God’s personal pick for king
Warning to foreign kings1 What’s with this international rage?
Why all this useless plotting?
2 World leaders brace for a fight.
They meet to draft bloody war plans.
They plan to fight the LORD’s choice for king.
3 They say, “Let’s rip off these ropes that tie us down
And toss them into the air!”
4 Heaven mocks these leaders.
The LORD laughs at their ridiculous plans.
5 Then he’ll speak in anger.
He’ll fill them with terror when he says:
6 I myself have chosen the king. I installed him.
I set him on Zion’s throne, on Jerusalem’s holy hill.”
LORD: “You are my son”7 Here’s what the LORD then told me.
This was his official decree:
“You are my son.
Today, I brought you to life.
8 Ask me to give you the nations.
I’ll give you every nation on earth.
9 You’ll smash them, swinging your iron hammer.
You’ll crush them like they’re only cracked pots.”
10 So, a word to you kings: be smart.
Listen up. Take this warning to heart.
11 Respect the LORD and do what he asks.
If you don’t, be afraid.
12 Respect and obey his son, as well.
If you don’t, you’ll end up dead.
The LORD can get angry fast.
But he’s a blessing to those who trust him.
“Choice” is literally translated “anointed.” In the original language of Hebrew, the word is messiah. Many Christians see this as a foreshadowing of Jesus the Messiah a thousand years before he came to earth. But to the readers in King David’s day, the word simply meant their king. Israel’s kings were presented to the nation as God’s chosen leader, literally God’s anointed one. The ritual of crowning someone king involved an anointing—pouring olive oil over the ruler’s head. Samuel anointed young David as Israel’s king (1 Samuel 16:12-13). The ritual sounds messy, but the olive oil would have felt refreshing poured onto someone who had been traveling in ancient Middle Eastern heat.
“Zion” is a term of endearment, and another name for Jerusalem. It’s a bit like “The Big Apple” for New York City, “The City of Love” for Paris, and “Sin City” for Las Vegas, though some wouldn’t call that a term of endearment.
More literally, as many scholars would prefer to say it, “today I have begotten you.” In the agreement (covenant) God made with Israel, the Jewish people were to obey God just as a child would obey their father. And God was to respond by protecting them the way a father would protect his children. The Jews were God’s children. That relationship included the king, a unique son, uniquely chosen to lead the Chosen Nation. The prophet Nathan told David what God had said about him: “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me” (2 Samuel 7:14 New American Standard Bible). Many Christians say they see Jesus foreshadowed in this statement, too (Luke 3:22; Acts 13:33).
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