Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Trusting in Yahweh’s Divine Royal Son Pt. 1

Sam Shamoun

According to the Psalms, Yahweh expects all the rulers of the earth to submit to the rule of his anointed King. However, instead of doing so, the kings of the world conspire to oppose Yahweh and his Messiah, which will inevitably result in their judgment and destruction if they do not repent:

“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 Yahweh and against his anointed (mashicho), 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.’” Psalm 2:1-6

This anointed One is very special and dear to God as the next half of the Psalm shows:

“I will tell of the decree: Yahweh said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and shatter them in pieces like a potter's vessel.’ Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve Yahweh with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son (nashaqu-bar), lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who trust/take refuge (hose) in him.” Psalm 2:7-12

What makes this particular Psalm rather fascinating is that, not only does the Psalter plainly state that Yahweh takes his appointed King to be his son, it actually ascribes to this Messianic Son the same functions, roles and characteristics that in other places are ascribed to Yahweh.

The Anointed King as Yahweh’s Heir

For example, Yahweh is the One who is said to inherit all the nations since the entire world and everything within it belongs to him:

“Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations!” Psalm 82:8

“The earth is Yahweh’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.” Psalm 24:1-2 – cf. 50:12; 89:11

Yahweh is also the One who breaks and shatters all those who oppose him:

“For God has no need to consider a man further, that he should go before God in judgment. He shatters the mighty without investigation and sets others in their place.” Job 34:23-24


“Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob, for he is the one who formed all things, and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance; Yahweh of hosts is his name. ‘You are my hammer and weapon of war: with you I shatter nations in pieces; with you I destroy kingdoms; with you I shatter in pieces the horse and his rider; with you I shatter in pieces the chariot and the charioteer; with you I shatter in pieces man and woman; with you I break in pieces the old man and the youth; with you I shatter in pieces the young man and the young woman; with you I shatter in pieces the shepherd and his flock; with you I shatter in pieces the farmer and his team; with you I shatter in pieces governors and commanders.’” Jeremiah 51:19-23


“Of old you spoke in a vision to your godly one, and said: ‘I have granted help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen from the people. I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him, so that my hand shall be established with him; my arm also shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not outwit him; the wicked shall not humble him. I will break his foes before him and strike down those who hate him. My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him, and in my name shall his horn be exalted. I will set his hand on the sea and his right hand on the rivers. He shall cry to me, “You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.” And I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.’” Psalm 89:19-27

Interestingly, the Davidic king is again called God’s son in the above Psalm, even his firstborn, who is also said to be preeminent over all the kings of the nations, and whose rule is to extend throughout the entire earth.

It is, therefore, clear in light of the foregoing that Psalm 2 clearly depicts God’s anointed Son as carrying out specific divine tasks. As Reformed Christian apologist Dr. Robert A. Morey explains:

“The One to whom belongs all the nations of the world is God (Ps. 24:1-2). The One who will taro'em ‘break’ the nations is God (Job 34:24). The One who will tanappasem ‘shatter’ the nations is God (Jer. 51:19-23). All of these divine works are now applied to the Son of God.” (Morey, Trinity: Evidence and Issues [Word Bible Publishers Inc., Iowa Falls, IA 1996], Part 11: The Old Testament Evidence, Chap. 11. God the Son, p. 177; bold emphasis ours)

Trusting in the Anointed Son

Even more interesting is the fact that Psalm 2 calls upon the kings of the earth to come forward and kiss the Son, i.e. to do homage, and to seek refuge in him.

This kind of reverence and trust which the kings are commanded to place in Yahweh’s Messianic Ruler is virtually identically to that which Yahweh demands for himself.

For instance, we are told all throughout the Psalms that a person is to take refuge in Yahweh:

“Oh, taste and see that Yahweh is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” Psalm 34:8

“I love you, O Yahweh, my strength. Yahweh is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold… This God—his way is perfect; the word of Yahweh proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him… You delivered me from strife with the people; you made me the head of the nations; people whom I had not known served me… Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever.” Psalm 18:1-2, 30, 44, 50 – cf. 5:11; 7:1; 11:1; 14:6; 16:1; 17:7; 25:20; 31:1, 4, 19; 34:22; 36:7; 37:40; 43:2; 46:1; 57:1; 59:16; 61:3-4; 62:7-8; 64:10; 71:1, 3; 73:28; 91:2, 4, 9; 141:8; 142:4-5; 143:9; 144:2; Proverbs 16:20

Here, again, is Morey:

“The verb hose ‘are trusting’ is a participle and throughout the Psalms always means to put your personal faith and trust in God as your ultimate hope in this life and in the life to come. The use of this Hebrew verb in reference to the Son is very significant.

“Every time, without a single exception, when the word hose is found in the Psalms, it means to put your personal faith and trust in God. It is never used to speak of trusting men or angels. It always has God as the focus of one’s ultimate faith and trust. Therefore, to ‘trust’ the Son can only mean to trust Him as God.

As such, hose is an aspect of divine worship and is here given to the Son. Nowhere in the Bible are we told to place our ultimate faith, hope or love in men or angels. Once again, the Person called the ‘Son’ of God is revealed to be true deity.” (Morey, p. 179; bold emphasis ours)

The Holy Bible warns against trusting in fallible human beings

That Morey is right can be easily seen from the fact that the inspired Scriptures expressly condemn putting one’s unconditional trust and hope in men and human princes for salvation:

“It is better to take refuge in Yahweh than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in Yahweh than to trust in princes.” Psalm 118:8-9

Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in Yahweh his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry.” Psalm 146:3-7

“Oh, grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man!” Psalm 60:11 – cf. 52:7; 108:12

Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.’ The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:5-9

To, therefore, trust God’s Son in the same way that one trusts Yahweh would be blasphemous and idolatrous to, say the least, if the King is nothing more than a fallible creature.

