I would like to talk with you today about Today’s News from God’s Perspective.
From our earthly perspective, from our human perspective, today’s news is— well, what would you call it?
Bad? Grim? Evil? Ridiculous? Frightening? Angering? Insane?
It is all of these things, and more.
The Bible warns us that in the last days, perilous times will come. We live in perilous times.
Perilous times politically. Perilous times medically. Perilous times economically.Perilous times academically.
Perilous times for relationships, for emotional health, for marriages — divorces are up 30% since the lockdown began.
Depression, suicide, abuse… everything is dramatically up. It’s painful to see.
Times are perilous for the elderly, aged, infirm, and the unborn.
Times are perilous for Christians all around the world — there has never been more persecution of Christians globally than there is today.
These are perilous times for precious values like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Truer words were never spoken that “in the last days, perilous times will come” (2 Timothy 3:1).
We are living through what I call the Days of Satan’s Rage.
The powers of darkness are having their way in the halls of earthly power. Government. Media. Academia. Entertainment. Arts. Sadly, even in the Church.
The powers of darkness are having their way on the streets of America’s great cities. The devil’s acid spit is corroding everything we hear and see.
It is brother against brother and sister against sister and we are more polarized than ever before in our lifetimes.
The very foundations are crumbling.
We are trading truth for lies, and have not grown in the Lord enough to tell the difference.
We are trading security for liberty, and in the end will have neither.
This fallen world is a morally broken Pain Machine, and the Pain Machine is red-lining at 100,000 rpm.
Meanwhile normal people who just want to make a decent living, who just want to grill some steaks and enjoy their families and friends — everyday Christians who pray to live what the Bible calls a “quiet and peaceable life…” — we are facing stress, and pressure, and confusion, and sadness, and loss like never before.
In back rooms, and halls of power, in elite circles of finance and philosophy, among moguls of media and arts, and sciences, God is mocked.
In the church, theology is distorted.
In the world society is fractured, and morality swirls down the drain, much to our Dark Overlord’s delight.
And we have to ask, What is God doing when he sees this? What is he thinking?
What does all of today’s news look like from God’s perspective?
If we could climb aboard God’s angelic chariots of fire, if we could fly to heaven for five minutes, and there observe the throne of God, and our Savior seated, and the angels flying… What… would… we… see?
We have an answer.
The Second Psalm
Why do the nations rage, And the people plot 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 bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.” (Psalm 2:1-3)
So this second psalm opens with moral backstory behind earthly society’s inevitably coming collapse.
Please don’t miss the incredible insight offered here.
Why do the nations rage? Why do the people plot a vain thing?
When you boil it down, the reason is always one and the same thing.
1. The unbelieving world egotistically trashes the rightful rule and reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Today’s headlines tell the dangerous tale of a foolhardy and doomed tug of war over power. Power over society. Power over earth. Power over your life. The power to rule, and to reign, and to govern.
The Psalmist talks about the kings of the earth. These are those who hold the reins of power. The Psalmist says that they take counsel together, meaning they conspire together, literally, they have banded themselves together.
Who are these people?
They are power-brokers scattered throughout every level of every institution of power in our culture and in our world.
They have one goal: to throw off the rule of God and of his Anointed. Anointed is the English translation of the Hebrew word for the Messiah. And the Greek equivalent is Christ. So these three are the same… Anointed, Messiah, Christ.
The rejection of Christ is nothing new. A thousand years before Christ came, King David saw it in his day. And he saw our day coming too.
To cast aside the Anointed One is to not only disrespect God, but to spit on gospel, and to sneer at the Cross of Christ.
The powers of earth are rebelling against the Authority of heaven, and this is right out in the open.
The philosophies of the world hate God. The nations rage against him, roaring like the sea, like the ocean in a storm.
I would call this insanity if it weren’t so evil.
There is nothing more irrational than sin.
They say, “Let us break their bonds in pieces.”
Whatever restraints God puts in place, they decide to shatter.
Whatever laws God has decreed, they decide to break.
The spirit of the age always runs the same script, We will be our own gods, and our religion will be anarchy.
But here’s the painful irony of all this. They slander the laws of God.
The laws of God give life. The laws of God give hope. The laws of God are laws of love.
Why would anybody want to cast off those laws, and look for a substitute?
You will never find a better God than Jesus, and you will never find better laws than his.
Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
That’s my Savior. That’s his law. Why rebel against that?
Yet they take these very laws of God and of nature, and through verbal sorcery of high sounding words and incoherent logic, redefine these loving laws from the heart of God as narrow, and intolerant, and bigoted, and evil. Their condemnation is just.
