Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.(Psalm 2:1-3)
The first two Psalms go together. Perhaps it isn’t immediately apparent, because in some ways they are completely different, but I believe the Holy Spirit led those who placed them side by side as the opening of the Psalter.
Psalm one examines a lone individual, a God worshipping , scripture meditating disciple who has made a serious break with the thinking of his day. He is separate internally, he seeks other counsel than the prevailing opinions, he loves to be constantly re-oriented in his soul to the Word of God.
He is described in the singular, whereas the “ungodly”, the “sinners and the scornful” are pluralities in the Psalm. The assumption is that it is their worldview which is the prevailing thinking of the day. This one stands alone, and nourishes himself by a different fountain than everyone else.
The second Psalm, on the other hand, looks at the whole world. The entire planet is in a state of revolt, led by its political, educational, and religious leaders. The nations of the world are in turmoil, and their populations are gripped by an empty illusion,( A vain imagination). Traditional restraints are cast into the wind, a kind of social revolution is taking place, led by the elite on all levels.
I believe that though this Psalm has been fulfilled in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, involving the collusion of Pilate, Herod, and the corrupt high priests of Israel, (Acts 4:25-28) there is a further eschatological application of it as well. This Psalm is a prophecy of the geopolitical and cultural reality at the time of the coming of the Lord in Glory to Judge the world in Righteousness.
The nations are definitely in an uproar, indeed, “the heathen Rage“. Consider our times,
China rages, for it is awakening after two centuries of humiliating subjugation by western colonial powers,(the opium wars, etc), the harrowing World War 2 experience, a massive social upheaval , Communist revolution and the pragmatic decision to Capitalize their economy while remaining a totalitarian communist entity .
The perception is that it is time for China to take her place as a world power, increasing her presence in the competition for African resources, oil and gas, military dominance of the Pacific region , etc. China’s generals are bellicose in their pronouncements about their ability to reach cities like Los Angeles with their missiles. To the long remembering Chinese, there are definite scores to settle.
Russia also rages. The desire for the former glory as a world superpower has catapulted former KGB operative Vladimir Putin into a popular icon in Russia. The Russians have been newly empowered by oil money, they are re-arming at an alarming rate, and the brutal crushing of Georgia, in the final days of the Bush presidency was reminiscent of the worst of the old Soviet suppressions.
Russia also sees itself as a player in the middle east, arming Syria ,Hezbollah controlled Lebanon, and aiding Nuclear Iran in spite of world sanctions.The Obama administration virtually handed over the US post World War 2 influence in the Middle East to Putin, and he wasted no time in wreaking havoc, entering in to Syria, bringing Iran in with the Russians, and seeking to establish a Shiite crescent to withstand the western backed Sunni world.
The Muslim World rages also, due to several converging factors. The rebirth of the State of Israel, and its successful repelling of invasions by combined Muslim armies has humiliated and inflamed the Moslem world. The existence of Israel, a modern, secular, western democracy in the very heart of the middle east is an affront to Muslim pride.
Iran has been empowered by the Obama administration’s gift of 150 billion dollars of US taxpayer funding, and has also embarked on a Nuclear program, in spite of the Ayotollah’s insistence that the destruction of Israel was “non-negotiable”!
Libya has been decimated and reduced to a terror state of chaos and violence. Hillary Clinton famously boasted that “We came, we saw and HE(Gaddaffi) died!”, as a result of US and European foreign policy. Gaddaffi had long warned that should he be removed by western powers, the buffer to uncontrollable black African immigration would also be removed and Africa would swarm up into Europe, destabilizing the once civilized European nations.
Syria has been dissected for all of the world to see. The nation of 22 million has lost of her population due to death and displacement,(there are ten million Syrian refugees), as a double proxy war plays out, between Russia and the West and between Shiite and Sunni Muslim. Russia, Iran and even Turkey are fighting Sunni rebels backed by the EU and the United States. The stateless Kurds are holding their own ground against all of the above and Sunni rebels armed by the US have carved out a state the size of Indiana, in order to reestablish the Sunni Caliphate,which was disbanded in 1924.
The secularizing trend that swept the Moslem world after World War 1 has been seen as a failure in the Ummah, and perhaps even the cause of Islam’s failure to eradicate the Jewish state. There has since been a revival of radical ISlam.As a consequence, Islamism has swept the world,in the form of Wahhabism, a puritanical Sunni version of Islam. It has been fueled by oceans of oil money , pouring out of Saudi Arabia, literally radicalizing once complacent Muslims from Indonesia to California, causing havoc.
