A Deeper Look At Psalms 1 and 2

Psalms 1 and 2 are alluded to in Jesus’ teachings, let’s look at what they are saying.

Psalm 1: (NLT) 1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. 2 But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. 3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. 4 But not the wicked! They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. 5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly. 6 For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.

In John 15:1-8, and Matt 13:24-43 Jesus makes analogies similar to Psalms 1. In John 15 he says he is the vine and we are the branches. The branches that produce fruit are righteous but God will remove the branches that don’t produce fruit because they are wicked.

John 15: 1 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

In Matt 13:24-30, Jesus is talking about the final harvest of the wheat (the righteous), and the chaff/tares (the wicked). The wheat is stored and the tares are burned. He explains this parable in Matt 13:37-43, he says those that follow his commandments are righteous, those that don’t are the wicked and will be removed. The wicked will wither and be burned like the weeds, but the righteous will be preserved. This same thing is said by John the Baptist in Matt 3:10, and Luke 3:9 when we are first introduced to Jesus as an adult. John the Baptist even uses this wheat vs chaff analogy in Matthew 3:11-12 and Luke 3:16-17. Ps 80:14-16 speaks about Israel’s exile with a similar analogy, and Isa 33:11-12 speaks about the Assyrian Empire in the same way. This is echoed by Paul in his olive tree analogy (Romans 11:13-24) when discerning between wicked Jews and righteous Gentiles.

Matt 13:37 Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. 39 The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the harvesters are the angels. 40 “Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!

Ps 2:1 Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans? 2 The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against his anointed one. 3 “Let us break their chains,” they cry, “and free ourselves from slavery to God.” 4 But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then in anger he rebukes them, terrifying them with his fierce fury. 6 For the Lord declares, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain.” 7 The king proclaims the Lord’s decree: “The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son. Today I have become your Father. 8 Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession. 9 You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.’” 10 Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! 11 Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities— for his anger flares up in an instant. But what joy for all who take refuge in him!

Psalm 2:1-12 is about the Messianic kingdom. In Psalms 2 we have an image of the reign of the messianic king, where the nations rebel against God’s anointed King claiming that they will free themselves from God’s rule. In the meantime, God laughs in heaven. In verse 7, God declares that this anointed King is his son which is what God does with Jesus multiple times in the New Testament. Once when Jesus is baptized (Matt 3:17, Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22), then when Jesus is on the mountain during the transfiguration (Matt 17:5, Mark 9:7, Luke 9:35), and when Jesus was entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (John 12:28-29).

Ps 2:1-2 was quoted in Acts 4:25-26 by the assembly of believers, in reference to the gentiles (Romans) and Israel, turning against Jesus to crucify him. Then in verses 8-9, it promises to give the anointed king all the nations as his inheritance, and he will rule them with an iron rod, with the authority to smash them like clay pots. This is referenced in Revelation 2:27 for the righteous members of the church of Thyatira. The Psalm continues in v10, saying that God warns the leaders of the world to act wisely and serve God’s son or face condemnation. This sounds like the Messianic reign described in Revelation 20:1-6. This is when Satan is bound and Jesus rules the world for 1000 years, and those who were revived in the first resurrection rule with him over the world. Near the end of the 1000-year reign, Satan is released and deceives the nations causing a rebellion, but the rebels are defeated and judged in the white throne judgment alongside all those who were in hell and cast into the lake of fire. Psalm 2 ends by warning the nations about the final judgment.

In Revelation 2:18-29 Jesus is talking to the church of Thyatira and warns them about a false prophetess named Jezebel who teaches theology that promotes sexual sin. He says to those that repent from following her or never followed her teaching, they will eventually be given authority over all nations and will rule with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots, just like the messianic king in Psalm 2. This confirms what Revelation 20:4 says about the righteous in the first resurrection reigning with Christ. Meaning the promise of authority over all nations isn’t just for the Messianic King himself but also for those who reign with him as the righteous.

In addition, at the end of David’s final poem (2 Sam 23:1-7), he says the sons of wickedness, are like thorns that are thrown away because they cannot be touched (verse 6). In verse 7 he says because they are thorny they must be chopped down with the help of iron and the shaft of the spear, and then they will be burned away. Sounds like the iron rod reference in Ps 2:8-9 and Rev 2:27, as well as a judgment by fire as Jesus, describes the weeds in Matt 13 and the fruitless branches in John 15. This points to the lake of fire in Rev 20:11-15.