Why Do the Nations Rage? (Y1.T1.D42)
Updated: Feb 1
Unsplash; "Hasan Ahmasi"
Psalm 2 begins with the question, "Why do the nations rage, and the peoples plot a vain thing?" (v 1).
Ultimately, nations rage because people rage. And I'm not exempt. I've felt my temperature rise over recent social issues. But where does my anger stem?
James 1:13–22 reminds us "God can’t be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust" which leads to death. Yet, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.” We are called to be “a kind of first fruits of his creatures." As Christians we should be "slow to anger; for the anger of man doesn’t produce the righteousness of God. . . But be doers of the word, and not only hearers."
When the world behaves badly, I should walk in Christ's righteousness more than ever. To follow Jesus, I must abandon what I consider important and give my opinions and ideas to him. The passive resistance of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s is a great example. But the only way to not return rage with rage happens when we yield to God's ultimate laws of love.
In His Utmost for My Highest, Oswald Chambers spoke of yielding this way:
The first thing I must be willing to admit when I begin to examine what controls and dominates me is that I am the one responsible for having yielded myself to whatever it may be…When you yield to something, you will soon realize the tremendous control it has over you. Even though you say, “Oh, I can give up that habit whenever I like,” you will know you can’t. You will find that the habit absolutely dominates you because you willingly yielded to it. It is easy to sing, “He will break every fetter,” while at the same time living a life of obvious slavery to yourself. But yielding to Jesus will break every kind of slavery in any person’s life.
When I find myself standing on a soapbox ready to condemn the world around me, that's a good time to check my motives and methods against God's word and be one less person who rages.
Show Us Your Peace
1 Why do the nations rage,
and the peoples plot a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth take a stand,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against Yahweh, and against his Anointed, saying,
3 “Let’s break their bonds apart,
and cast their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens will laugh.
The Lord will have them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his anger,
and terrify them in his wrath:
6 “Yet I have set my King on my holy hill of Zion.”
7 I will tell of the decree:
Yahweh said to me, “You are my son.
Today I have become your father.
8 Ask of me, and I will give the nations for your inheritance,
the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron.
You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
10 Now therefore be wise, you kings.
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
11 Serve Yahweh with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
12 Give sincere homage to the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish on the way,
for his wrath will soon be kindled.
Blessed are all those who take refuge in him. (Psalm 2:1–12)
39 He spoke a parable to them. “Can the blind guide the blind? Won’t they both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. (Luke 6:39–40)
61 Another also said, “I want to follow you, Lord, but first allow me to say good-bye to those who are at my house.”
62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for God’s Kingdom.” (Luke 9:61–62)
15b Great multitudes followed him; and he healed them all, 16 and commanded them that they should not make him known, 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, (Matthew 12:15b–17)
5 God Yahweh,
he who created the heavens and stretched them out,
he who spread out the earth and that which comes out of it,
he who gives breath to its people and spirit to those who walk in it, says:
6 “I, Yahweh, have called you in righteousness.
I will hold your hand.
I will keep you,
and make you a covenant for the people,
as a light for the nations,
7 to open the blind eyes,
to bring the prisoners out of the dungeon,
and those who sit in darkness out of the prison.
8 “I am Yahweh.
That is my name.
I will not give my glory to another,
nor my praise to engraved images.
9 Behold, the former things have happened
and I declare new things.
I tell you about them before they come up.” (Isaiah 42:5–9)
Search my heart and see if there is any wicked way within me (Psalm 139:23–24). You told the world they would know if I was a Christian by the love I show to others (John 13:35). Please don't allow the things that infuriate me to hinder my walk. My anger will never produce Your righteousness (James 1:20). I open my tight fists and lift yielded palms to you in submission.
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