A wise friend once told me, “If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans.” I can imagine that is a splendid sound – God’s laughter.
Psalm 2 opens in the description of quite the hostile nation. The author, ascribed to be David in Acts 4, openly questions the futile efforts of the rulers. We see that this nation is all puffed up and feeling powerful as they are plotting and planning. This is the face of a people who are seeking freedom.
I recently saw Les Miserables, not once, but twice. Amidst all the heart-wrenching romance, I was surprised that the scene that brought me to tears wasn’t poor Éponine singing of lost love in the rain, but the ballad of the young boys giving their lives for freedom. Twice. Emotionally, I had joined the struggle of these boys, wanting them so badly to find the freedom they were fighting for. I watched as they stood up to a great nation of France, longing to be free. Freedom, a powerful gift to be acquired.
But what is the nation in Psalm 2 seeking freedom from? The Lord.
We all serve someone or something. It is a desire built into us to please and serve a master – the Master. But we perverse that with a longing to serve other masters (money, fame, pleasure). The problem, as seen in Matthew 6:24 is, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” So we have a choice – serve God or serve the world.
Don’t be deceived, a life serving the world is not a life of freedom. As a fish out of the water or a tree out of the soil is closer to death than freedom, likewise we are helpless when outside the life God calls us to. Let’s be clear: the only way to freedom is through God.
But in verse 4, we see God’s response: laughter. I don’t believe this is a cruel, maniacal laugh. I can imagine the gentle, almost sorrowful laugh of a father watching their child’s fruitless efforts to overpower them in strength or might. Just as a father knows the limitation of his own child, our Father knows our limitations. We cannot overpower the Omnipotent.
So David offers us some advice. He calls us to be wise and serve the Lord with a righteous fear. He tells us to “kiss the Son” (v. 12), a beautiful, symbolic gesture, meaning to fully surrender yourself to Him. The lyrics of a favorite song by Jeremy Riddle, Sweetly Broken, come to mind:
At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees, and I am
Lost for words, so lost in love,
I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered.
How are you, like the nation of Psalm 2, trying to break away from God for freedom? What things are you fighting to hold on to? Beloved, it is never easy to surrender, but a life in Him is the only life of freedom.
Father God, You are omnipotent. You are the creator of all power, with the right to give it and take it away. Help me to recognize areas in my life where I am fighting You for power. Help me to be sweetly broken, wholly surrendered. Open my ears to Your laughter. Help me to serve You all my days and live a life of freedom. Father, it is only in You that we live and move and have our being. In Your mighty name, Amen.