The Last Laugh - The One Year Book of Psalms

The Last Laugh

Psalm 2:1-6

1Why do the nations rage?

Why do the people waste their time with futile plans?

2The kings of the earth prepare for battle;

the rulers plot together

against the LORD

and against his anointed one.

3“Let us break their chains,” they cry,

“and free ourselves from this slavery.”

4But the one who rules in heaven laughs.

The Lord scoffs at them.

5Then in anger he rebukes them,

terrifying them with his fierce fury.

6For the LORD declares, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne

in Jerusalem, my holy city.”

In its first three hundred years the Christian church endured repeated waves of persecution, but perhaps the worst came while Diocletian was emperor of Rome (A.D. 284–305). Convinced that the Christians were conspiring against him, Diocletian sought to annihilate them throughout his empire, and he ordered entire towns to be massacred.

But, as Psalm 2:4 recognizes, the one who rules in heaven is sovereign over the wicked, and he will have the last laugh.

Back home in Diocletian’s palace his own wife and daughter were turning to Christ. And after his death a new emperor by the name of Constantine took the throne. Constantine became a Christian, and Christianity eventually became the favored religion of the entire Roman Empire.

Similarly, in the story of the Exodus, Pharaoh thought he had subdued the Israelites when he ordered the drowning of all their baby boys. Little did he realize that his own daughter would give a princely education to one of those babies, Moses, who would eventually lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Again, God had the last laugh.

You may not have to face a Diocletian or a Pharaoh this year, but you will face opposition to your faith. As you look ahead with perhaps some trepidation, remember that the King of kings and Lord of lords is on your side, and he will have the last laugh.

Our God the Father from his throne

Laughs at their pride, their rage controls

He’ll vex their hearts with pains unknown

And speak in thunder to their souls.


In verse 2 the Hebrew word for “anointed one” is messiah. The Greek word for this is christ.

There are only three places in Scripture where God is depicted as laughing—here as well as in Psalms 37:13 and 59:8.

“We should not judge God’s drama until the final act.”


From the Book:

The One Year Book of Psalms cover image

The One Year Book of Psalms
By William Petersen, Randy Petersen, and Tyndale

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