January 9, 2011

Why Do The Heathen Rage? – Ray Anderson

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:00 am by sranderson0103

These are the words of the Psalmist written in Psalm 2:

“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”

Why do the heathen rage? Because they want to. Why do the people imagine a vain thing? Because they want to. And why do they want to? The answer to that is not easy and may not be the same for all. However, the root of their thinking is the unwillingness to have God above all else.

From the very creation which God created for man through the sending of his son to die for the sin of the world, God has demonstrated his power and might. He continues to watch over and bless his children as they make their way through this pilgrim land.

In the days of King David the heathen kings refused to bow before the one true and living God. It was not only the heathen peoples, but the Israelites too. He supported them through their departure from Egypt, their travels through the wilderness to the promised land, and their victories in battle necessary for the taking of the land from the idolatrous and wicked inhabitants. He watched over them and blessed them and they prospered when they were obedient to his law and his will. However, he also punished them when they were disobedient.

We get some insight as to why the heathen rage from John 11:47-49. Many were beginning to believe what Jesus was teaching. The chief priests and Pharisees got together and discussed what they should do with him since he had done many miracles. Their concern was not about his teaching, but that the Romans would come and “take away their place and the nation.”

The same can be said of those who rage against God today. The root of their concern is if everyone believes that God exists and that Jesus is his only begotten son, then they will lose their influence and will no longer be able to set the moral compass for their followers. Their moral compass does not point the way to heaven, but to hell. Jesus said in John 12:46-50, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.”

Those that rage against God must deny that he exists. The Psalmist wrote, “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.” (Psalms 14:1, 53:1) In the face of much evidence to the contrary, the fool refuses to believe that there is a God. They refuse to acknowledge his power and, more importantly, his love for mankind. They rage that the God of the Bible is a vengeful  God and jealous in the worst sense of the word.

Winston Churchill said, “Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.” We know that the things that were written in the Old Testament were for our learning and to point the way to the Christ that would come to seek and save the lost. They were written to show how a loving God dealt with his people. The Israelites also failed to learn from their history as evidenced by the cycle of sin, sorrow, supplication and salvation recorded for us in the book of Judges. Their failure to remember and to learn from those things that happen aforetime eventually led to the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel and the carrying away of the southern kingdom of Judah into 70 years of captivity.

What can be said of us today? Will we listen to the raging of the heathen who deny God, refuse to accept the Bible as the word of God, and ridicule the notion that a savior was sent from heaven to redeem mankind and reconcile him to God? Will we allow our government to set the moral compass for our nation. God forbid! That certainly will not be an indication that we have learned anything from history. The heathen rage because they want to follow their own ideas and do the things they want to do.  They want to be able to destroy unborn life without feeling guilt, to abuse the institution of marriage which God has reserved for only a man and a woman, and to ignore God’s warning about adulterers. In short, they want to establish their own rules based on shifting circumstances. It all depends on the situation.

But just as in King David’s time, God shall laugh at them and hold them in derision. “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9) ——Amen

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