“Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Psalm 2:8,9).
POWER CORRUPTS. And if this is true of individuals, it is even more true of groups. Consider governments, for example. Can it be denied that governments tend toward corruption, that they always move in the direction of greater self-will? “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, ‘Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us’” (Psalm 2:2,3).
But God cannot successfully be ignored. From His perspective, the presumption of human rulers that they can do as they please is so out of touch with reality that it is laughable. “He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, ‘As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill’” (vv.4–6).
In God’s Son, the Messiah (“Anointed” or “Commissioned One”), a kingdom has been set up that is above all the kingdoms of men. To Him, the nations have been granted as a gift: “I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession” (v.8). And God leaves no doubt as to what the Messiah will do in dealing with the nations: “You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel” (v.9).
Jesus, the “Christ” or Messiah, said after His resurrection, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). But has He broken the kingdoms of men, dashing them in pieces? If so, the kingdoms seem not to have gotten the announcement. They pay no attention to the Messiah whatsoever.
But the rule of the Messiah does not come about by physical revolution (or democratic voting). He breaks the nations not by dismantling them (for now, at least) but by reestablishing the truthful ideas and words they have denied. “From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations” (Revelation 19:15). When the nations have come and gone, this truth will still be true.
“God did not abolish the fact of evil; he transformed it. He did not stop the Crucifixion; he rose from the dead” (Dorothy L. Sayers).