Every day, you swim in an ocean of rebels against the authority of God. How does that feel? How is that going for you?
So, now it’s time to fly to heaven. Now it’s time to see the throne of God in heaven in a time of the devil’s rage on earth.
Is God worrying? Is God wringing his hands? Is God scrambling to try to fix this mess?
Does he feel threatened to the slightest degree?
He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The LORD shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.” (Psalm 2:4-6)
Take all the powers of all the earth and put them together. Take all the armies, take all the weapons, take all the spies, and all the assets, and all the strength of earth… set it all against God, arrayed for battle…
HE WHO SITS IN THE HEAVENS SHALL LAUGH…
Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless. Scarcely shall they be planted, Scarcely shall they be sown, Scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth, When He will also blow on them, And they will wither, And the whirlwind will take them away like stubble. “To whom then will you liken Me, Or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the LORD, And my just claim is passed over by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. (Isaiah 40:21-28)
God isn’t worried. God isn’t dismayed. God isn’t having a bad day.
The most formidable foe you can imagine is a speck of dust to God.
God is never threatened. His peace is never interrupted, and his joy never fails. He is not taken by surprise.
And he does not walk back a single syllable of his law or his Word.
When these foolish rebels shake their fist in his face, God laughs. They are toddlers to him, and far less.
God is styled here, as “he who sits in the heavens…” His glory cannot be contained, much less imagined by the human heart. By contrast, these rulers of earth, these elites, these “Brights” who know so much are infants, strapped in a high chair, throwing a tantrum.
Do not fear them. God doesn’t. God laughs at them.
He holds them in derision, meaning he makes fun of them.
2. God is saying to you, Do not fear, Christian. If I can laugh at these self-important enemies of truth, so you can you.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. (Galatians 6:7, 8)
The wrath of God is as much a part of his character as the love of God. To anyone who would mock God, God mocks better.
We are warned that people are actually “storing up wrath” for themselves in the day of judgment.
So the Psalmist turns from laughter to speaking, and his speech is nothing the world-spirit is humble enough to hear. “He shall speak to them in his wrath, and distress them in his deep displeasure.”
The sad part is that all this is so unnecessary. Salvation by grace through faith is offered. There is hope. That’s coming up…
That hope starts with the fact that nothing can stop the plan of God.
Yet I have set my king on the holy hill of Zion.
No matter the opposition, no matter the skepticism, no matter the antagonism, Jesus Christ has been set by the Father upon his cosmic throne. That is the core reality of everything.
That fact is a giant poke in the eye to the spirit of the age. That is the devil’s envy, and that is the devil’s rage.
“I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’” (Psalm 2:7-9)
The devil wanted that throne. He still wants it. But…
3. God has set his divine Son on the throne and that is the single most important fact the world can ever know.
A thousand years before the virgin birth of Christ, the Psalmist was speaking of God’s only begotten Son.
God was promising this Royal Son a redeemed people from the nations, and the ends of the earth… from every tongue and tribe and nation.
Every destiny hinges on him.
Every eternal destiny hinges on him. What have you done with Jesus?
Satan is spitting mad. Satan’s declared intention has always been to exalt his own throne to be equal with God (Isaiah 14:14).
And yet now he sees this flesh and blood human-divine Person — this One whose once-broken body bears the scars of an ignominious and unjust death, this One who has always been the apple of the Father’s eye — has now been elevated to the throne of the Cosmos. The devil sees this, the devil hates this, and so Satan’s rage will never end.
And the devil has convinced the whole world-system to go with him in this.
The world hates an enthroned Jesus, even if they don’t call him by name.
And do not miss what is happening here in this verse. God the Father is talking to God the Son. The Father is elevating him, and blessing him.
This is a case in the Bible of a holy conversation within the Godhead itself.
I remember a while back, someone asked a question on social media. They wanted Christians to share what they thought was the most objectionable verse in the Bible to non-Christians.
What verse offended non-Christians the most?
The answers were all over the map.
People posted verses about God commanding genocide. Others posted verses about slavery.
Verses about Jesus being the one and only way. Verses about hell, and the lake of fire.
All these Christians were reciting a litany of objections to the gospel and the message of the Lord Jesus.
I’m sure you’ve heard these objections. You’ve faced them. And they can be so confusing…
By the way, all of this will be part of our upcoming apologetics event in October.
Anyway I jumped in to this thread. I said that all of them had missed the most objectionable verse in all of Scripture. Here it is:
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, (Philippians 2:10)
They will not willingly bow the knee to Jesus.
