by Doug Rose
But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will pluck you up from My land that I have given you, and this house that I have consecrated for My name, I will cast out of My sight … (2 Chron. 7:19 – 20a).
We recently discussed in the adult Sunday school class the messianic qualities of Psalm 2, including at verse 12a the admonition,
Kiss the Son,
lest He be angry, and you perish in the way,
for His wrath is quickly kindled.
A professor of mine once remarked that he had not heard very many hymns the lyrics to which focused on the topic of the wrath of God. This psalm – this ancient hymn – reminds us that coextensively with the Incarnation of the Son for the sake of our atonement with God comes the hour of His Judgment, and by fire will the LORD enter into judgment. (Isa. 66:16a). We need always to bear in mind that our Savior and Redeemer, our blessed hope, will also in the end days be our Judge, and that His wrath will be quickly kindled were we to be found to have abandoned Him and turned aside, forsaking our covenant obligations to worship Him and Him alone. The hands He holds forth today for us to kiss are the hands that were pierced by nails when He was crucified for our sake.1
The self-esteem and self-importance of the American culture have blinded many to both the paramount holiness of God and the severity of sin in our lives.2 We have been disobedient for so long that we no longer fear God and are poised to be shattered.3 God warned the Israelites at the dedication and consecration of Solomon’s resplendent temple that no matter how magnificently their cultural achievements would wax, their unswerving participation in the covenant of the worship of the LORD alone was an absolute requirement for survival. Then they will say “Because they abandoned the LORD … He has brought all this disaster on them.” (2 Chron. 7:22). The Psalmist echoes these bodings to both kings and rulers4 to be warned and to be wise, and so to serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. (Ps. 2:11). Let us pray in this New Year that our embedded cultural self-idolatries do not result in Him plucking us up.
1 Boice, Jas. M., Psalms (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books; 1994), Vol. I, p.27.
2 Sproul, R. C., Saved From What? (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2002), pp.27 – 33.
3 Id., pp. 34 – 36.
4 We sadly note that one such ruler, Barack Hussein Obama, did not go to church this Christmas. Christian Post, December 26, 2012.