War and strife has been a long time malady

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 29, 2007

According to a popular informational Web site, there have been approximately 150 to 180 wars and/or conflicts on the planet since 1914. What is to account for this malady?

James, our Lord’s half-brother, offers us some insight when he writes in chapter 4 of his epistle the following words: “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures” (4:1-3, NASB).

Psalm 2 is an excellent commentary both in understanding the mindset of those in the book of James and the mentality of the leaders of government, both then and now.

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The Psalm opens with the nations (peoples of the world) raging and conspiring. The New Webster’s Dictionary records that rage is “violent and uncontrolled anger or a fit of this; passionate desire for something.” The same source defines conspire as “combining secretly esp. for unlawful purposes.”

Against whom or what are these nations raging and conspiring? “The kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed” (Messiah).

Their rebellion takes the form of casting off any and all restraints imposed by their Creator. They collectively voice their insolence by saying, “Let us tear their (The Godhead) fetters apart, and cast away their cords from us.”

The response from Heaven comes in the form of a severe rebuke as illustrated in verses four and five. “He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury.”

The presumption of these rulers, no doubt, is due, in part, to a similar response given by the ruler of Babylon during Daniel’s tenure under that king.

The arrogance of the king is recorded in verse 29 of chapter 4, which reads as follows: “The king reflected and said, ‘Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?’” (emphasis mine).

The Bible suggests that something called the Times of the Gentiles began with Nebuchadnezzar’s reign and is still in effect and will be until the Lord returns in His majesty (Luke 21:24).

When the Times of the Gentiles has run its course, the rulers of this world will have to acknowledge, and pay homage to, The Ruler to be installed by Jehovah Himself. The Father’s action of installing His Son is recorded in verses six through nine of the Psalm, which is as follows: “But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Mount Zion, My holy mountain. I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to me, ‘Thou art My Son, Today I have begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, Thou shalt shatter them like earthenware.”

This is none other than the fulfillment of Isaiah 9:6,7, which says, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace….”

In light of these coming prophetic events, the recommendation of the Father to the rulers of the earth is to “… show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the Lord with reverence, and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, lest He become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled” (10-12a).

The Psalm closes with an exhortation to take refuge in Him (the Son). Blessed or happy are those who do.

This Psalm gives us a proper understanding of world events, both of the past and present.

Unless governmental leaders acknowledge and accept the Person of Jesus Christ and His sovereignty, the strife and animosity so prevalent in the world will not only continue but will also increase proportionately to the hatred manifested against both God and His Anointed.

The truth of this Psalm is clearly evidenced by this country’s planned and protracted attempts to cast off any vestiges that God has been vitally involved in its establishment and existence.

Dr. Manfred Langer is the assistant to the president, Tri-State Bible College in South Point.

He can be reached at drmlanger@tsbc.edu or

(740) 377-2520