Culture

World Conflict, Christ’s Kingship

Lucas Champ

The world we live in is filled with nations in near-constant conflict to establish their own rule, reign, and empire over the hearts and minds of mankind. The reality of kingdoms raging against each other for the benefit and advancement of their own glory has been the rule for millennia. Words would fail us if we were to intricately examine the powers of the world that existed and vied for total dominion. To tell of the Egyptian Dynasty, the Persian Empire, the Babylonian Empire under Nebuchadnezzar, the power of Rome, Greece, France, China, England, and their dynasties. To describe the might of Germany, Russia, Japan, and the crushing force of the United States of America.

For the whole of human history, nation has raged against nation (Mat. 26:6).

The Edge of Global Conflict

Painting in broad strokes, we can imagine the height of many of these empires, and we remember prominent rulers – the Pharaohs of Egypt, Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Julius Caesar, and so many others. Scripture tells us that each of these rulers was set up by the Ruler of the universe (Dan. 2:21). They were powerful men, dominant in their fields, and supreme during their heights of power. Whether we are speaking about global domination or the smaller international conflicts that rage throughout the world every year, the human experience is fraught with men and their nations seeking to overthrow their enemies. In our day, we have just received yet another glimpse into this conflict as Israel and Palestine have once again entered into war, and the watching world teeters on the proverbial edge of global conflict once again.

Grounded in Scripture

In times like these, it’s prudent for us who do not know all the intricate facts of the situation to step back and regain our focus by grounding our understanding of such world events within a biblical framework. Without Scripture to undergird our assumptions and interpretations of the world around us, we’ll simply be left mimicking the latest talking heads and repeating the propaganda they’ve been instructed to disseminate to us. In contrast, God’s Word transcends time and is applicable to any situation without being bound and muddied by historical or present-day realities. It is clear, concise, and able to help the believer discern the times so that they know what to do in them (1 Chr. 12:32; 2 Tim. 3:16).

Believe it or not, you don’t need an extensive background in Middle Eastern military history to understand the most important points of the current conflict. In fact, all you need is a Bible turned to Psalm 2.

The Rebellious Rage of the Nations

Psalm 2 begins with the principal question regarding the nations and their conflict; “Why do the nations rage?” (Ps. 2:1). Again, this is the pattern of world history. Nations are constantly raging, and this is clearly seen in the steady stream of vitriol and hatred exchanged by Palestine and Israel in recent weeks. Nations that are not governed according to the laws of God and for the glory of Christ are continually devising and scheming their own advancement. While nations are commonly seen as taking a stand against one another, in an ultimate sense they are taking their stand against the Lord (vs. 2). They have no interest in ruling according to His Word and so they are in constant rebellion against Him and His precepts.

For example, Canada and the US – two nations founded on biblical principles – are doing all they can to eradicate any recognition of God from public and even private life. This parallels biblical history as Israel constantly departed from the loving restriction of God’s Law in order to pursue their wickedness (Jer. 5:5; Hos. 11:4). Because of their desire to cast away the rules of the Lord, these nations have been and will be judged. In a less explicit sense, the nations from history past, down to this very day, cast off the cords of the Lord by constantly denying His existence and refusing to rule by the law of God that is written on their hearts and in their conscience (Rom. 2:14-16). A small microcosm of this is the current battle between Israel and Palestine. Neither nation bows to Christ, and each would refuse to be governed by anyone but themselves. They each pursue their own advancement in this world.

The Lord’s Righteous Reaction

In response to the rebellion of the nations, the Lord sits unbothered, in the heavens, and scoffs at them (vs. 4). He is the one who turns the hearts of kings (Pro. 21:1), and so before Him their desperate machinations are nothing but a fool’s errand (vs. 5). To those who attempt to dominate and rule of the world, He terrifies by declaring that He has installed His Son as “Lord of kings” (vs. 6). Perhaps no greater display of this power was seen than when the Lord brought the great Egyptian Dynasty to its knees to free His people (Exo. 7:5, 14:31). Any nation that does not repent as a people and collectively believe in the true God will be decimated by His power (Jonah. 3:4-10).

The Revelation of the King

As we continue in Psalm 2, we come to verses 7-9 wherein the Lord reveals to the nations the reality of Christ’s Kingship. The Lord has begotten a Son, who has come to earth and earned the praise of the nations for His faithful obedience (Php. 2:9-11; 1 Cor. 15:27). He did what the first Adam failed to do (Rom. 5:18-19) and burst from the bonds of death in a display of magnificent victory (Eph. 1:19-23). The nations, says the Father, are His possession (Ps. 2:8), upon which He will tread and break with a rod of iron (vs. 9). No nation will escape being subjected to Christ. In the end, they will all bring tribute to Him (Zec. 14:9), and worship Him, and if they do not, they will be utterly crushed.

“Blessed are all who take refuge in Him”

Psalm 2 gives us precise instructions on how the nations should respond to Christ’s rule. They must “take heed and worship the Son,” or they will be destroyed by His righteous anger (vs. 10-11). There is no other option. If a nation does not do this, it will be judged by Christ Himself, and the judgment will be severe (Dan. 4). 

So how should we view the conflict between Israel and Palestine in light of Psalm 2? First, we can recognize that neither nation currently recognizes Christ as Lord. While they may be in intense conflict with each other, they have a greater enemy: Christ. Unless there is repentance, the nations risk not only physical death and mayhem, but the eternal separation of their citizens from the only King who has the power not only to spare their nations, but also save souls. The only hope for any nation, and the people who dwell therein, is to turn to the Son: “How blessed are all who take refuge in Him” (vs. 12).

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