Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Psalms 2:2-4
Ever since people found ways to obtain power and rule others, they've had a rapacious need to break the bonds that constrain them. Once power is attained, all methods, legal or illegal, sophisticated or blunt, are used to destroy or silence the Word of God—the only real challenge to their lusts.
This scripture is so timely, it could have been written now. Yet, it was written thousands of years ago. Many people today see a fast-changing world seemingly run by mega-businesses trying to control free speech and behaviour.
The Lord has watched them all, using their machinations to obtain power, then manipulating that power to get more power. The Bible speaks about these people. They are all the same. Nothing is new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1;9), and the sun had been shining for a few years now. The basics of their ways are identical to those who went before them. Why is that? Because 1 John 2:16 factors overpoweringly in every generation. " For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." The greedy live by these cravings, even passing down their avarice to their progeny and their progeny's progeny after them.
The bands and cords they seek to break and cast away is the righteousness built into the laws and constitutions of nations and the righteous people who stand by them. Once they find ways to modify or circumvent them, they think the world is their pot of gold. However, they haven't factored in the person who made that world, God Almighty.
Our scripture states that these acquisitive people, along with their thoughts and selfish pursuits, are all vain. They all live a wasted life. But we have to abide their cycles of power and greed, which may cause us to feel as if they have beaten God; as if God had lost control, and they will succeed. God never loses control, ever! He allows things to happen for reasons: some are explained in scripture while others aren't.
Why did God include our key scripture in the Bible? To give us great comfort. To let us know that our God is the powerful one who, at His behest, can and will have them flustered and confused in a heartbeat.
How do we know that? He's done the same thing many times. Let's look at Judah's King Hezekiah. Assyrians had them surrounded. They were arrogant conquerors thinking they had all the good cards in their hands. In the twinkling of an eye, God sent them the angel of the Lord. One hundred and eighty thousand were killed overnight without a sword being drawn. None of the powerful saw it coming. Just when they thought their coup was on the cusp of completion, God derided them.
Gideon's 300 confused the plans of the rich and powerful along with their 135,000 warriors. They thought they were unbeatable. They had the numbers and had taken all the territory. Then one night, in a manner completely unforeseen, God released His bewildering turmoil, and the 135,000 shrunk rapidly and ran away defeated.
When we look at the size and power of God's enemies, we can quickly become fearful. But, for this very reason, God hasn't given us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7), and He doesn't want us in fear of the vanity of these types of people.
On the contrary, God calls us to praise and never lose hope in our wonderful, all-conquering, almighty Saviour, despite Him being invisible to the human eye. Faith is in the unseen. I love that. Worldy people cannot see it and therefore don't believe anything is there. We know God is real. We believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. The reason for our hope is written in the Bible, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)
Shield yourselves from the cares of this world as they seek to press down on you, and continue with all your might to purchase that precious treasure at our feet. Consider the person in the Bible who sold everything to gain that treasure, and do likewise. This is our reality.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, I seek to obtain the treasure of which you speak. Help me move my eyes off the vanity of the seemingly powerful to be fixed upon the all-powerful You.
Photo by Matheus Ferrero