Reflections on Psalm 2 in light of world chaos
So what is God doing as He sees tensions rising between North Korea and the United States? What is He doing as He sights extremist groups continually plague the Middle East? What is He doing as He observes the political grappling between Russia and Ukraine, between China and Taiwan?
As He watches political world powers contend for supremacy, what is God doing? Psalm 2:4 gives the answer.
He is laughing.
“He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them.” Psalm 2:4, New American Standard Bible. How’s that for your latest CNN headline.
And in this laughing, I happen to find great comfort.
I’m naturally terrified of war. Perhaps it’s because I’m already a more nervous person to begin with. Perhaps it’s because I grew up listening to the stories my grandparents shared of how they had to hide in underground trenches during World War II during the invasion of the Philippines. Perhaps it’s because I took it upon myself to study about the Holocaust when I was all of eleven years old, and realized how human atrocity can rear its ugliest head in the blink of an eye, and that no people group is ever safe, and that no nation is immune from inhumane philosophy spreading amongst its masses. Perhaps it’s because I’m a student of world history, and am aware of the historical trend that world powerhouses are also perpetual targets of invasion and dethroning efforts, and that living in the United States means just that. Perhaps it’s because I’m human, and all humans groan at the prospect of war and yearn for the prospect of world peace. But perhaps it’s because, in my humanity, it’s easy to find security and hope in fallen human leaders and international world powers such as the country in which we live, rather than in our God who watches from the heavens and does as He pleases.
And perhaps it’s because I sometimes forget that, while world leaders are jockeying between trembling and threatening, our Lord in whose hand lies the course of world history sits in the heavens…laughing.
He laughs at world leaders, who to Him are mere grasshoppers (Isa 40:22). He laughs, because it is His decrees that decide the course of the nations and His hand that providentially shapes peoples and kingdoms (Dan 2:21). It is His hand that raises up and tears down. He laughs, just like a Grizzly laughs at a bunch of squabbling chipmunks, whose lives he would crush with but a single swipe of His massive paw. He laughs, because all affairs in our universe’s time and space are prepared by none other than Him (Heb 11:3). He laughs because He is, in reality, completely unchallenged in His sovereignty (Isa 40:17). And one day, He will put an end to all this human jockeying and establish His Son as the Rightful Ruler of the nations (Psalm 2:7-8).
I’ve learned, over the years, to read the Scriptures before I read the news. In light of the world’s current state, I’ve particularly learned to value the Psalms and the Prophetic books. I’ve learned the value of listening to the voice of He who controls world history and world politics before I hear the voice of presidents, prime ministers, dictators, and news anchors. I’ve learned that in order to both understand and respond correctly to what’s happening in the world today at a global scale – lest I react with either extreme of naïveté or paranoia – I have to listen to the very Author Himself.
Thankfully, He is not silent. Thankfully, the day is coming when all this chaos will come to an end. Christ our Savior has asked for the nations, and the day is coming when all will be given to Him as a possession. The nations He will break with a rod of iron, and shatter them He will like earthenware. Christ will reign, and with Him so will we.
It’s no wonder the Lord is laughing. And when He laughs, so my heart rests.