Speaking to the Soul – September 14

World leaders

Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. Psalm 2:10-11

If this psalm had been written recently, you might assume the psalmist had just read that day’s newspaper or listened to the news on TV. He begins by asking: “Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans?” (v1). Sound familiar? He then reflects on the fact that the rulers of the earth plot against God, trying to get free from his control. In response, he pictures God in heaven having a good laugh at their stupidity, for whatever they do, he is in ultimate control.

This psalm underlines God’s interest in the political life of our world. At times, I fear that our churches talk as if God is really only interested in what happens among Christians. But he is God of the whole world – and his longing is for every nation and individual to live in unity with him. The punch line of this psalm is the statement that God gives joy to “all who take refuge in him” (v12).

Our verses today are God’s words of advice to the rulers of the world. They are encouraged to act wisely and to give God the respect and worship that is rightfully his. They are words of encouragement but also of warning. And they are precisely the words that God would address to our world leaders today. Their authority ultimately comes from God and, one day, they will be answerable to him.

This psalm should remind us of our responsibility to pray for our leaders. As we listen to the news each day, let’s remind ourselves that this is God’s world. The peace and freedom which we all long for depends on our relationship with him.

The psalmist says that God scoffed at world leaders and rebuked them in his anger. What do you think God makes of our world leaders today?

Lord God, I pray for your blessing on the leaders of all the nations of the world. May they be humble and realise their dependence upon you. Amen