Daily Thought for: 9th February

ANOINTED

Psalm 2. 1-6

In seeing Psalm 2 as Messianic, Christian scholars are following the early Jewish rabbis. The term ‘anointed’ in verse 2 is, of course, the same as ‘Messiah’, which translates into New Testament Greek as ‘Christ’. The idea of the Lord’s ‘anointed’ is widespread in the Old Testament. Features of those so described are helpfully summarised by J. A. Motyer as: ‘God’s chosen, used in redemption of God’s people and punishment of His foes, holding dominion over the nations, and acting in a role in which Jehovah is the real agent’.

Understandably, scholars who seek for a historical person and setting for this anointed one find serious difficulty. His person, as described in the psalm, towers over all candidates for the title. We must go to Acts chapter 4 and the prayer of a group of early Christians for the ultimate meaning. They were threatened by the Jerusalem authorities for preaching that Jesus was the Messiah, risen from the dead. In verses 24-30 of Acts 4 they prayed to God, the sovereign Lord of all. They quoted verses 1 and 2 of this psalm, seeing them fulfilled as men in political power had opposed God’s ‘holy Servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint’, v. 27, RV. The unity of the diverse political figures against the Lord Jesus is most significant. His supreme greatness and goodness give various people reasons to resent His claims and His person. The chief corner stone will fit in only one place, that of absolute supremacy.

Yet their unity was in vain, for God, in effect, laughed at their efforts. When they thought they were putting an end to Christ’s power they were merely, as the Christians prayed, bringing about ‘whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done’, v. 28.

The psalmist David has God speaking in verse 6 of His King enthroned on His holy hill of Zion. Prophets and priests were also anointed, but here the anointed one is King, God’s King. Human rebellion merely accentuates the gulf between puny, rebellious men and the almighty sovereign Lord. It never achieves what the rebels planned. It is a ‘vain thing’ which they conspire to achieve, for it is God who enthrones His King.

 

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