Nations in Tumult
4. How would you summarize the main points of Psalm 2:1, 2?
4 Referring to the actions of the nations and their rulers, the psalmist begins his composition by singing: “Why have the nations been in tumult and the national groups themselves kept muttering an empty thing? The kings of earth take their stand and high officials themselves have massed together as one against Jehovah and against his anointed one.”—Psalm 2:1, 2.*
5, 6. The national groups have “kept muttering” what “empty thing”?
5 What “empty thing” have the present-day national groups “kept muttering”? Instead of accepting God’s Anointed One—the Messiah, or Christ—the nations have “kept muttering,” or meditating on, the perpetuation of their own authority. These words of the second psalm also had an application in the first century C.E. when Jewish and Roman authorities worked together to kill God’s King-Designate, Jesus Christ. However, the major fulfillment began in 1914 when Jesus was installed as heavenly King. Since then, not one political entity on earth has acknowledged God’s enthroned King.
6 What was meant when the psalmist asked ‘why national groups were muttering an empty thing’? It is their purpose that is empty; it is futile and doomed to failure. They cannot bring peace and harmony to this globe. Yet, they carry their actions so far as to oppose divine rulership. In fact, they have unitedly taken a belligerent stand and massed themselves together against the Most High and his Anointed One. What folly!
Jehovah’s Triumphant King
7. In prayer, how did Jesus’ early followers apply Psalm 2:1, 2?
7 Jesus’ followers applied the words of Psalm 2:1, 2 to him. Persecuted for their faith, they prayed: “Sovereign Lord [Jehovah], you are the One who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all the things in them, and who through holy spirit said by the mouth of our forefather David, your servant, ‘Why did nations become tumultuous and peoples meditate upon empty things? The kings of the earth took their stand and the rulers massed together as one against Jehovah and against his anointed one.’ Even so, both Herod [Antipas] and Pontius Pilate with men of nations and with peoples of Israel were in actuality gathered together in this city against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.” (Acts 4:24-27; Luke 23:1-12)* Yes, there was a conspiracy against God’s anointed servant Jesus in the first century. However, this psalm would have another fulfillment centuries later.
8. How does Psalm 2:3 apply to present-day nations?
8 When ancient Israel had a human king, such as David, pagan nations and rulers gathered together against God and his enthroned anointed one. But what about our time? Present-day nations do not want to comply with the requirements of Jehovah and the Messiah.
Initially, King David was the “anointed one,” and “the kings of earth” were Philistine rulers who massed their armies against him.