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Sermon #2032

Why Do the Nations rage?

A Sermon on Psalms 2:1-12


Psalms 2:1-12 ESV KJV
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, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the …

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Sermon Description

Pain, suffering, and ultimately death are inescapable parts of life. But why? How do we account for the troubles that are common throughout history? Why do the nations rage? The story of humanity shows a restless world always searching for answers that never provide relief. Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches through the text of Psalm 2 and Acts 4 to explain the vain and empty pursuits of those who purposefully rebel against God. While they dream and plan for a world of their own happiness, their attempts are futile because of their ignorance of God. God will judge their rebellion against Him and His wrath will be fierce. But there is hope. The psalmist speaks of deliverance that is echoed throughout the entire Bible. It culminates in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the answer the world cannot provide — that God’s gracious purpose to extend mercy through his son Jesus, the Anointed One, to a restless and rebellious world brings the joy and deliverance the world desperately wants.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Dr. Lloyd-Jones begins by introducing Psalm 2 and explaining that it describes the attitude of mankind towards God throughout history. The early Christians in Acts 4 applied it to the treatment of Jesus by Herod, Pontius Pilate, and the Jews.

  2. The psalmist asks "why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing?" This question expresses horror and astonishment at the behavior of the heathen and the people of Israel. It is a question we should ask today when we consider the state of the world.

  3. The state of the world is that it is raging, like the troubled sea that cannot rest. There is restlessness, trouble, and confusion. Sin manifests itself in raging, with no limits or decency. The world has lost direction and meaning.

  4. The Bible provides the only explanation for the state of the world: man's rebellion against God. All of society is involved, especially leaders and rulers. This rebellion is deliberate and organized.

  5. The rebellion is motivated by man's enmity against God and his laws. Man sees God's laws as bonds and cords, as enslaving. Man believes he can liberate himself from God.

  6. God's response to man's folly is to laugh at it. God sits in the heavens, as the creator and judge of the universe. Man's schemes come to nothing. God's laws cannot be broken. There is a day of judgment coming.

  7. Man's fatal ignorance is of God himself. Man measures God by his own standards. Man stands in judgment over God. But God will break man with a rod of iron.

  8. Man not only rejects God's law but also his love. God sent his Son to save the world, but the world rejects him just as it rejects the law. This is the greatest tragedy.

  9. The psalmist appeals to man to be wise, to receive instruction, to realize his situation and submit to God. Man should "kiss the Son" - submit to him, trust in him. Blessed are all who put their trust in him.

  10. Dr. Lloyd-Jones asks if we are wise with regard to ourselves, the world, and eternity. Have we kissed the Son - submitted to him, trusted in him? If we do, we will understand the world, know our sins are forgiven, and look forward to eternity with Christ.

The Book of Acts

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.