It has been said that President Franklin D. Roosevelt was often bored by those long receiving lines at formal White House functions. Furthermore, he was convinced that people really didn’t listen to what was being said.
While the story may be apocryphal, it’s told on one occasion to test his theory FDR graciously smiled at each person, shook their hand and said in a very kind way, “I murdered my grandmother this morning.”
Amazingly, he received responses like, “Wonderful, Mr. President,” “Keep up the good work, Mr. President,” “We’re praying for you, Mr. President.”
Finally the Bolivian Ambassador came by, and actually did listen as FDR said, “I murdered my grandmother this morning.” For a moment the Ambassador was taken aback. He stood there blinking his eyes, and then responded, “Well, she must have had it coming.”
It seems today lots of people are not listening. They seem to hear only what they want to hear filtered through their partisan perspective. They’re not really listening to the substantive issues. And they’re definitely not listening to the Lord.
For the past several weeks, we’ve been exploring themes from the Psalms. Regarding Psalm 2, Warren Wiersbe observed in “some of the Psalms you see.” In “some of the Psalms you feel.” But in Psalm 2 “you hear.” He suggests there are four voices speaking to us.
The Voice of the Nations
Their voice is one of defiance. Rebellion. Contempt. And even conspiracy. They deny God, defy His Word, and express disdain for His purpose. They plot, plan and devise evil deeds.
In view of God’s bountiful blessings, David expressed his astonishment when he wrote, “Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing?”
This is the history of the heathen. When Moses came to Pharaoh with God’s command, “Let my people go.” The Ruler’s derisive retort was “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?” (Ex. 5:2).
The voice of unbelievers, even under the façade of a warm smile, token promises, and the obligatory “God Bless America,” hasn’t really changed.
Are you listening?
The Voice of God
David pictures God laughing at their schemes (v. 4). “The Lord shall hold them in derision,” he adds.
The voice of God is one mockery and scorn. He scoffs at man’s feeble and futile attempts to chart his own way apart from Divine counsel. Woody Allen is credited with the quip, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” All human plans ought to be made with the cautious caveat, “if the Lord wills.”
The Old Testament affirms that God is the ruler of the nations. Whether we realize or admit it, He is in control. Furthermore, this Psalm reminds us that God is not just a God of love, but of wrath, anger and judgment on the ungodly.
Are you listening to the voice of God?
The Voice of the Son.
This Psalm is decidedly Messianic. It prophetically predicts the coming of Christ, His rule, and reign (Ax. 13:32-33; Rom. 1:4; Heb. 1:5; Rev. 1:5).
His voice is one of victory. Triumph. And conquest.
Jesus is the “Lord of lords” and the “King of kings” (1 Tim. 6:15). God has given Him “all authority in heaven and on earth’ (Matt. 28:18). And it is His voice that the Father proclaimed from the mountain top that we should hear today (Matt. 17:5).
Oprah Winfrey was wrong when she said there are many ways to God. There’s just one way. That’s Jesus Christ.
Are you listening to the voice of the Son?
The Voice of the Holy Spirit
The Spirit’s voice is one of opportunity and the call to a decision.
Through the written, revealed Word of God, the Spirit appeals to the mind, will and emotion of the human heart. When properly applied His word will prick our conscience and cause us to submit in humble obedience.
Are you listening to the Spirit’s voice?
In view of this Psalm, reflect on these 5 applications:
#1 Let our boasting be in the Lord (Jer. 9:23-24).
#2 Let us apply this ancient challenge to humble ourselves and seek God (2 Chron. 7:14).
#3 Let us pray for our leaders. (1 Tim. 2:1).
#4 Let us not be conformed to the world (Rom. 12:1-2).
#5 Let us be salt and Light. (Mt. 5:13-16).
Are you listening? Really listening?
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
2 responses to “Psalm 2”
Thank you for this valuable lesson! I listened!
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