To the carnal mind, that’s the single worst verse in the Bible. Never forget it.
At the end of the day, everything else is a smoke screen for a refusal to yield to King Jesus.
Jesus told a parable in which a Master sent a messenger to run his fields. But the people hated the messenger, and sent a delegation back to the Master to say, “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14).
They’re still saying that today.
Every deviancy, every departure from the clear Word of God, every defiance of the rule and reign of God, every snubbing of the Ten Commandments, is, in effect, a person or a society or a culture or a university or a government or a group that not only defies God, but also triggers their own self-destruct sequence.
You might have heard this somewhere….
Nobody can break God’s laws. You can only break yourself against God’s laws.
Welcome to 2020 America.
King David warns, they will be dashed to pieces… and their ruin is irresistible, irretrievable, and completely unnecessary.
It is unnecessary because it is avoidable.
Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. (Psalm 2:10-12)
God is unperturbed by the craziness in our world. Heaven is not on high alert.
But God does have a message to this world — to you and me to everyone.
A message to officials, to judges, to rioters, to thugs, to professors, and philosophers, and candidates and office holders and inspectors, and every official.
He has a message to mothers and fathers and pastors and popes and to you and me and everybody with authority perceived or real.
He has a message to anyone, anywhere, who exercises dominion and free will.
Simply put, God’s message is WISE UP. Come to your senses. Take off your blinders. End your irrational race toward the bottomless pit of godlessness and wrath.
Wise up to reality.
- You cannot change God.
- You cannot redefine reality.
- You cannot fulfill your delusional power grab.
- You cannot find satisfaction violating God’s laws.
- You cannot avoid the pain of bashing yourself against truth.
- You cannot usurp the place of God and win.
- The human heart can’t live like this. You can’t thrive like this.
- Your conscience will trouble you.
- You will not lie your head on your pillow at night in peace.
- You will not feel whole, will not feel satisfied, will not fulfill your destiny or dreams.
Your heart will grow hard. Your conscience will grow cold. Your moral commitments will be compromised. Your boundaries will be fractured.
This is your own doing if you or me or anybody stays chooses the rebel path against Christ.
Your heart will be hardened, and then broken, and then frozen.
Kiss the Son, meaning blow before him and kiss his ring, so to speak, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way.
When I am talking to anyone who is living and thinking a way God says not to live and think…
I make an assumption about them, and I think it’s the safest assumption in the world.
I assume that when a person fights God’s truth, the consequence is always a level of PAIN,
I know their joy is tempered no matter what they say.
No one who disrespects the throne of God can truly experience the joy of God.
So David says “rejoice with trembling.” He saying that
5. The only place to find the heartfelt joy you were created for is to find your joy tucked inside of a healthy respect for God.
As Christians, we believe that anything else is a disappointment in the making.
It is a way of death. It’s a way unto death.
They will “perish in the way.”
But the way of God is the way of abundance, the way of peace, the way of joy, the way of life, and the way of blessing.
Kiss the Son, meaning embrace him, find him, choose him. The kind of kiss here is like kissing the king’s ring, nothing else.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in him.
In the first section of this psalm, you see the joy of God, even over his enemies.
In the last section, you see the joy of God’s people, as they find and follow the Savior.
The contrast could not be greater.
As we climb back on the chariots of fire, and fly back to our normal lives on earth, here’s the big takeaway I’d like to leave with you.
We have flown up to heaven, and seen that God is not freaking out. We have seen that our joy is found in walking with him, growing mature in the Lord by following the Grace Pathway.
Today’s headlines do not determine the atmosphere of heaven.
When we fly back down to earth, here’s the question:
Does the Psalm tell us that the headlines have changed? No.
From the beginning of the psalm to the end of the psalm…
The nations are still raging…
The people are still hallucinating vain things…
The rulers of the earth are still conspiring… arrogantly plotting to abuse their power, and shackle their people to idols, and deception, and the snare of the devil.
The whole cosmos, with its postmodern philosophies, drunk on the devil’s lies — this old world-system is still casting off the laws of God. It is racing headlong toward the abyss.
Nothing has changed.
The same headlines, telling the same stories of the devil’s rage.
So here’s the follow up question:
Is your inner world — your love, your joy, your peace — is your inner world more dependent on the situation around you, or on the situation above you, in heaven, where the joy of the Lord never fails?
There’s a reason we end all our services by saying “the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
That fact is the one rock solid, unmoving reality in a stormy world where nothing is really as it seems.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in him.