God verses the gods

Justin Carpenter

Listen in as Josh brings the big-picture overview of the redemption battle between God and the fallen sons of God, why the church was birthed, and why it’s built on the foundation of apostles and prophets.


Note from Josh: read this after listening, it will make more sense:

Mark Maynard asked a great question towards the end of the service that I want to touch base on. I love that Mark showed the hunger, humility and courage to ask because I think a lot of people may have the same question and it’s important to dialogue on these things.

I’ll share my understanding on this topic, but I encourage you to check it out for yourself and see where you’re led.

Here it is: How does Psalm 2:9 fit with Psalm 2:7-8? (I encourage you to quickly read all of Psalm 2 )

In my message I used Psalm 2:7-8 demonstrating a promise of redemption, but that doesn’t seem to be what this passage is about. Right?

Is the inheritance of the nations and possession of the earth a positive promise here? Is it leading to a good end? Or is contextually set up for destruction?

I think the promise itself results in both, but it happens that the audience in Psalm 2 is not those who want the Lord’s Anointed (Jesus).

Let’s break this down. First, there’s a preface that’s important for interpretation: Biblically speaking, an inheritance given from the Lord is a good inheritance. In the storyline of redemption, we know that ultimately the nations and the ends of the earth are the redemptive promise of inheritance for Jesus. It IS the big picture.

So what do we do with verse 9 where, right after decreeing that the nations will be Jesus’ inheritance and the ends of the earth his possession, it finishes with “You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.”? Doesn’t seem to fit, does it?

The context of the Psalm itself helps significantly. Psalm 2 opens speaking of the futility of rebellious nations who think they’re above the Most High and His Anointed Son. They believe they can break free from His rulership. You can see the storyline of the fallen sons of God leading nations astray in this.

After this intro, the Father address the rebellious leaders directly and releases His decree over his Son (v6-9). This is His “ultima verba”—his final word on the statement. He’s laying it out for them, “you don’t get it—My Son gets everything—all the nations, and all the earth. You don’t have the option to just ‘cast off’ his leadership.”

After this decree it moves to the closing words in verses 10-12 where David calls out the leaders of nations—“…serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you perish in the way…

Jesus’ inheritance is a redeemed people from every corner of the earth, but it’s also the earth itself, and ultimately, no sin and no evil will be allowed to dwell there. In this context, Jesus’ absolute right of inheritance is being held over the heads of rebellious leaders and nations as a final declaration.

At an interesting moment in the Gospels, Jesus commends being shrewd—pointing to a reality that you have to deal with people in the unique way they need to be dealt with. Jesus did not deal with lepers the way he dealt with Pharisees. He did not deal with prostitutes the way he dealt with teachers of the law. But all of his dealings were for the hope of redemption because he wishes that none would perish. That means when he spoke harshly with religious leaders, it was still in hopes that they would repent, and it had the best chance of reaching them.

In Psalm 2, this is the same thing. You had better recognize that you have no chance of defeating the Anointed One. Bow down and kiss the Son while you still have time, or you will perish.

It doesn’t change Jesus’ delight in his inheritance. It doesn’t change the nature of his inheritance. It’s making the statement that it’s all gonna belong to him, and either you receive redemption and enter in, or you get struck down and cast out.


If you’ve made it this far, you may now also be thinking about Psalm 110 and the Father’s promise to make Jesus’ enemies a footstool. How is it that they’re a footstool if Jesus is the one dashing them to pieces?

Simply put, the dashing doesn’t happen until the end.

Matthew 25:31-34,41 – ‘“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: … Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: ‘

A couple thoughts here:

  1. In the end, there will be sheep and goat nations, not just sheep and goat people, and all will be brought before Jesus where He will execute final judgement upon them.
  2. Part of the church becoming who she is called to be will result in the forced distinction and separation between light and dark. In Acts 1 the church is called to take the message to the ends of the earth so that all may hear and all may choose. Unfortunately, not everyone chooses Jesus. The gray that we know in the earth today won’t always be gray. It will eventually be as clear as the distinction between sheep and goats*, setting the stage for the final judgment by Jesus himself.

Final thought: I’m in the process of learning about this as much as you! And in time it’s likely I’ll discover things I didn’t get quite right on these topics, but the process is a good one. I hope you dig in and find things I’ve never seen, but most of all, that you enjoy the journey with Holy Spirit through these things and that the process be a relational one.

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