He Rules, He Breaks

“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, saying,
‘Let us burst their bonds apart
    and cast away their cords from us.’

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.’

I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, ‘You are my Son;
    today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
    and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
    and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.’

Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
    be warned, O rulers 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,
    for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” Psalm 2

Quiet rage begets sinister plots, and insidiously, kings of earth set themselves against the Almighty. Drunk on pride and power, they scoff at God and lead people astray with every sort of immorality and greed. Eager to be their own Master, they are enslaved to idolatry of things both evil and good, and lead the nations to worship the same. Foundations are destroyed, and foolish man, riddled with self importance, no longer reveres, or even recognizes, the truth or power of God. Blinded and wayward, as Friedrich Nietzsche would describe, they “stray, as through infinite nothingness.” (Psalm 11:3-5; Matthew 22:29)

But in fact, God reigns as King on and from His holy hill, and looks down on the kings of man in derision. They who huff and bristle are doomed to face His fury, yet in mercy He calls them to account. He breaks the pride and plans of man, and offers both warning and promise if they would humbly avoid His just wrath. He invites them in for refuge from perishing, to serve and fear and rejoice in Him. He hears their earnest, needful cry. What grace! What wondrous love! One day they will bow and confess Him as Lord, and He gives them the option of tremble or praise. (Psalm 3:4; Philippians 2:8-11)

Are there ways, and areas of my personal life, where I shrug off my Maker to avoid His influence or escape His control? Do I behave like a spiritual adolescent, asserting my will against His, insisting I’m sufficiently smart and able? Do I really think the collective counsel of the spiritually ignorant is superior to the wisdom of God? Would I instead heed His warnings and the Spirit’s conviction against rebellion and idolatry?

Being broken by God is a gift when it leads to glad submission to His Sovereign rule. When we take refuge in Him who was broken for us to take the wrath we deserved, we are blessed forever. (Genesis 32:22-31; Psalm 51:17; 1 Corinthians 11:24)

Gracious King, help me welcome Your breaking of my will and heart to make them wholly Yours.

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