“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed …” (Psalm 2:1-2; ESV)
As I was reading those verses earlier this week, a couple words jumped off the page at me … “rage” … “plot in vain” … “counsel together.”
While this speaks to the “nations,” I began wondering how much of this is true in the church as well. With the church looking so much like the world today anyway, could it be that the church is perhaps sometimes guilty of also raging and plotting in vain as they take counsel together?
What am I getting at?
Consider church splits, internal and external. We’ve become experts at dividing the body over all sorts of silly little things. It is one thing to divide over major key doctrinal issues, although I suppose even that can be debated. But how often haven’t we all seen “raging” in the church over the dumbest little stuff as well? I have actually heard stories of “raging” divisions over the color to paint the church nursery and have personally even been the recipient of a “raging” backlash over the moving of a pulpit. Even church elders do it, ridiculing and “raging” against other church leaders who do not share their theological viewpoints.
What’s worse is that sometimes it almost sounds like a conspiracy as brothers and sisters gossip and promote their disunity. They feed off one another as they take “counsel together” discussing their perceived failures and shortcomings of others. The church has become really good at discussing what they’re against, and thereby slandering others in the process. God calls this a “plotting in vain.” Too bad we’re not as good at discussing what we’re for, or at least that’s the way it seems sometimes.
“He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision” (Psalm 2:4)
What is “derision?” It is probably best defined as the feeling that people express when they criticize and laugh at someone (or something) in an insulting way.
I confess that I struggle with such an attitude from God, yet there it is in the pages of the Bible. But then again, maybe it’s good and right when we stop and think about God’s ideal for the church (and ultimately for all mankind) of treating one another with humility, love, respect, dignity, compassion, collaboration, etc. As unloving as it might sound, maybe God does hold in “derision” his children who refuse to treat one another the way God calls us to.
It would serve us right, when we all reach that great Messianic banquet in Glory, to find that we’ve been seated beside the very people we’ve “raged” against here on earth. Perhaps when we look at it that way, maybe ours really is, a “plotting in vain.”
Something to think about.