and Psalm 2), this is simply not the case.
John records the promise of Jesus to believers in Revelation 2:26-28 [NASB]:
“He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father; and I will give him the morning star.”
According to Jesus, his followers who overcome will share in his authority and earthly rule! (Notice where this verse is coming from: Psalm 2:9!)
He also writes in Revelation 3:21 [NASB]:
“He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
Believers will reign with Christ. Where will Christ be reigning? Earth.
Heaven is not our home.