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  • Pastor Bishop

Blessed are those who take refuge in him

Rebellion against a parent is not logical. Why do kids think they can disobey their parents? It really doesn’t make any sense. I buy my kids presents. I provide for them. I am much bigger than my kids. I am stronger. I can kill them. (Now, before you call child protective services, I am stating this to make a point). I am not going to kill my kids. But I could. It is within my power to do it. It really doesn’t make sense for kids to disobey their parents. Those of you who are parents perhaps have felt this way. “Why don’t they listen? Don’t they know that I am only trying to help? I know what is best for them.” God was right when he attached a promise to the 4th


commandment, “Honor your father and mother that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth” (Ex. 20:12).

I didn’t understand how much wiser my parents were and how much better life went when I was obedient until I was older. But I felt like it was a burden to have to obey. I couldn’t do what I wanted to do. I was confined by the authority of my parents. Why couldn’t I spend all my money on candy? Why couldn’t I stay up or out as late as I wanted?

Rebellion against God doesn’t make sense either. It is illogical. Why does anyone think he can disobey God? God provides for and blesses us. God is stronger. God is bigger. God can kill anyone. It is within his power and right to do distribute consequences for rebellion. Listen to the opening verses of Psalm 2.

1 Why do the nations conspire

and the peoples plot in vain?

2 The kings of the earth take their stand

and the rulers gather together

against the Lord

and against his Anointed One.

3 “Let us break their chains,” they say,

“and throw off their fetters.”

Nations, peoples, kings and rulers all gather in planned rebellion against God. This is a great description of all sinful people. It is the natural human tendency to feel like the rules are like chains. It is like a train complaining because it is only on railroad tracks, as if they were more confining than beneficial. The train would not run correctly or be able to turn without the tracks. We all feel this way at times about God’s commands.

“Why do I have to forgive? It is so much better to hold a grudge and feel miserable.” “Why do I have to live chase until I am married? It is so much better for me to be happy now rather than set up my future marriage for successful intimacy.” “What do you mean I am only to be attracted to my spouse? What’s one little look?” “Why do I have to limit my drinking?” “Why do I have to keep my tongue pure?” “What do you mean speak kindly and be respectful about those on the other political spectrum than me?”

We do this over and over again. We rationalize and buck against God’s law. It is the natural tendency to point this out in others while being blind to my own rebellion. What is God’s reaction to this rebellion?

4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;

the Lord scoffs at them.

5 Then he rebukes them in his anger

and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,

6 “I have installed my King

on Zion, my holy hill.”

He has every right to be angry, like an enraged parent who watches in frustration while the child flounders in his own rebellion. So God will send his king to handle the mess.

7 I will proclaim the decree of the Lord:

He said to me, “You are my Son;

today I have become your Father.

8 Ask of me,

and I will make the nations your inheritance,

the ends of the earth your possession.

9 You will rule them with an iron scepter;

you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

The wrath of the righteous king is condemnation against sinful human beings. It doesn’t make any sense to rebel against God. You know what else doesn’t make sense? What God does in response to our rebellion. He sent his Son to be our king, not to destroy us in our rebellion but to save us.

Of all the psalms, this one is quoted most often in the New Testament. In two places, verse 7 is quoted. One of those two quotations is Paul’s sermon in Acts 13. In that sermon he uses this quote as the declaration that is made at Jesus resurrection. Paul later says, “38 Therefore, let it be known to you, brothers and sisters, that through this man forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you. 39 Everyone who believes is justified through him from everything that you could not be justified from through the law of Moses.” The kingdom of the Messiah is founded upon a decree, an eternal decree, of God the Father. It was not a sudden decision, it was not the trial of an experiment, but the result of the counsels of the divine wisdom and the determinations of the divine will. This decree cannot be altered. It is a covenant or compact between the Father and the Son concerning man’s redemption, represented by the covenant of royalty made with David and his seed. This our Lord Jesus often referred to as that which, all along in his undertaking, he governed himself by, “This is the will of him that sent me” (Jn. 6:40). “This commandment have I received of my Father” (Jn. 10:18; 14:31).

So the Psalm closes with good advice and comfort.

10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;

be warned, you rulers of the earth.

11 Serve the Lord with fear

and rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry

and you be destroyed in your way,

for his wrath can flare up in a moment.

Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Take the warnings of God like from a wise parent. Life is much better when you obey. Like I plead with my children, “Please listen to me and just obey. It will be much better for you.” I hate to discipline because I love my children but I know it is what they need. Thank God that he cares enough for me to confront me in my rebellion and restore me with his forgiveness.

Above all, know this. There is nothing that you can do that can ever take you away from the love of the Father. I love my dad because he was firm but I knew he loved me and I could trust him. When you sin, take refuge in God because you are redeemed. Your sins are gone. You are blessed.

Amen.

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