“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed . . . . He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then 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’” (Psalm 2:1-2, 4-6 NEV).
Nepal has a new constitution which contains language about religion that has concerned some. Though it proclaims freedom of religion for the population, it also states that the ancient traditions and culture of Nepal will be protected. Some believe that phrase will permit preferential treatment for the majority religion and possibly lead to persecution of Christianity and other minority faiths.
I discussed this issue with Christian leaders in Nepal recently and they noted the possibilities of abuse, but were relatively unconcerned, believing that God will provide for his people. One stated calmly and simply, “We will keep on doing what we have been doing.” By that he meant worshipping God faithfully and preaching the Gospel
Psalm 2 is both a Royal psalm and a Messianic prophecy. The anointed one in verse 2 and the king in verse 6 are the same person and office. The psalmist is confident that as long as Israel is truly God’s people they will have nothing to fear from other nations. God laughs at the pretensions and plots of mere humans.
Yet, though we recognize the application of the psalm to historic Israel and her kings, it is also clear that the same confidence is expressed in Jesus and his ultimate eternal reign. Jesus was the true “Anointed One” (Messiah); the final and eternal King who would sit on David’s throne. This psalm is quoted and applied to him in Acts 4:23-29. No power on earth is capable of hindering God’s plan for saving mankind. No earthly ruler will ever defeat Jesus the Messiah.
The apostles noted that Herod, Pilate and the Jewish religious leaders conspired to put Jesus to death and prevent the coming of his Kingdom. Yet even though they put him to death, they failed in their purpose. Paradoxically, what they thought was success was abject and total failure. They were mere tools in the hands of an all-powerful God who through them brought his purpose to fulfillment. Once again, heaven was laughing.
It is imperative for our faith and courage that we remember this vital principle. Man is helpless in the face of God’s eternal purpose. We can plan, plot, conspire and devise all manner of evils. But God’s will is sovereign and it will be done. We can have confidence in Him.