Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”
I will tell of the decree:
The LORD said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (Psalm 2:1-12)
Just before his arrest and crucifixion, Christ told his disciples, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33).
Even in a place where persecution against the church has been almost non-existent, believers should not be surprised when the world’s hostility grows and persecution becomes a legitimate threat. The mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God (Ro 8:7). “If the world hates us,” Scripture says, “know that it has hated the Lord before it hated us” (Jn 15:18).
To be clear, God does not call us to respond to the world’s rage with more rage. If possible, so far as it depends on us, we should strive to live peaceably with all (Ro 12:18). “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord (Ro 12:19). Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Ro 12:21). When Jesus was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly (1Pe 2:23).
Furthermore, we should not be fearful. The nations may rage, but the story ends with our victory because Christ has overcome the world (Ps 2:1; Jn 16:33).