The Psalmist begins with a question: “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?”  We could probably learn a lot by looking at the scriptural questions that begin with ‘Why?’  In the Bible, the ‘why’ question is usually not a matter of seeking an answer as much as it is making a statement.  Another way to ask it is to say: “Why in the world do they do those things, because it will never lead to anything lasting.” Sure, they may gain some short term advantage – but it will not endure.  They conspire and plot in order to grasp at power – a power that is earthly.  Of course, this is nothing new, or should I say it is ‘not just an old thing’.  Wherever there is a struggle between worldly pride and ambition, and the will of God, we see this playing out.  We see it in many places today.

So the psalmist takes us to the courts of heaven where we see all this in a different light.  What the earthly power grabbers take so seriously, God laughs at and shows displeasure over.  The truth is that what God wills is inevitable.  The upsetting of all this earthly planning may still lie ahead, but it is inevitable.  We may have to wait for God’s purpose to be fully evident, but it is already a fact in God’s mind and heart.  And it will happen.

There is, therefore, a warning for all those who think so highly of themselves and feel they are in control.  Your time is coming.  Your day will end.  Better to serve the Lord in fear and rejoice with trembling.  Better to put your trust in the Lord.  Better to take refuge in the One who is Lord of all – heaven and earth.

Maybe to us Christians, all this talk about rulers and who is in charge doesn’t really hit home.  Let them battle it out.  I’m just trying to live my life the best I can.  Ultimately, though, it has everything to do with us and our lives.  For in our own way, sometimes in our own sinful way, we too want to take control and run our lives the way we desire.  But that is vanity for us too.  When all is said and done, we are done and undone unless and until we take refuge in the Lord and trust in Him.  I pray we can strive to do that each day.

Let us pray: Lord God, you anointed your only-begotten Son to rule this world in love. Quiet the uproar of the nations, and give us hearts ready to serve the one in whom we take refuge forever, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.