Apr 12, 2010

Psalm 2:12 - William Styles

Psa. 2:12, “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way.” (Or “Do obeisance to the Son.”—B.W. Newton. Compare Hos. 13:2.) Ordinarily regarded as an exhortation to sinners to yield to the gracious influence of the Spirit, and be reconciled to Christ, lest He be angry at their despising Him and rejecting His offers, and consign them to hell for their impenitence and unbelief.

An examination of the context shows that such an interpretation is incorrect. Christ is “King of kings,” and it is here demanded that kings and judges who receive their thrones under His authority should acknowledge His supremacy.” To kiss a monarch’s hand is a worldwide token of homage, and well would it be for mankind if all in high places were actuated by the principles of Christ’s book, and acted in the way which He commands. A reason is given for the wisdom commanded. “Be wise, therefore” (see Deut. 16:18-20) “lest He be angry ,and ye perish from the way”—that is, be deposed, degraded, and end your now brilliant course in disgrace and sorrow. Zedekiah (2 Chorn. 36); and Jehoiakim (2 Kings 24); and Herod (Acts 12:21-23) Louis XVI of France, and the Napoleon family, are cases in point.

The Psalm had special applicability immediately after the Ascension and Enthronement of Jesus, and before the dispersion of the Jewish nation (Acts 4:25, 26). Even then their rulers might have owned His royal rights, of which such convincing proofs had been given by the miraculous operations of the Holy Spirit (pages 97 and 119). But they would not be wise. They were not instructed. His wrath was kindled, and they and their people perished from the way.

Thus by kissing the Son, serving and fearing the Lord, etc., spiritual actions are not intended. Natural and national homage only is enjoined, and temporal and providential blessings are promised.

Thus, then, the passage is addressed to kings and magistrates, and there is no analogy between their official standing, and the condition of a man dead in trespasses and sins, or even a regenerated and awakened inquirer seeking information concerning salvation. We are never enjoined to call upon unregenerate sinners as kings and judges.

The doctrine that Christ is enraged with sinners for not coming to Him, and that their damnation will be augmented on this account is therefore unsupported by this passage. The words run, “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry.” The Law says, “God is angry with the wicked”—that “the wrath of God abideth” on them. They are “condemned already,” and it is mischievous to evade the declaration of the Law when advancing the doctrines of the Gospel.

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