You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter´s vessel. Now, therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Today´s verse gives us a picture of what will actually happen to those who rebel against the Lord. In the previous verse, the psalmist simply said the Lord will deal with them in His wrath, and in today´s verse, he is now answering the ´how´ question. The Lord will break the rebellious nations with an iron rod like the potter breaking his vessels. The Hebrew word used for ´iron´ is se´bet (shevet) which is often applied to the shepherd´s crook. It is sometimes referred to as the scepter. It is a rod of correction just like how the shepherd uses it to correct the stray animals. An iron is therefore a symbol of stern and irresistible rule. The metaphor of a potter smashing his vessels with an iron rod is a symbol of how easy it is for the Lord to destroy those who rebel against him to complete irreparable destruction.
This is a frightening picture and therefore the psalmist warns the rebellious kings and rulers to be wise. How are they supposed to be wise? Probably the next verse will shed more light. Two takeaways for today are; 1. No one can stand against the Lord´s anger and survive. 2. There is no gain at all in rebelling against the Lord since the end is complete doom.
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