A Royal (Messianic) Psalm
The psalm does not state its author, but the Acts of the Apostles (4:24-26) clearly attributes it to David.
This psalm continues the theme of the first psalm but extends the concept to corporate sin, or the wickedness of nations. As this world is the kingdom of Satan, unconverted men of every rank, party, and character, are stirred up to oppose the cause of God. But the rulers of the earth generally have been the most active. The psalm is an ultimatum - warning the kings of the earth (the powerful): Give Heed!
The truths and precepts of Christianity are inherently in opposition to the ambitions of worldly rulers. The Lord Jesus has all power both in heaven and in earth. The psalm affirms that David, the Israelite king, is to be the regent of the Lord. God has his own designs for the Davidic dynasty, and those that oppose David (God's annointed) oppose God. Blessed are all who trust in God
The Coronation of the Son
and the Certainty of His Dominion
1 Why do the nations conspire,
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 They arise, the kings of the earth;
princes plot against the LORD and his Anointed.
3 “Let us burst asunder their fetters.
Let us cast off from us their chains.”
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the LORD derides and mocks them.
5 Then he will speak in his anger,
his rage will strike them with terror.
6 “It is I who have appointed my king
on Sion, my holy mountain.”
7 I will announce the decree of the LORD:
The LORD said to me, “You are my Son.
It is I who have begotten you this day.
8 Ask of me and I will give you
the nations as your inheritance,
and the ends of the earth as your possession.
9 With a rod of iron you will rule them;
like a potters jar you will shatter them.”
10 So now, O kings, understand;
take warning, rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the LORD with fear;
exult with trembling, pay him your homage,
12 lest he be angry and you perish on the way,
for suddenly his anger will blaze.
Blessed are all who trust in God!
Athanasian Grail Psalter 1
The psalm tells who would appear as adversaries to Christ. As this world is the kingdom of Satan, unconverted men of every rank, party, and character, are stirred up to oppose the cause of God. But the rulers of the earth generally have been the most active. The truths and precepts of Christianity are inherently in opposition to the ambitions of worldly rulers. We are told what they aim at in this opposition. They would break asunder the bands of conscience, and the cords of God’s commandments; they will not receive them, but cast them away as far as they can. These enemies can show no good cause for opposing so just and holy a government, which, if received by all, would bring a heaven upon earth. Thus, there is no hope for their success in opposing so powerful a kingdom. The Lord Jesus has all power both in heaven and in earth, and is Head over all things to the church, notwithstanding the restless endeavours of his enemies. Christ’s throne is set up in his Church - in the hearts of all believers.
The kingdom of the Messiah is founded upon an eternal decree of God the Father. God hath said unto him, 'Thou art my Son', and it becomes each of us to say to him, 'Thou art my Lord, my Sovereign’. The Son, in asking the heathen for his inheritance. He desires their happiness in him. And so He pleads for them - to save them, so He shall have multitudes of willing, loyal subjects. Christians are the possession of the Lord Jesus. God the Father gave them to Him, when by his Spirit and grace, He works upon them to submit to the Lord Jesus.
Whatever we rejoice in, in this world, it must always be with trembling, because of the uncertainty of all things in it. To welcome Jesus Christ, and to submit to Him, is our wisdom and interest. Let Him be very dear and precious; love Him above all, love Him in sincerity, love Him much, as she did (Mary Magdalen), to whom much was forgiven, and, in token of it, kissed his feet (Luke 7:38). And with a kiss of loyalty take this yoke upon you, and give up yourselves to be governed by his laws, disposed of by his providence, and entirely devoted to his cause.
Unbelief is a sin against the remedy. It brings utter destruction, less we perish in our sins and missed the way of happiness. Christ is the way. These rulers of the earth revolted against God, and they perished in their sins. Blessed will those be in the day of judgement, who, by trusting in Christ, have made Him their Refuge. (Revised From: Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary) 5