For the past several months God has been drawing me back to Psalm 2. Every time I read it I get frustrated, but I’m also so greatly encouraged by these words. Grab your Bible and look at Psalm 2 with me. Since we’re Precept Students, why not also grab a coloured pencil and mark the nations with me. (I used an orange rectangle.) As we work through this Psalm, I want you to see four things:
1. The human rebellion (Ps. 2:1-3)
See what this Psalm is saying about the nations? These Gentile nations are in an uproar, the people are devising empty plans, and the rulers and kings are taking their stand against God and His Son Jesus Christ.
It’s not hard to realize why God is bringing this Psalm to my attention over and over again. When you read this, are you nodding your head like me, telling yourself, “This is happening right now”? Some might even say that this has been going on for a long time, but the reality is that there are so many who are rebelling against God and His Son—we see it everywhere. Sadly, we see it even in some churches where the people are rebelling against God’s Word. Paul warned Timothy of this rebellion: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but wanting to accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires” (2 Timothy 4:3). It’s very sad to see this happening in our culture. As good students of the Word we know the result of rebellion against God, and the outcome is not good.
2. The divine response to this human rebellion (Ps. 2:4-6)
Do you see what we learn about God in these verses? He sits in heaven and laughs; He scoffs at them. There’s a tremendous “lesson for life” moment in this; God isn’t dismayed by the rebellion of these people and we shouldn’t be either. Why? Because when God speaks to the nations and rulers in His anger, He announces this: “But as for Me I have installed My King Upon Zion My holy Mountain.”
How often I sit in front of the TV or read the news witnessing this nation crumbling around us, and sometimes it takes other countries and their choices to open our eyes even further to rebellion against God. For more than 10 years now we’ve lived new definitions of marriage, seen major government corruption, and as I write this, I’m praying for God to show me who the person is that I should vote for in the election.
This world is full of sin and needs to experience the grace of Jesus Christ, yet people rebel against the Anointed One. The truth is that God isn’t dismayed at this turmoil and vain plotting against Him. He laughs at it because He has already installed His King. God is in complete control over this world, and knowing that, we can rest in that God will fulfil what He promised.
3. God shows His divine rule (Ps. 2:7-9)
God promises to give the nations to Jesus; the very ends of the earth are His possession. The nations will be broken with a rod of iron, and they will be shattered like earthenware. Hebrews 1:1-2 brings this all together for us: “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His son, whom He appointed Heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” This is why we can be encouraged. And yet sometimes we forget this simple truth: Jesus will be coming back to claim this fallen world because it’s not only His creation, it’s His inheritance.
4. The human responsibility (Ps. 2:10-12)
There are five commands in these final two verses: 1) Show discernment, 2) take warning, 3) worship the Lord with reverence, 4) rejoice with trembling, and 5) do homage to the Son. God has shown me in these final verses that the judgement that is promised to the nations in verses 7-9 is not immediate and that there’s time for these nations to turn from their sin. Do you see it?
• The first command is to show discernment. The Hebrew word for discernment is sakal, the same word used in Genesis 3:6, and means “to be wise”. The command is really “wake up and act wisely!”
• The second command to take warning also indicates the idea to wake up because judgment is around the corner; pay attention as this is going to happen.
• The third and fourth have to do with worship and rejoicing. Both of these are a reality check to the nations. Fear the Lord, worship the Creator, and rejoice. Remember God has your life in His hands.
• The final one is great and it is to pay homage to the Son, which means to show allegiance to Jesus Christ. For those who rebel against God and the Anointed, who plot and scheme against them, this is the exact opposite of what they’d want to do. This is repentance of sin and proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord. This is my prayer—is it yours?
I believe with all my heart that God is in control of the world around us. The best part is that I’m a witness to His marvelous work. God is and will continue to use this ministry to reach our nation with the truth of His Word, and I believe that God can even reach the rulers of our nations with His truth.
So what’s our responsibility in all of this?
1. We must pray for our nation and our appointed leaders.
2. We must be obedient in our own lives to the truth of His Word.
3. We must remain faithful to the promises found in Scripture.
4. We must fulfil the Great Commission and disciple others. The only way our nation will change is through God’s Word, and God has chosen to use us in this mission.
5. We must partner together in ministry. As we come closer to the return of Jesus, it will be increasingly difficult to speak and preach truth. When the fiery ordeal comes, who will be in your corner to support you? Know that there are thousands of students and leaders who are walking, praying, and supporting you. All you have to do is reach out to us and let us know how we can support you.
Thank you to all of you who have partnered with us in 2015. We’re anticipating that God will bring even more blessings in 2016, so make sure you stay connected with us as we watch God at work in Canada.
It is through your prayers and God's faithfulness that we are on the verge of expanding the work of Precept like never before in the history of the Ministry. God gave us a vision to reach 30,000 new Canadians with Inductive Bible study. And we can see that it is truly His vision.
Have we met our goal? Not yet. But we are well on our way, and I know God will continue to be faithful as we follow His leading. Thank you for hearing God's call and partnering with us in this incredible opportunity.
Blessed by your partnership,
Mark Sheldrake, National Director