God, the nations and us

Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One. “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.”

Psalm 2 v.1-3

Penned by the Psalmist around 2000 years ago this question has a frighteningly contemporary ring about it, for nations conspiring and plotting is nothing new. If we were to make a list of those nations which fall into this category in 2021 it would occupy all the space I have allotted myself for the whole comment today but I will just name a few.

Russia, China, The Islamic World, Burma, North Korea.

Each, and I appreciate that not all who read this will agree with my assessment, is striving for power and world domination and they are prepared to do anything that will help them achieve this goal.

It has always been thus as the Babylonians were displaced by the Medes and Persians, the Medes and Persians by the Greeks, the Greeks by the Romans and so on. Each power has sought to take control, some successfully and some less successfully because they each wanted or want to be top dog.

However the Psalmist put his finger on the core of the problem, namely that, they fail to understand that their attempts are ‘in vain’ because they are not in the final analysis plotting against other nations but against the LORD and his anointed one.

That is not so say that do not cause untold human misery by what they do, but to emphasise that their plotting is ultimately doomed to failure because it is not against flesh and blood but against God himself.

Now at one level such international conflict may seem far distant from us in our local daily lives but nonetheless it is likely to engender a measure of fear in us. However there is a warning much closer to home than the international situation and it is, that as individuals we are never far from standing against the LORD and his anointed one. We like to be in control. We like to rule our own lives. We like to do it our way.

Tomorrow we shall consider how ‘the One enthroned in heaven’ responds to such rebellion and the hope that that brings in both the short and long term, but immediately, picking up the opening words of Psalm 1 and the closing words of Psalm 2  let us rejoice today that

Blessed are all who take refuge in him (the Lord’s anointed one.)!

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