Honoring the Royal Son as one honors Yahweh

This isn’t the only text which speaks of the Messianic King receiving worship from kings and their nations, as his reign extends over the entire earth and from sea to sea:

“Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son… May he rule from sea to sea and from the Euphrates to the ends of the earth. May desert tribes kneel before him and his enemies lick the dust. May the kings of Tarshish and the coasts and islands bring tribute, the kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts. Let all kings bow down to him, all nations serve him.” Psalm 72:1, 8-11

Once again, this is the kind of service and homage which the nations are commanded to give to Yahweh:

“There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. All the nations you have made shall come and bow down before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.” Psalm 86:8-10

“Make a joyful noise to Yahweh, all the earth! Serve Yahweh with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that Yahweh, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:1-3

In fact, the peoples are expected to praise both Yahweh and his anointed King, who is even called God (elohim) like Yahweh!

“Let the peoples praise you, O God (elohim); let all the peoples praise you!” Psalm 67:3

“My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe. You are the most handsome of the sons of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever. Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one, in your splendor and majesty!… Your throne, O God (elohim), is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions… and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him… I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.” Psalm 45:1-3, 6-7, 11, 17

Clearly, this is no ordinary King!

The NT Application of Psalm 2 – The Divine Royal Son Has Come!

As far as the inspired NT writings are concerned, Psalm 2 is a Messianic prophecy which Jesus Christ came to fulfill.

According to the NT, the kings of the nations that raged against Yahweh and his Messiah was realized when the Jews conspired with Herod and Pontius Pilate, the leaders of the Gentiles, to kill Jesus:

“When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, ‘Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed
”—for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place
. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.’ And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:23-31

The NT also applies this text to the Father begetting Christ on the day of his enthronement, an event which took place after his resurrection and subsequent ascension into the Father’s heavenly presence:

“But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’” Acts 13:30-33


“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the Heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you’? Or again, ‘I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son’? And again, when he brings the Firstborn into the world, he says, ‘Let all God's angels worship him.’ Of the angels he says, ‘He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.’ But of the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.’… And to which of the angels has he ever said, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’?” Hebrews 1:1-9, 13

In this particular text, Jesus is said to be the Heir of the entire creation, the radiance of God’s glory and the exact imprint or copy of the Father’s own substance or nature, who is sustaining and guiding the entire creation by his powerful word. He is also said to be reigning as God forever, with all the angels worshiping him by virtue of his status as God’s Firstborn.

We are even told that Jesus is actually ruling from the Father’s own presence in heaven itself:

“For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.” Hebrews 9:24

“Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man.” Hebrews 8:1-2 – cf. 10:12-13; 12:2

Hence, not only do we find Psalms such as 2, 45, and 110 directly quoted, we even have the very expressions and concepts employed throughout the royal Psalms used in relation to Christ, i.e., “Heir,” “Firstborn,” “Son,” “Lord,” “God” etc.

Revelation is another canonical writing which quotes or alludes to the language of Psalm 2 to describe Christ’s reign over creation.

For instance, Jesus is the male child and the Christ of God who is got up to God’s throne to rule all the nations with a rod of iron:

“And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth… She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to HIS THRONE… And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of HIS Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.’” Revelation 12:1-2, 5, 10

And it is his wrath which the kings of the earth shall experience when he comes to strike them down and reign over the nations with his iron rod:

“Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of THEIR wrath has come, and who can stand?’” Revelation 6:15-17

“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.” Revelation 19:11-16

Finally, the NT repeatedly calls people to trust in the Son of God, and to seek refuge in him for salvation, going so far as to warn anyone who refuses to do so with condemnation:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God… Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” John 3:16-18, 36


“‘Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’” John 14:1-7

Noted Evangelical Christian scholar Murray J. Harris brings out the implication of the NT’s repeated emphasis on needing to trust and believe in Christ for salvation:

“One of the recurrent themes of the Old Testament is that ‘salvation comes from the Lord’ (Jon. 2:9); ‘he alone is … my salvation’ (Ps. 62:6, 7); ‘my salvation and my honor depend on God’ (Ps. 62:7). When we turn to the New Testament, however, an additional object of saving faith is introduced:

Trust in God; trust also in me [Jesus]. (John 14:1)

All the prophets testify about him [Jesus] that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. (Acts 10:43)

Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. (Acts 16:31)

For there is no difference between a Jew and Gentile–the same Lord [Jesus; see v. 9] is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call upon him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Rom. 10:12-13)

“In fact, in the New Testament, God himself is relatively infrequently held up as an object of faith (only twelve instances). This is not because Jesus has displaced God the Father as the one we must trust, but because it is in Christ that God meets us in salvation. There are not two competing personal objects of human faith. Only because Jesus is fully divine, intrinsically sharing God’s nature and attributes, does he become a legitimate object of trust.” (Harris, Three Crucial Questions About Jesus [Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI 1994], 3. Is Jesus God?, I. Divine Status Claimed by or Accorded to Jesus, B. In Relation to Human Beings, pp. 76-77)

Hence, it is quite clear that as far as the inspired Christian Scriptures are concerned, Jesus Christ is the entire focus and perfect fulfillment of Psalm 2.

It is time for us to proceed to the second part of our analysis.