Do you read or listen to the news? Every day in Israel politicians and commentators are vying for power and influence, telling us who should be the Prime Minister, or what the PM should do. In the United States, there is an election process taking place, with each candidate saying that the other one is unfit to be President, the leader of the Free World. In Turkey and Iran, their leaders are threatening each other, and the rest of the world with terror, or support for terrorists. In Russia, their President is reasserting his country’s place as a serious threat to Western Powers. In the nearing future, the antichrist will arise, who will require all to submit to him as if he is above all gods and God. (Dan 11:36; 2 Thes 2:3-4; Rev 13:1-8)
What is also interesting in all this, is that each of these countries represents a different religious worldview, and how that affects their policies and geo-political decisions. They are peoples and nations who seem to agree on one thing: they want to determine and to rule their own destiny, and also the world’s.
What’s going on behind the scenes? What do the Scriptures say? What do they teach us? Let us look at a psalm of David (Acts 4:25), a psalm referenced several times in the New Testament:
Ps 2 Why do the nations rage, and the peoples meditate on a vain thing? (2) The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers plot together, against Yehovah and against His Anointed: (3) Let us break their bands in two and cast away their cords from us. (4) He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; Yehovah shall mock at them. (5) Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His fierce anger. (6) Yea, I have set My king on My holy mountain, on Zion. (7) I will declare the decree: Yehovah has said to Me, You are My Son; today I have begotten You. (8) Ask of Me, and I shall give the nations for Your inheritance; and the ends of the earth for Your possession. (9) You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. (10) And now be wise, O kings; be instructed, O judges of the earth. (11) Serve Yehovah with fear, and rejoice with trembling. (12) Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled in but a little while. Blessed are all who put their trust in Him.
The Holy Spirit through David tells us that the Gentiles and the Jews, with their leaders, are in a conspiracy against the one true God – against the Father and His Son, the Messiah Yeshua/Jesus. It is a vain thing that they do; it is destined to fail! You have probably all heard the saying that there is a Jewish conspiracy to rule the world. Well, it is actually God’s plan that a Jew will rule the world! Jesus is the King of the Jews and of the nations, and God has declared that His Son is the heir to the Throne of David to rule over Israel and the whole world. The conspiracy is actually by the devil and those of the world against the sovereign Creator and Redeemer.
What is it that the “world” wants? They want to be “free” from any accountability to a holy God, who is the righteous Judge of all the Earth. This conspiracy began in the heavenlies, when Lucifer rebelled against YHVH, and led other angels to follow him in the rebellion. Israel openly rebelled when she asked for a king like the Gentiles have, and then said that they did not want “this Man” Yeshua to rule over them. (1Sam 8:1-9; Lk 19:11-27) And the world Gentile powers have rebelled against the God of Israel, who gave them their authority, but they have all eventually caused distress for Jews and for Christians, the people of the true God.
What does it mean when they want to break the bands in two and cast away their cords from us? You remember that Isaac told Esau, when he spoke to him after giving the blessing to Jacob, that the day would come when Esau would break the yoke of Jacob his brother from off him. (Gen 27:40) We see this taking place today in the intifada, which is the Palestinian uprising against the rule of the children of Jacob over them here in Israel. But it represents something much bigger: it is the spiritual rebellion against the sovereignty of YHVH God, led by the spirit of a religious faith in another god. It is the world today rising up against the morality of YHVH, whose name is holy, saying, in effect: “Who is YHVH that we should serve Him?!” “Who says that He is God Most High?!” “Why should we submit to His authority and morality?!” “All religions are okay, and lead to something good. In fact, better in our own eyes than what the God of Israel wants!” So, in the end, it is more than seeking equality among the different religions and cultures and life-styles. It is a rebellion against YHVH even more than simply seeking “equality with Him”, which is itself rebellion. Tolerance is for anything other than truth. “What is truth?!”, Pilate asked Jesus. To the “world”, all is subjective relativism.
