When I was a boy I would ride across Lake Michigan on the car ferries. One of my friends and I would cross over for the 6 hour trip to Wisconsin and return. Since both of us had relatives who worked “on the boats” we’d get to cross for free. I would have the privilege of getting a tour of the boat from my grandpa and he would take me all over the boat, past the “Crew Only” signs. One day I was following him and we went past one of these signs. As my grandpa disappeared around a corner a passerby called to me and told me to “get out of there, you don’t belong there!”. My grandpa ducked his head back around the corner and jerked his head at me to follow. He was taking me to the engine room.
Grandpa was the Chief Engineer, and he could go virtually ANYWHERE on the boat. When I was with him so could I. From the rudder to the wheelhouse he had the respect of every worker on that boat. I could peer into the radar or stand at the helm and turn the wheel (a bit), I could peer into the coal fires of the steam engine or handle the huge throttle arms. Grandpa was the Chief and I was his grandson, by his virtue I had an all access pass to his domain.
Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
Psalm 2 amazes me. It is only 12 short verses long but it encompasses much of the plan of God taking in the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Psalm 2:6 is an amazing example of this, in 7 Hebrew words God communicates a truth so deep that I could probably preach 30 sermons on it and feel as if I hadn’t made a dent and yet it is so simple that I can simply skim past it and not even start to think about the implications. So this will be my first effort at addressing this astounding little verse.
Psalm 2:6 represents a tangible step in fixing our eyes and hearts on the King. We need to recognize the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Is He the King of our entire lives or not? I struggle with this every day in my own life. When I wake up in the morning will I pray, will I seek His way? My wife and I have been trying to implement some of the disciplines we found in Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book “Living Together”, we read one chapter from the Old Testament, one Psalm or chapter from Proverbs or Job and one chapter from the New Testament with the intent of making God our first priority of the day. We often pray and sometimes sing a simple song together (often out of the Psalm). This is an effort, a dedication to, actively placing Him on the throne of our hearts.
I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, Until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.
In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
I think that in order to have any hope of overcoming the world we must continually acknowledge Him in all of our ways. We must seek to honor Him as King and recognize His right to establish and maintain His kingdom within us.
And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Andrew Murray wrote in “The Kingdom of God is Within You” (1897) this:
“WHAT IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD?
It is that spiritual state in which the life of God and of heaven is made accessible to
men, and they enter into its enjoyment here on earth. If we ask what its marks are we
find the answer in the wondrous change we see in the life of the disciples.
The mark of a kingdom is the presence of the king. With the Holy Spirit Christ
came down to be with His disciples as really, and more nearly, than when He was
with them in the flesh. The abiding nearness and fellowship of Christ, and in Him of
God the Father, is the very central blessing of the Kingdom. This experience was
what the Holy Spirit at Pentecost made real. The disciples had their Lord with them as
consciously as the angels in heaven. His presence made heaven all around and in
them. A believer to whom a full entrance into the Kingdom is given, has the Presence.
The mark of the kingdom is the rule of the king. We read, “His Kingdom ruleth
over all.” Before Pentecost the disciples could not love or be humble, could not trust
or be bold. But when the kingdom came the dominion of God prevailed, God’s
Presence through the Holy Spirit gained the victory, sin was overcome, and the will of
God done in them to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as in
heaven,” He promised this. As the Kingdom came down with the Holy Ghost the
promise was fulfilled. And our entering into the kingdom means our being brought
into a life in which God rules over all, His will is truly and joyfully done, and all the
blessedness that reigns in heaven finds its counterpart here below. As it is written,
“The Kingdom of God is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
Zion and Jerusalem are His Holy mountain and His Holy city and they are often used to reflect His kingdom. They exist in heaven as Jesus indicated in the Lord’s Prayer, however, they are also being formed in His people, His Church, His body.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.
As he takes His place in our hearts He baptizes us in fire as we are ushered into His presence, into His Kingdom.
When we establish Him on the throne of our hearts we enter into His kingdom, His kingdom flows through us. We are with Him, and like when I was with my grandpa on the boats I got to go wherever he went an I received the privileges of his post, so we are when the Holy Spirit indwells us and allows us to tour His kingdom as His children.
(Photo credit: Douglas Goodhue)