Midweek Advent Two – Pr. Anderson sermon
Psalm 2 “O Come Emmanuel, O Come Thou Key of David”
December 13, 2023 | Christ Lutheran Church
In Nomine Iesu
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Heavenly Father, we give you thanks for the blessings that you have shown us. You give us the blessings of seasons. A constant reminder of the care that you have shown the world. As the world looks to deny you of your glory, forgive us when we go to war with you following our own fleshly desires. We ask that you strengthen us in our courage and keep us in patience as we wait for your return. Keep us ever watchful of you and always in mind of your mercies to us each day. We ask this in Jesus’ name, our wise and ever ruling King. Amen.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. (Rom. 1:7, etc.)
The sermon text for today is taken from the 2nd chapter of the book of Psalms. We read selected verses in Jesus’ name:
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 heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision…. 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 possessions. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
These are Your words, heavenly Father. Sanctify us by Your truth, Your Word is truth. Amen. (Joh. 17:17)
In Christ Jesus, the Key of David who vanquished sin and death closing the path to misery so that you may rejoice when He comes with clouds descending, dear fellow redeemed:
The weather has shifted. As we look at some of the taller mountains, or we get the weather reports about the mountain passes and Crater Lake, we see the snow that has fallen. There will only be more from now until spring. It is lovely how God created the seasons. He tells us, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22). The snow will melt and then we see the joy of spring. Flowers start to come up out of the ground. My favorite is seeing the thick green stems of Hosta’s. Like the plants of spring that “spring up,” God promised that a stem would spring up from the line of David. This was not like the previous kings. This king was promised from long ago. As the world was waiting for the promised Messiah, they didn’t anticipate His humble birth. The rod of Jesse’s stem, the Key of David lives and reigns forever.
As King David is promised this coming Messiah will come from His line, we see in Scripture for David to be king was no easy feat. It not only took him seven years to take full control of the kingdom, but he had to deal with other rulers. He subjugated many, yet there were those who would make war with him. Even with God fighting for him, giving him victory after victory, he still had to get these victories on the field of battle. Marching and marching out to war, fighting with sword and shield. We see that David’s advisors finally had to convince him not to go out and fight with the men anymore in his old age. So as David fights for God, he writes this psalm and you can feel a little bit of pressure that he probably felt.
“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.’” As the Israelites had a hard time with God being their leader, it wasn’t as if God was liked by the other nations. For the nations dwelling in the land of Cannan, this was going to destroy their way of life. While only a few would convert from their false god’s that they worshiped to worship the true God, the majority would wage war to fight God and His Anointed.
To wage war against God is nothing new. There are those who have set out even now to wage war against Him. We see how the church continues to fight off attacks from those who oppose her. Like the times of the early Christians, some will make up lies about the church. From the time of the Old Testament with the exiles as they rebuilt Jerusalem, to even Jesus in the New Testament the enemies of God will go to great lengths to lie about her and destroy her. As David writes, Psalm two, we see that God is not worried about His enemies. “He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, ‘As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.’”
God will hold those accountable who attack Him. He will bring His judgement and wrath down. Now as we get excited about hearing what God will do to the enemies of the church, the Devil will bring out a lie that we can sometimes believe. When we raise ourselves up onto a pedestal, it is there that we forget where our standing is in the face of the Almighty. “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:7-8). We cannot excuse our sins, and as long we remain in them, we are like the enemy kings that David faced. We rage war and God laughs as He brings down that terrifying fury on those who go against His Anointed.
David continues to write about how God will protect those who follow Him from those who bring His wrath. David speaks in the Spirit, “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 possessions. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.’” God will have one of the rulers be His Son. He will possess all of the earth and He will rule as a mighty king! We can read in Scripture and see that none of the kings of Judah are still living. None of them were as a son of God. Jesus Himself clarifies who David is speaking about in this psalm as this king has to be God’s Son. We see David, the ancestor of Jesus writes about God the Father, who speaks from heaven “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17b). For Jesse’s stem to deliver the world, God would send His One and only Son to be king.
This is God keeping His Word from the beginning. As mankind would go on to revolt against God, to war against Him, He would show them mercy. He promised David a Key. “When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son” (2 Samuel 7:12-14a). As Solomon built the temple, Jesus establishes homes in heaven. And as God says that He will be a Father to this ruler, St. John writes how this is possible and He shall be His Son. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 14). As this King rules forever, He became flesh for you.
As the Son left the Father’s side to be born in the flesh, God promised David what else would happen to this Son of his. “When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him” (2 Samuel 7:14b-15a). How can that be Jesus? Jesus is perfect. Jesus in His perfection as true God put on all of the sins and iniquities that the world committed against God. While your flesh wars against God, Jesus’ flesh put on your sins. He was flogged, and He wore the stripes of men on the cross. And in what looked like the end, that the worldly kings would win, as He hung on the cross and died, God’s love did not depart from Him. His flesh did not see decay! Jesus rose from the dead with victory over the kings and victory over the grave! The path to misery is closed by the Key of David, God’s Son in His glorious resurrection. Jesus is the way that leads on high to heaven.
As Jesus is the way to heaven, we see David giving a warning at the end of the psalm. “Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers 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, for his wrath is quickly kindled.” Jesus is the King who will rule over all. God tells you to be wise and be warned. You will tremble as the law points out your sins. And as you see, realize, and repent of your sins, God tells you to look to His Anointed. It is His King, His Son who makes all things well. Jesus born in the flesh, the promised stem of Jesse, came to take away your sins. This is the peace that Christ brings to you as you watch for Him to come with clouds descending. The Advent of your King and as David ends His psalm, “Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” Amen.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, forevermore. Amen.
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