Some current examples that we see of trying to break God’s and His Son’s yoke, and their restrictions that make for civil society:
–requiring governments and people to accept homosexuality as normal and as a choice for each person to make regarding their own gender identity; in other words, not only to choose what sex to do, but what sex to be!;
–sex outside of marriage is accepted as normal and not sinful;
–not allowing in Israel and in Christianized countries, like the U.S., to use the Bible for explaining or instruction in righteousness in public institutions; or, to pray in the name of Jesus;
–being sued and denied a license for a bakery because of being owned and operated by believers in Yeshua;
–not allowing any Jews to enter some Muslim countries; not allowing any evangelism either;
–Israel makes it difficult for evangelical Christians to receive visas, or for Messianic Jews to immigrate;
–Russia just passed a law forbidding any evangelism outside of a recognized church building;
–no spanking of children in some ‘enlightened’ countries, as an overreaction to child abuse;
–not being able to teach Creation in schools, only Evolution: no sovereign, holy, uncreated God; no special uniqueness about this solar system or the Earth; no chosen land or people or city or unique and beloved Son of God;
–humanism, that man is basically good, is the dominant philosophy opposed to the Word of God saying that all are born in sin, and need to be given restrictions and boundaries to live socially, and that people need to be born-again by the Holy Spirit in order to have life.
These are just a few examples out of many, many more. The results and consequences of throwing off the yoke of the true God is to lack the fear of God, to be ignorant, to lack wisdom, to be not only immoral, but amoral, to lack purpose and goals, to be unable to think critically, and to lack discernment between good and evil. By all this, the devil deceives the people much more easily to side with him and his rebellion. If we are deceived, we do not know it, and it requires an intervention by God to bring us to our right senses! Jesus asked the Father to forgive those who crucified Him, because they did not know what they were doing.
This Psalm 2 also tells us that God is actively working so that the people will know what they are doing, and that they must repent while there is time, if they want to be saved from His wrath. (2Cor 6:2; Is 61:1-2)
Though it is written that God laughs at this vain thing being planned, He is not amused: He holds them in derision. (Is 40:15-17) Since the death and resurrection of God’s anointed King, His Son, He is making it known everywhere, and calling all persons to repentance, because He has declared that His Son is going to be King in Zion, and He is the Judge of His people Israel, and of the Gentiles, and will rule over all. (Dan 2:44; Jn 3:14-21; Acts 17:30-31)
Although Jesus is already chosen and anointed to be the King of Israel and of the Nations, He is not yet reigning on David’s throne: He has not yet been accepted by His own people or by the Gentile nations. This is like when God chose David to be King instead of Saul, but David did not actually become the king until after Saul died, and after the people accepted him to be king. Yeshua is now reigning — at the right hand of the Father — over Heaven and Earth, but He is not yet accepted by the whole House of Israel to be their King as Heir to David, according to God’s covenantal promise. (Lk 1:26-33,67-75; 2Sam 7; Mt 23:37-39) Born-again believers already possess eternal life, but it is evident that we have not yet inherited it: it remains a living hope upon a sure promise. (Rom 8:23-25)
The Psalm also informs us that Yeshua/Jesus is the Son of God. The New Testament quotes this verse 7 in the psalm in the context of Yeshua’s resurrection from the dead (Acts 13:33; Rom 1:4): the proof that He is God’s Son, and by that He inherits not only Israel, but all the nations are His, and become accountable to Him. (Is 49:5-6) For this, the gospel is to go out to all peoples and nations, not only for individual salvation, but also for nations to be saved, like Israel and Egypt and Assyria. (Is 19:23-25; Dan 7:13-14) Part of our joy is knowing that we, too, will rule and reign with Messiah when He returns. He promises those in the church that those who overcome will rule the nations with a rod of iron to break the stubbornness of rebellion in the people. (Rev 2:26-27; 3:21; 20:6) This is the inheritance of the saints, in fulfillment of the covenant made with Abraham! (Dan 7:18,25-27; Gen 22:17; Rom 4:13)
David finishes his psalm by warning those who are in rebellion: they need to fear YHVH and to acknowledge His majesty and righteousness. And they must respect and honor God’s Son, for His favor is their salvation. (Rev 6:12-17; 19:15) Even believers in Jesus are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. (Phlp 2:12-13) We should be concerned with offending God, and to recognize our weakness – our “trembling” — that we are wholly dependent upon Him for grace and mercies in our need for help in serving and living for His glory. His faithfulness and strength are our confidence and joy! “Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”
In this psalm we see already the suffering yet triumphant Messiah, Son of God, over His enemies. And we who follow the Lord will also suffer yet be triumphant by our living faith in Him. YHVH is sovereign over all and against all! The schemes of man and devil can not and will not succeed! Repent, and believe the gospel, and be saved from this perverse generation! (Acts 2:40; Rev 3:19-22)
—Pray for those in authority to repent and believe actively, that they be saved. (1Tim 2:1-6)