The Psalms embrace a variety of thought. While their overall purpose is to praise God and be used in liturgy, they often do the following (sometimes simultaneously in a given piece):
- teach wisdom (through proverb, metaphor, and example);
- convey our inner thoughts, experiences, and struggles;
- describe the present;
- prophesy about the first coming of the Messiah;
- prophesy about the second coming of the Messiah (though the split between the comings may not have been known to the author).
Psalm 2 demonstrates a variety of layers in line with the above. On the one hand, enemy nations were a problem for Israel and its king in the days of the monarchy. Saul and David fought with the Philistines; David subdued Edom and other surrounding nations; the Egyptians, Aramaeans, Scythians, Assyrians, and Babylonians would prove to be a problem. After the return from Babylon, the Samaritans fought against the rebuilding of Jerusalem and its Temple.
The Psalm also looks further forward, however. In the preceding paragraph we identified the LORD’s anointed as the king of Israel. Jesus is the Anointed One, the final and greatest King. The nations have fought against His Kingdom and His people Israel, and the greatest coalition that has resisted the Gospel and threatened Israel is the House of Islam, and that is the primary Gentile force that will fight Christ when He returns. It is from the House of Islam, led by Gog of Magog, that Christ rescues Israel and His Church.
In the Millennium, Christ will rule the nations, through Israel and the Church, with a rod of iron. This phrase from Psalm 2 is referenced several times in the Book of Revelation. Then too, many shall chafe to throw off His rule. We know this because, at the end of the Millennium, after Satan is released from the Abyss, they form the coalition of Gog and Magog once more, led by Satan, and attempt to destroy “the camp of the saints” (Revelation 20).
But God is in control. He knows all and sees all: their deeds will be remembered on the Day of the LORD and at the Great White Throne Judgment. But blessed are those who put their trust in the Father and the Son: they will not be put to shame.