I am celebrating my 9th anniversary with my lovely wife Esther today (we were married July 27, 2002). My sister Katelyn has been gracious enough to write a guest response to the study on Psalm 2. Katelyn will be a senior this year at the Association Free Lutheran Bible School. She is the Sunday writer at the Grounded 3:17 blog.
I have been immensely blessed by this Bible study already, as I’ve always loved the psalms, but many of them go over my head. I think the part that has challenged me the most throughout this psalm is seen in “The Problems of Persecution”—Psalm 2:1-3. Jason went through and spoke of how there are two things we need to do as believers: dividing the word of truth and preparing for persecution. Even as a Bible-believing, Bible school-attending follower of Christ, I often have a hard time differentiating between the Law and the Gospel. Jason writes, “We make sure that the law stays the law and the gospel remains the gospel. That means that anything God requires us to do falls in the law department. All of that is designed first and foremost to show us our sins and failures. Anything that God has done for us and promises to us because of Jesus Christ is the gospel. This ensures that the gospel continues to be a “free gift”, and not something we have to pay for or earn.”
Growing up as a fairly well behaved kid (save a few years while I enjoyed tormenting my parents and siblings while I was very young), I’ve always had a hard time accepting this. I thought that I was good enough for heaven for a long time because I was “good” in the eyes of the world—which made me strive even harder to be good enough in God’s eyes. I learned a lot about this while attending the Bible school my junior year, but still have much to learn before I can truly grasp that the Gospel and ultimately, salvation, is a free gift that I cannot earn by anything that I could ever muster up for God. All of my good works are seen as “filthy rags” to God if I’m offering them as a payment for my salvation.
I was encouraged by verses 11 and 12 of this psalm, which read, “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.” Jason noted that the words “serve the Lord with fear” are not seen as a command from the law, but that which would naturally flow out of a loving heart for the Lord. It’s not something I need to do for my salvation—as we’ve already seen, I cannot do anything in my own strength to obtain a perfect standing before our Holy God—but something that I get to do out of respect that I have for my loving and caring Father.
The end of this psalm is truly amazing—“Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.” To be blessed is to be “divinely or supremely favored”. How incredible is that? To be supremely favored by the One, True God! Can you imagine what that means? I cannot fathom how a perfect, Holy God would choose to favor a lowly sinner like myself, but He does. And He chooses to do so by granting us eternal life in His name—eternal life to spend forever in His presence. I honestly cannot think of a better way to be favored, so I will join my brother in saying…Hallelujah!