Summer ought to be a season when we’re able to rest well—a time we can spend with the Lord and His goodness. But, oftentimes, we actually fall out of healthy spiritual habits and end up trying to rest from the Lord instead of resting in Him.
That’s why we’ve created the Summer Selah Series. Over 40 days, we’ll be sharing daily devotions during a season where you may not feel very devoted.
Based on excerpts from his book Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion, Ross Lester, our Pastor of Preaching and West Congregation Pastor, will provide readings from select Psalms, a brief devotional reflection, and some prayer points for each of the 40 days.
Take some time to read Psalm 2. Then, come back and read the following verses again.
“‘As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.’
I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, ‘You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.’” (Psalm 2:6-9 ESV)
Sometimes it can feel like the world is unravelling. Over the last couple of years, this unraveling certainly feels like it has picked up the pace. Everywhere I go, many people are distressed by the seemingly uncontrollable continuance of the trajectory. Where does this go? What will our future societies look like? Where do we look for hope in times like these ones?
In Psalm 2, David gets a glimpse into the future after looking at what was a fairly bleak present scenario and sees that there is a King coming who is different from every other ruler. God is so confident in the steady reign of His Son as King that He actually chuckles at the ongoing rantings of the nations on earth. David sees that this King will be the anointed Son of the Most High and He will rule with justice and power. He will reign with an iron scepter as a true and just King forever. Psalm 2 is a beautiful portrait of King Jesus that was created a long time before He materialized in human form.
The problem though, is that most of us don’t have this picture of Jesus. The Jesus we picture is Scandinavian and manicured. He is always aloof and kind of cheery about everything and He has a pithy, helpful, moralistic saying for every occasion—like a walking Scandinavian fortune cookie.
But, David’s picture of Jesus isn’t safe or comfortable. It’s the picture of the true resurrected Christ who overcame evil in humility and gentleness and now rules and reigns over everything as a victorious Warrior. He already has His iron scepter (Revelation 19:15) and, one day, He is returning to call all who are His to Himself forever. The world hasn’t somehow spun away from the might of His rule. It will have just leadership one day.
I love how C.S. Lewis chose to depict Jesus in his “Chronicles of Narnia” series. Aslan is a massive and powerful lion who is loving and caring towards the children, but who strikes deep fear into the heart of his enemies. In The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Lucy asks Mr. Beaver about this mythical Aslan creature who she had heard about. She was pretty scared to meet him and so asked if he was safe.
“‘Safe?’ said Mr Beaver. ‘Who said anything about safe? Of course he isn’t safe. But he is good. He’s the king I tell you.’”
Many of us need to get rid of our safe view of Jesus. The Bible doesn’t describe Him that way.
There is no such thing as a tame lion.
I think this picture of Jesus brings hope to those of us who are suffering. Jesus can put it right one day, and He will. It also raises some questions for all of us who claim to follow Jesus. If He is really Lord of all, then what are the areas where we are yet to yield lordship to Him? Where are the places where we find ourselves raging like the nations in Psalm 2 because we have forgotten that God has set His King on Zion’s holy hill?
Don’t rage or plot in vain. Trust the Lord’s anointed King.
Dear Lord, forgive us for the times when we take our eyes off of You and allow ourselves to become intimated and fearful due to the state of our world. Father, give us an accurate picture of Your Son, Jesus. Help us to see Him as He truly is and let that picture give us courage to live as people of justice and as citizens of Your kingdom on earth. It is in Jesus’ mighty name that we pray.
Ross Lester, Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion (Magnolia, Texas: Lucid Books, 2017)