When the Nations Rage: A Bible Study from Anne Graham Lotz
At times the world seems to be filled with people plotting evil things. Vengeance. Terror. Power grabs. Destruction. Death. Gassing the innocent. Slandering the righteous. Bombing the religious. Spinning the truth. Stealing the wealth.
The weak, the innocent, the humble, the righteous, the good, the kind, the honest, the poor, the well-meaning person can feel helplessly smothered by the tangled web of intrigue. Whether the plotting is in the world at large, or in our own families, churches, schools, businesses or communities, how can we stand up against such powerful, well-thought-out schemes and manipulation?
When the Psalmist felt that same helplessness, instead of wringing his hands and rolling his eyes, he looked to God in prayer. This is the reassuring answer God gave to him …
Read Psalm 2
I. GOD SEES: PSALM 2:1-3
Their Conspiracy—verse 1
- Give phrases from the following verses that reassure us that God sees, even behind closed doors: Genesis 6:5; 11:1-5; 18:20-21; Job 12: 21-23; Psalm 139:11-12; Isaiah 29:13-16; John 2:25.
- What conspiracy are you aware of today?
- What comfort or encouragement do you receive from knowing that God sees? Read Psalm 37:7-11.
Their Coalition—verse 2
- What phrase in Psalm 2:2 indicates the plotters were united?
- Who were they plotting against?
- How was this rebellious coalition evident at the beginning of human history? See Genesis 2:15-3:7; 6:11-12; 11:1-9.
- How is this coalition evident at the end of human history, according to Revelation 19:11-21?
- What was the final outcome of the rebellious coalition in each of the Genesis passages above?
- What is the final outcome of evil plotting, even when it involves a majority? Read Psalm 1:4-6; Proverbs 11:23; 16:4; Isaiah 13:11; and Revelation 20:7-15.
- Is there safety from God’s judgment in numbers?
- What encouragement do you receive from Psalm 37:1-2?
Their Contempt—verse 3
- In Psalm 2:3, whose chains and fetters are the rebellious referring to?
- Who do you know who says God is too strict—who is contemptuous of God’s moral law and principles for living? Who says that real freedom is doing whatever you want to do, regardless of what God says?
- Where is real freedom found? See John 8:32, 36; 2 Corinthians 3:17.
II. GOD SCOFFS: PSALM 2:4-6
- In Psalm 2:4, what is God’s response to the rebellion and plotting?
- Why does God laugh at the plotters? See Psalm 37:12-13.
- Do you think God’s laughter is a pleasant sound?
- Does God’s laughter indicate He doesn’t take the plotting seriously? See Psalm 2:5.
- In Psalm 2:6, what does He do in response to the conspiracy against Him?
- Who is the King? Consider Revelation 5:6, 13; 15:2-4; 17:14; 19:13, 16.
- What details does Zechariah 14:1-9 give of the installation of the King?
- While the installation is glorious to His followers, why do you think it is terrifying to the plotters? Read Psalm 2:5.
III. GOD SPEAKS: PSALM 2:7-12
He Exalts His Son—Psalm 2:7-9
Give phrases from 2:6-7 that indicate God is speaking of Jesus.
How is this affirmed by the Apostle Paul? See Acts 13:32-33.
Give phrases from the following verses that help explain the title “Son of God”: Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1-3, 14, 18; Hebrews 1:3, Colossians 1:15-18.
How is Jesus exalted in John 3:16? Acts 4:12? Ephesians 1:18-23? Philippians 2:5-11?
He Exhorts the Schemers—Psalm 2:10-12
- In Psalm 2:10-12, list five or more things God exhorts the plotters to do.
- From the following verses, give phrases that apply to one or more of these exhortations: Psalm 100:1-5; Romans 12:1; Proverbs 2:6; Deuteronomy 28:15-19; Matthew 2:2; 1 Chronicles 16:8-11, 31; Deuteronomy 10:12-13; Proverbs 9:10-12; Matthew 12:36-37; Joshua 24:14-15.
- Surrounded by the intrigue of plotters and schemers, on what positive note does the psalmist end?
- What phrases are particularly encouraging to you from Psalm 46? Psalm 91? Psalm 37?
Many people believe that Psalm 2 is prophetic in nature, as it describes the last days before the return of Jesus Christ. Whether or not that is accurate, I do know that there seems to be an increasing number of people and nations in our world today plotting unspeakable evil against the living God and those who have put their faith in His Son, Jesus. But be encouraged. The One who sits in the heavens laughs—their conspiracy against Him is like chaff which the wind will blow away. So … “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” Psalm 46:10. ©2017 Anne Graham Lotz
Anne Graham Lotz has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 30 years. Her latest book, The Daniel Prayer, and the accompanying video Bible study, is available from major booksellers.