God’s Plan for the Nations, Part 6

plan-for-the-nations

TEXT: Psalm 2

Over the past few weeks, everything that we have studied from Psalm 2 can be boiled down to one simple phrase: God is in control. J.I. Packer said, “God controls all that happens in His world, every meal, every pleasure, every possession, every bit of sun, every night’s sleep, every moment of health and safety, and everything that sustains and enriches life.” If we can really get a hold of that fact, we have no reason to be fearful about what the future holds because we know that God is in control and He has given us repeated assurances in His Word that remind us to place our faith and trust in Him.

Some of those assurances have to do with how God will deal with the nations of the world who have, for the most part, turned their backs on Him. On last week, we looked at the assurance that God’s Son will take ownership of the earth. Psalm 2:8 says, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” In this verse, God the Father is speaking, and He promises to give the entire earth to the Son for His possession. Jesus Christ will not only rule over the earth, but the entire earth will belong to Him. Revelation 11:15 describes this wonderful occurrence when it says, “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” With the crime, chaos, and confusion that goes on in the world, it may seem like the devil is in control. But, the Bible assures us that, behind the scenes, God is still working out His plan to bring many sinners to repentance and to one day bring about in His world the peace, justice, and righteousness that the Bible promises. As we were reminded through the hymn, “this is my Father’s world.” And one day, the Father will give the ownership and control of the world over to His Son who will rule and administrate with the help of His saints.

Today, we are going to look at the assurance that God’s Son will punish the rebellious nations. God the Father is still speaking in verse 9 when He says to the Son, “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” The writers of the Bible Knowledge Commentary state, “This imagery is probably drawn from Egyptian execration customs in which the Pharaoh used his scepter to smash jars (pottery) that represented rebellious cities or nations.”

When the Son of God rules on the earth, He will deal a crushing blow to the rebel nations and to their alliance with Satan. All of those who lifted up themselves in rebellion against God will be brought down. When Jesus Christ sits on the throne in Jerusalem, there will be no such thing as an uprising against His authority. And those nations and people who opposed His rule will get the judgment that they deserve.

Albert Barnes states, “That dominion which is to be conceded to him [Christ] would be not only one of protection to his friends, but also of punishment on his enemies; and the statement here is made prominent because the former part of the psalm had respect to rebels, and the Messiah is here represented as being invested with power sufficient to punish and restrain them.”

Perhaps you have experienced the frustration of dealing with law enforcement officials who seem to be unable to bring justice to a situation where a crime has been committed. In our nation today, hundreds of children go missing for weeks, months, and years. Murders go unsolved. Thieves go uncaptured. Rapists walk the streets prowling for their next victim.

I am reminded of the families of the four men who were beheaded in recent weeks by the militants of the Islamic State. Can you imagine how those parents, brothers, sisters, wives, or children are feeling right now. Of course, no one can do anything to undo the beheadings. But, you would think that the governments of the world would have by now hunted down and brought justice to the evil men who carried out such a heinous crime. Yet, the hands of our governments seem tied. They seem unable to punish the evil in this world. But, when God’s Son reigns on the earth, He will have no difficulty finding and punishing those who rebelled against Him and caused pain and suffering to others while doing so.

God has given us these assurances so that our hearts might not be troubled in this present age. We know that one day, God’s Son will rule, God’s Son will take ownership of the earth, and God’s Son will punish those nations which have rebelled against Him. “Vengeance is mine,” saith the Lord. “I will repay.”

Because of these assurances, no matter what happens in our lives or in the world, we can choose to have the perspective expressed in the words of the old hymn —

This is my Father’s world,
should my heart be ever sad?
The lord is King—let the heavens ring.
God reigns—let the earth be glad.

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