When a Christian is revived and becomes more like Jesus, good things happen, people are helped, healed, encouraged, virtue is promoted and everyone benefits. When Muslims are revived to become more like the pirate and murderer that they consider to be ‘the perfect man’, bad things, terrible and even violent things happen.
The Nations of the World are in an uproar, Africa is turbulent, India and Pakistan are both Nuclear, and hate each other with a passion, Shia Islam has conducted the first successful modern Jihad, with the help of the Jimmy Carter administration, pulling the rug out from underneath the Shah of Iran. Europe is literally dying, due to birth control and abortion, and the Western democracies are going broke, thanks to the failed Socialistic policies that became widespread after World War 2.
This is the setting of Psalm 2, where the attention is turned to the leaders, the Kings of the earth, and the rulers.
Pastor Bill, I seem to recall you may know or have met Philip Haney, the recent whistleblower from the Department of Homeland Security. He has a presentation on the Everlasting Covenant, where he discusses Psalm 2. He is an amazing and humble man (I met him a couple of years ago, at which time I learned he was writing a book, which came out this past spring). What I appreciate about Phil’s presentations is that he gives the root meaning of words in their original languages, whether Hebrew and Greek in the Bible, or Arabic in the Qu’ran.
He also cites Isaiah 60:18 in the below presentation. The first part of the verse says, “No longer shall violence be heard in your land.” In the the video presentation below he shares how he used that verse in his work at Atlanta Airport, when Israelis from Israel and other parts of the the world would travel through there. He would actually write out the verse in Hebrew, and then say it to them. Hebrew has many words for violence, but in this verse, from Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon, the word is “chamac, khaw-mawce'”. It is pronounced like “hamas”. “No longer will Hamas be heard in your land.” As he would tell the visitors, “I don’t know when this will happen, but that is the final outcome”, emphasizing the word “your” in the verse. “Your” land, reminding them of the Everlasting Covenant. He recounts the reaction of these Jewish people and the clear presence of the Holy Spirit whenever he presented this verse to them. Interestingly, “hamas” in Arabic means zeal, a subtle counterpoint (“Having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” 2 Tim. 3:5).
Phil was in the midst of the deceivers and betrayers in our government. He was right in the “vortex” that he talks about. God had His hand on him, I am absolutely convinced. As Reggie Kelly says of Phil, “One of the humblest of saints I know, and just the sort of person to whom the Lord would reveal His secrets.”
Wow, I was just e-mailing Phil trying to get him to my church in Iowa. I hope he gets back to me! Thanks so much. Do you fellowship with Reggie and the group in Minnesota? I haven’t met him but God keeps bringing people my way who know him and the late Art Katz- small world when God is in it- Your friend PBR
On Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 5:54 PM, Pastor Bill Randles Blog wrote:
My husband and I faithfully watch the Saturday evening studies with Reggie and “the group” on YouTube; they have been going through Isaiah. I attended the 2014 convocation. We moved to NC this year, so I could not attend; however, I have had some email communications with Reggie (another amazing and astute teacher).
It is a wonderful group. I came across the Mystery of Israel website about 2 1/2 years ago, as it was linked from Joel Richardson’s website. Truly, this was of God. I was able to watch all their past convocations (those that had been recorded, that is), before I attended the convocation in September 2014. So I had an idea of who they were, and was so thrilled to be able to meet them all. I don’t think I have ever been in a gathering where I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit the way I did there. And as you might know, many of the individuals who have been involved with the “core” group knew Art Katz; Reggie is described as the “theological companion” of Art. Most of the men of Reggie’s and Phil’s age came to faith Christ during the Jesus movement, and some of them are Jewish. I’ll say this, there is something very precious about being in the presence of these Jewish believers. I can’t put it into words.
I don’t know about you, but I think there was a great move of the Holy Spirit during the 60’s and 70’s, especially after the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War (and I have heard this from others), and I think the Jesus movement was a result of that. More and more I am convinced that this was a time in which the Holy Spirit moved in a powerful way among what I believe could very well be generation that will witness the return of Jesus. Many, many Jewish people came to Christ during this time, including our former pastor in Virginia (Lon Solomon).
When I met Phil, there was such a presence of peace about him which was quite amazing, considering what he has been through. He is a precious and dear man. Everyone, every Christian should read his book.
I hope Phil can get to your church. It would be great if he could get to one around our area here in NC (we are about an hour from Asheville and Charlotte).