You Are My Son

Meditations on the Psalms: Kevin Youngblood

I will tell of the decree:

The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;

today I have begotten you.

Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,

and the ends of the earth your possession.

Nestled in the second psalm of the Psalter is a memory, a recitation that the Davidic king repeats to himself in the midst of raging nations and quarrelsome kings who are rattling their sabers and breathing out threats. Both in the eyes of these kings and in his own eyes the Davidic king seems small, far from equal to the forces that oppose him. Who is he to confront these super powers? His kingdom is a backwater, a mere midget among giants on the world stage. As the king of Assyria once said to Hezekiah, “I’ll give you 2,000 horses if you can even find enough riders to put on their backs, just to make it a fair fight!” (Isa 36:8; 2 Kgs 18:23).

Intimidated and daunted by what he’s up against, the Davidic king takes a deep breath with the threats and taunts still ringing in his ears and he closes his eyes and he repeats to himself the words that YHWH spoke to him on the day of his coronation: “You are my son. Today, I have become your father. Just ask and the nations will become your inheritance, the very ends of the earth your birthright.” These words send a warming sensation throughout his body from head to toe. He seems to grow taller with each iteration of them. The Father’s reassuring words suddenly drown out the taunts and the threats. The enemy’s psychological warfare is sabotaged by the messiah’s meditation on YHWH’s assurance of adoption and promise of possession: “You are mine. I have your back. Don’t let these squatty bodies intimidate you. This is not about your meagre resources and limited strength. This is about my infinite resources and unlimited strength operating in and through your weakness as you surrender it to me and align yourself with my character.”

These are the very words the Father spoke over Jesus at his baptism – the words that blew the embers of messianic consciousness into full flame and launched an unlikely ministry in the least likely place to produce a world-altering regime that would bring all worldly kingdoms to their knees. They are the very words the Father repeated at his transfiguration as the cross came clearly into view as the only possible pathway to an eternal reign over a restored cosmos. They are the words that the Father repeated again over me at my baptism as I identified with Jesus and participated in the death and resurrection that catapulted him (and me) to the Father’s right hand (Eph. 2:6). And they are the words that I repeat to myself now in the face of enemies and attacks far stronger than I am. Who am I to confront the dark forces of hell? What power do I have to withstand the assault of Satan and his minions? I am a child of the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, the sovereign of the universe who has adopted me and written me into his will. He assures me that his resources are now mine and that I have nothing to fear regardless of what the bullies of this world or even the hellions of the spiritual abyss throw at me. To every believer at her baptism the Father says, “You are my daughter.” To every disciple at his moment of truth the Father says, “You are my son. Just ask and all of these forces will become immediately subject to you because you’ve chosen the way of the cross and therefore you reign with my eternal Son.” When I remember these words, I am able to stand straight and face the enemy without blinking. This is what the psalms mean by meditation and the enemy is no match for the power of this truth.

Our Father,

Thank you for speaking these words over us when we tremble before our enemies. Thank you for giving us this promise to hold on to when life overwhelms us with seemingly impossible tasks and insurmountable challenges. Nothing can go so wrong that you cannot make it right. If you can correct the injustices perpetrated against Jesus, then what can’t you do? If we are in him and he is in us by the Spirit, then how are we not already victorious and enthroned? We are your children, heirs of the new creation whose reality is more certain (not less) than even the present veil of tears. Lord Jesus, our elder brother, thank you for sharing your sonship with us and including us in your inheritance. Thank you for blazing this trail that though fraught with pain and peril leads ultimately to victory as your own example has proven. Holy Spirit, thank you for your repeated reminders, your testimony to our hearts that we really are children of God and joint heirs with Christ and that the enemy cannot take this inheritance away.