The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. 11 But the plans of the Lord stand firm for ever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. 12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.
I watched the tea time news yesterday and in Moscow President Putin took the salute at a massive military parade to mark the Soviet victory in World War Two. The item ended by saying that the Russian people are to vote on a proposed changed to the constitution of the country which would allow Putin to serve two more terms as President without having to stand aside for a time as he did before. Before the Coronavirus took our attention by storm you’ll remember that we were in a time of growing international tension. Now that Coronavirus is on the wane, for the moment at least, we find that international tensions are coming to the fore again. Russia is flexing its military muscle, North Korea has blown up a centre for peace funded by South Korea, the Taliban is becoming increasingly active in Afghanistan having been given a role in the country by the USA.
Had we time to reflect upon it, all these are worrying signs and perhaps even now they cause us some unease; the world suddenly seems to be an unstable place. Powerful men jostle for position and cling to authority, they plan for national glory and crave influence in the world that will write them into history and, of course, enable them to enjoy the economic fruits and creaturely comforts of political position or is it dictatorship? It’s typical of human arrogance and at the same time foolish of us to imagine that such men are all powerful. While they may be influential in their generation their power is limited, firstly because their lives are limited to the normal span; age and decline will remove them. Beyond that there is one more powerful, one who is sovereign in all things for verses 10-12 of this Psalm tell us the second reason why we should sing in joyful praise to the Lord. In summary our God reigns!
Men and women may have their moment in history, they may wreak havoc for a time but the Lord foils the plans of the nations, and thwarts the plans of politicians that are in anything contrary to his will. By contrast the Lord’s plan and purpose from generation to generation remains the same, and will prevail. Time like an ever rolling stream may bear all her sons away, but it carries the entire human race and all creation closer to that day when Christ shall return and establish His Kingdom in power. Then we will see the new creation in all its glory.
When this psalm was written the people of God was largely defined as the nation of Israel. In the gospel age that definition has broadened to include people of every nation and race. All made one through faith in Jesus Christ. Blessed is the people he chose for his inheritance. Think about that last sentence, It’s not a grammatical error.
Here’s a blast from the past, well from my past anyway. In the last century (no kidding it was the 1970’s) we used to sing a song in BB bible class that went like this. “Kingdoms may rise, kingdoms may fall, nations refuse to hear God’s call but the word of the Lord endureth forever more.” That’s the truth, praise God!
Behold our God (video below)
John Piper on God’s sovereignty - click link (10 minutes)