“Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”
Here we have a terrific Psalm for the Advent season. Psalm 2 is a Messianic Psalm. It is a pronouncement of the kingship of the Messiah. Listen to verses 6 through 8: “Yet I have set my King on my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, You are my Son, today I have begotten you. Ask of Me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession.”
Jesus came into the world, not just to be the sacrifice for sins, but also to be established as King of all the world. This was announced even to Mary by the angel Gabriel. Speaking of Jesus, Gabriel says, “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David….and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Jesus was born to be King.
Now each week it is our typical pattern to look into the wisdom of Proverbs for our Call to Confession but in this text from Psalm 2 we receive the greatest wisdom of all. If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, then submission to the rule and reign of His Son, Jesus Christ, is the pinnacle of wisdom.
We see in verse 10 that the instruction is given to earthly rulers, “be wise, O kings; be instructed you judges of the earth.” Even so we are not excluded from this command. If it is wise for the world’s leaders to submit to Christ, then it certainly is for us also as their subordinates. In addition, Jesus Christ, as the King of kings, is ruler over all people. Our allegiance to Him is no less expected than it is of earthly kings.
This allegiance is to be carried out in our lives with fear and trembling. We receive the same instruction from Paul in Philippians where he says that we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Such language can be confusing. What does it mean to “serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling”?
It means to serve Him with awe and humility, with reverence and excitement because we know that God is Holy and therefore it is no small thing that He has done in saving us through Jesus Christ and establishing Him as King. It also means that we are terrified of what we receive apart from Jesus Christ.
We come to this segment of our worship service to confess our sin and it is our sin that deserves God’s wrath. We serve with fear and trembling because we recognize that without Jesus we receive the wrath of Almighty God.
John 3:36 says, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
This morning’s text paints a very frightening picture. If we do not submit ourselves to the lordship of the Son then it is His wrath that is kindled against us. And if the One who is our Redeemer is wrathful toward us, what hope do we have? If the Son who is our High Priest is angry who will intercede for us? If His wrath is kindled but a little then there remains no sacrifice for our sin and no other name by which we can be saved.
Let us then kiss the Son! Not with the false kiss of Judas Iscariot, ; but with a kiss of allegiance, a kiss of adoration, a kiss of sincere love and gratitude like that of the woman who wept at Jesus’ feet, kissing them and anointing them with oil.