God is not impressed with the world’s wisdom. God is not looking down from heaven, eagerly checking in to see if we have created a new smart watch, a homeless feeding program, or a way to deal with bullies. God does not need the help of his sad, little creatures. He is not looking to them for advice.
No the Psalmist tells us that God “laughs; the lord holds them in derision.” God mocks those who think they can do his job for him. God literally laughs at those who think that can free themselves from the rule of heaven and find happiness.
When the people of Babel tried to reach heaven, God had to come down to them. And when he does come down, he brings judgement. The Psalmist says, “he will speak to them in his wrath and terrify them in his fury, saying “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my Holy hill.” (5-6).
God says, “No” He says your plan will not work. No matter how much your struggle against God. No matter how many Christians you kill. No matter how many ways you find to attack, belittle, and demean Christians as stupid, dumb, and anti-intellectual, God will not let you succeed. In fact, the text says God is angry with the world. He is angry with the kings who have tried to oppose him. And in anger, God declares, “The Messiah is King.”
Yes you tried to free yourself from God’s commands. But God reigns. Jesus sits on Zion. Jesus has the final word, not us, not our politicians, not our therapist, and not our friends on Facebook who declared our sin of sexual immorality to be a new normal and a good human expression. God reigns.
And what will Messiah do? What is his message to the world?
You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
Now to be clear, the Psalmist is not implying that God gave birth to Jesus. The Messiah has always been part of the trinity, eternally one with God as John 1 and Colossians 1 make clear. “In the beginning was the Word, and the was with God, and was God.” “All things were created through him, whether things on earth or in heaven or under the earth.”
Jesus is God and has always been God. Acts 13:32-33 states:
And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you.”
Paul explains that this verse is alluding to the fact the Jesus is the Messiah who is both fully man and fully God. Jesus came and died but saw no corruption. He was raised again on high. He has triumphed over death, the great conqueror of all men.
Jesus will rule over the earth. Every nation that exists today, every person who lives will to submit to Christ.
How does Christ accomplish the decree of the father; how does he receive an inheritance from all the nations?
The text tells us that he will “break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potters vessel.” The rod of iron is a shepherds crock. Jesus is going to shepherd the people of the world. He is going to save them, and nurture them through his saving power. Because Jesus has conquered death, he can redeem sinners. He can save the lost. He can guide those who repent and believe into truth and obedience. He can helps us obey our employers, survive difficult times, and triumph over adversity. Christ can and does cleanse his sheep with his crook. He will break the sinful of their hard hearts and give them a heart of flesh.
But then he will also shatter them “like a potter’s vessel.” Those who refuse to obey, those who refuse to acknowledge that Jesus is God will be shattered like a clay pot. Regardless of how many Instagram followers you have, regardless of how respected you are by your local government, regardless of how many armies you have, God can just drop you like a clay pot and smash you to bits. Our greatest strength, intellect, and ability is nothing compared to the abilities of the God of the universe. And if we refuse to submit, God will make us submit and destroy us for our sins.
The world that boasts of its ability actually sits under judgement.
And all those who trust in the world for wisdom, life, and hope sit under judgement. We should fear God for he is the judge of the world. But we should also fear God for he is the great savior.
“Now therefore, O kings, be wise, be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” (10-12).
The great hope of the gospel, the great hope for the people of God is that there is hope. The rules of the world, the teachers, the intellectuals, the popular, and the powerful can wise. They can be redeemed. If they will turn from the vengeful plotting against God and if they will turn from their sin, and embrace God as their savior, the can be saved. They can come to God humbly trembling because of their unrighteousness and kiss the son. The can pay homage to God by repenting of their sin. They can believe on Jesus life, death, and resurrection and find joy and rejoicing. If they will come to an end of themselves, the will find the glorious freedom they are seeking in Christ. He will show them how to overcome all their problems and evils through him.
If we will pay homage to Christ he will save us. But if we do not. If we think having influence is more important than obedience, if we value the modern sexual ethic more than obedience, if we love the ability to tell off our friend more than obedience, if we love trying to live apart from Christ, if we love trying to act like the bonds between and God have been completely cut, we must not deceive ourselves. God’s wrath is coming. And it is coming quickly. Those who think that can enjoy the pleasures of this world and sin left and right and then at the last minutes repeat a prayer before the doctor walks into their room and pronouncing them dead are gravely mistaken. Those who do not submit now, may not have next week or even tomorrow. God anger is burning against you. Do not presume, you control you life and death. You do not. You stand perilously over the edge of hell. Repent today. Seek out help while you can.
And if you do, notice God’s great promise. “Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”
There is a great conspiracy. All of the great minds, athletes, doctors, scientist, and therapists are actively conspiring against God. And they often do great harm to the people of God. But if you delight in Christ, if you repent of the ways of the world, and cryout to God for salvation. He will save you. The great God who rules high above their earth will save you. He will bless your life.
Now how can we say that being mocked is blessing or that death is a blessing? We can say these things because no matter what happens to us on earth, nothing can separate us from God’s blessing. Nothing can separate us from God’s favor. We will be with the ruler of heaven. This is our great hope. This is what we get if we forsake the world. We get God. And the world is powerless to keep us from him. After all, God has and is going to smack down the worldly forces. All earthly powers are weaker that God’s power.
Fear God for he rescues his people.
So are our teachers right? Our are friends right? Is it foolish to follow after God and to suffer in the world? The answer is no. We should fear the Lord. After all the world mocks us because it hates God. But despite their great projects, ventures, and armies, God is still God. God reigns from on high. The Messiah came and conquered death. We should fear God for he rules the world and he saves sinners. Fear the Lord for he is God.