“I will surely tell of the decree: the LORD, said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You'” (Ps 2:7).

It would hardly be an exaggeration to say that the entire book of Psalms takes up the concern of this single verse strategically located at the introduction of the book. The speaker in this verse is obviously the Anointed King spoken of in verses 2 and 6. In response to the rebellion against him and against the LORD, in which the nations and peoples try to overthrow their rule, he holds fast to a decree spoken to him by the LORD. “You are my Son!” The decree to which he refers, therefore, must be God's promise to raise up an eternal King from the house of David: “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him and HE WILL BE A SON TO ME…” (2 Sam 7:13-14a).

That the rest of the book of Psalms takes up this decree is quite evident from the structure of the book. The superscription in the first psalm of Book 1 (Pss 3-41) of the Psalter refers to a rejected son of David, Absalom, who despite his name (father of peace), led a rebellion against his father: “A psalm of David when he fled from his son Absalom” (Ps 3:0). The superscription of the last psalm of Book 2 (Pss 41-72), refers to a chosen son of David, Solomon who, at least to a certain extent, lived up to his name (“his peace”): “A Psalm of Solomon” (Ps 72:0). That Psalm 72 refers to “decree” of the LORD in Psalm 2:7 is clear by the description of the King's rule with words taken directly from Psalm 2:8: “May he also rule from sea to sea and from the river TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH” (Ps 72:8). It is also clear that Solomon must be describing a future king in this psalm since he did not fulfill the LORD's decree by sitting on the throne of David forever.

The last psalm in Book 3 (Pss 73-89) takes up the decree of the LORD yet again (see especially Ps 89:25-27, 36-37), and laments bitterly over the fall of the Davidic throne, and hence its non-fulfillment (Ps 89:38-51). Yet hope in the promise is rekindled at beginning of Book 5 (Pss 107-145) when King David refers to this decree once again: “A Psalm of David. The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.' The LORD will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying, ‘Rule in the midst of Your enemies'” (Ps 110:1-2; see Psalm 132).

It is the central theme of the entire book!

And in the grand finale at the end of the book (Pss 146-150), we enter the joy of the fulfillment of the decree (prophetically speaking). In the second to the last Psalm, Israel is celebrating the eternal reign of the LORD and his King (Ps 149:1-2), and the rebellious leaders who had once cast off their fetters in Psalm 2:1-3 are finally bound: “To execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute on them the judgment written; This is an honor for all His godly ones. Praise the LORD!” (Ps 146:7-9).

The LORD's decree in Psalm 2:7, therefore, is not one of many themes in the book of Psalms. It is the central theme of the entire book! It is clear, therefore, that a faithful, sensitive, close-reading of the book of Psalms ought not only get us really excited about the Messianic hope, but ought also bring us straight to Jesus!

“Now He said to them, ‘These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.' Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:44-45).

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