Psalm 2 – A Sense of Humor

Bible opened to Psalm 1 with Madecasse bean to bar Madagascar dark chocolate and milk in a mason jar
Some days the temptation to eat the chocolate before photographing it is nigh-overwhelming.

Today’s passage: Psalm 2

Today’s chocolate: Madécasse 70% cocoa

One of my dad’s favorite jokes: “Do you know how to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.” Years later, as I was reading Psalm 2, it hit me: that joke is biblical.

Well, not exactly. After laughing at the nations’ plans to oppose him and unseat his anointed king, God unleashes the terror of his anger on them, and threatens to kill them for their arrogance (v.12). Yikes.

Remember that the word “Messiah” at its most literal simply means “anointed,” and that anointing was the customary way in Israel of recognizing the nation’s next appointed king. So, when King David first wrote this psalm, hundreds of years before Jesus Christ came, the most obvious identity for the “son” referred to throughout would be…King David. It’s a nationalistic polemic against Israel’s enemies.

We’re opening up multiple cans of worms here: it doesn’t seem very “good” of God to issue threats and terrify people with his wrath, is it possible for this psalm to be both a propaganda piece supporting the monarchy and a Messianic prophecy, did David intend it as a Messianic prophecy, etc.. It’s beyond the scope of this blog to get into these questions, but I will say that the Psalms at times have a reputation as the “comfort food” of the Bible. I’ll accede that certain popular psalms (23, 40, 84) make good go-to passages when we’re feeling down, but just two chapters into the book, it’s evident that the Book of Psalms can be just as challenging and perplexing as any other book.

But gosh, this chocolate sure is delicious!

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