Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry,
and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities–
for his anger flares up in an instant.
But what joy for all who take refuge in him!
Psalm 2 celebrates the authority of the Lord and the granting of this
authority to one who is identified as God’s son (2:7). In its original
context, the son of God is the king of Israel. He was God’s son in that
he was anointed, empowered, and authorized by God. The king had a close
relationship with the Lord, as a son with a father, even though the
king was a mere mortal.
closing verses of Psalm 2 call the kings of the earth to honor and
serve the Lord and, by implication, his representative on earth, the
king of Israel. The final verse calls human leaders to “Submit to God’s
royal son” (2:12). The NLT captures the sense of the Hebrew here,
though not its literal meaning. In fact, the original text instructed
the kings to “Kiss the son” (nashequ-bar). In the culture of
the Ancient Near East, the kiss was a sign of submission to an
authority. We see this, for example, in 1 Samuel 10:1, when Samuel
kisses Saul to symbolize Saul’s being appointed as the rule of Israel.
The NRSV translates the beginning of Psalm 2:12 with “kiss his feet,”
since this English phrase uses the word “kiss” with a sense of
As we read Psalm 2 today, our context is quite
different. We no longer have human kings ruling over us. And we have
come to understand that Psalm 2 points ahead to the one who was fully
the Son of God. Thus, when we read verse 12, we hear a call to kiss,
that is, to submit to Jesus, the Son of God. We who lead human
organizations, whether governments, businesses, churches, or families,
will be blessed in our leadership if we submit to the Son of God as a
representative of the whole Trinity. When we offer ourselves and our
leadership to the Lord, when we bow to his superlative sovereignty,
when we seek his ways, when we yearn to honor him in all we do, then we
are guided and empowered to lead in fruitful ways. On the other hand,
if we get too puffed up with our own authority, if we forget to get on
our knees before the Son of God and “kiss” him, if we seek our own
glory, then our leadership will be ultimately fruitless.
the regular discipline of offering myself to the Lord is essential to
my healthy and effective functioning as a leader, whether in my
professional or personal life. When I acknowledge God’s sovereignty
over me, recognizing that I am a steward of that which belongs to God
alone, submitting my plans and dreams to him, then I am in a position
to be blessed in my leadership.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION:
What helps you to submit to the Lord? Where are you a leader? How might
your leadership be enhanced and reshaped if you submitted yourself to
the Lord each day?
PRAYER: King of kings and Lord of
lords, today I am reminded of your preeminent sovereignty over all
things, including me. Psalm 2 calls me to “kiss” you, to acknowledge
your authority by submitting myself to you.
So, in obedience
to your Word, I offer myself to you today. I surrender my agendas so
that I might be devoted to your agenda. I confess my tendency to live
as if I am the king of the universe. I commit myself to your glory and
your ways. Wherever I am a leader, may I be, first and foremost, your
follower, your servant.
I pray in the name of Jesus, the Son of God. Amen.
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This devotional comes from The High Calling of Our Daily Work (www.thehighcalling.org), a wonderful website about work and God. You can read my Daily Reflections there, or sign up to have them sent to your email inbox each day. This website contains lots of encouragement for people who are trying to live out their faith in the workplace.