the Rev. David Freeman
Against the Lord: A Meditation on the Second Psalm
1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision.
5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
The world knows only too well of revolution and rebellion, but it even now is not fully aware that it is in a state of revolt against God. The underlying reason for this is that the mind of man, of and by itself, is at enmity with God (Rom. 8:7).
So it was in David's day. Foes within and without were arrayed against David, who was set up by God to rule His covenant people. This was not an engagement of arms against a mortal man but it was against God.
In opposing and fighting against God's servants, the powers of this world are directing their violence against God. Whatever is done to the people of God is done to Him, for He identifies himself with His people. When they are hurt, He is hurt. In persecuting God's servants the persecutors will deny that they arc fighting against God. Yea, they often think they are doing God a service. Few men openly profess themselves rebels against God. They rather cover their sin by presumptuously boasting that God is on their side. Yet all the while they are determined by righteous or unrighteous means to cast down the kingdom of God. We have witnessed such a spectacle in recent days in the treatment ministers have received at the hands of men who boast of their allegiance to God. Let such men be aware of the righteous judgment of God that hangs over them.
David's kingdom is to be understood as but a shadow of Christ's kingdom, for David was made king in order that he might represent the Redeemer. Thus to be against Christ is to be against God. So the apostles interpreted this psalm, and there is no better commentary upon the import of the words of Scripture than Scripture itself. When the wrath of man was set against the first believers in Jesus, they looked to God in prayer, mindful of the words uttered in this place by David. They saw in the way in which they were treated one of the repeated fulfillments of rebellion against God. It was against the Lord and against His Christ that rulers and men stood up when they opposed the work of the gospel. "For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom tliou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together."
To the children of God, the opposing power of men is often terrifying, but when they take refuge in God, then are they not afraid, for they know that God is meet for all of His enemies. His unchangeable decree should sustain our faith amid the troubling storms of the world. God's plan and purpose cannot be frustrated by the apostasy of men. He is pledged to maintain to the end His Son's kingdom because He is Himself the founder of it.
The enemies of the Lord are left without excuse. They have the witness of God and of His servant against them. In divers ways God has shown himself worthy of obedience. By miracles and mighty works through His Son, and through the ones whom He has sent into the world to proclaim His message God makes known the obedience He requires of men. And even though it be made known by others it ceases not to be Christ's word.
(to be continued)
"Lift Up Your Heart" is a series of devotionals by the late Rev. David Freeman, an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church for most of his life. These devotionals, in fact, are part of the early history of our denomination. The first of them was published in The Presbyterian Guardian in 1935; the denomination now known as the Orthodox Presbyterian Church was officially formed in 1936. We believe that "the Word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8; see 1 Peter 1:25). Thus it is no surprise that meditations based on that Word have continued relevance today. Dr. Freeman's devotionals are proof of that fact.
David Freeman was a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.B., 1928; Th.M. , 1930) and of Dropsie Univiersity (Ph.D., 1951). He served as pastor at Grace (later New Covenant) Presbyterian Church (OPC), Philadelphia, PA (1936-1946), Knox Presbyterian Church (OPC), Philadelphia, PA (1949-1962), and Grace Presbyterian Church (OPC), Fall River, MA (1962-1967). He authored many articles and (along with his son, David H. Freeman) is the author of the book A Philosophical Study of Religion, which appeared in 1964. He went to be with the Lord in 1984.
There is one change from the way the daily devotional was handled in the past with John Skilton's Think On These Things: New devotionals for the new series appear on weekdays only (Monday through Saturday. It is suggested that you use your pastor's sermon text(s) as the basis for your mediations on the Lord's Day.
We trust that you will find these devotionals, once again made available seventy years after they first appeared, to be a personal help in your own Christian walk today!
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