“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” Psalm 2:12 ESV
A few years ago, there was a popular song made famous by Faith Hill called This Kiss. With whimsical lyrics, Faith sings of a kiss; not just any kiss, but this kiss. The verses speak of this kiss as the kiss of all kisses – a kiss from a forever love. When kissed by a forever love, by someone who won’t say goodbye and with whom you can ride off into the sunset, that kind of kiss is described as ‘unsinkable…unstoppable’ and makes the person feel perpetual bliss. Given her musical appeal and physical beauty, Ms. Hill probably had many male fans wishing they could be the one giving her this kiss! Unfortunately, for those longing fans, Tim McGraw had already sealed her heart with his.
Kisses are not all of the kind between two grown-ups in love. There are delightful kisses blown to babies, gleeful butterfly kisses given by children, thoughtful kisses offered as greetings, bountiful kisses bestowed upon brides and tearful kisses of goodbye. The Bible also speaks of kisses. There are kisses of welcome, such as Jacob reuniting with Joseph or the prodigal’s father seeing his son return. There was a kiss of gratitude by the woman with her alabaster jar and a kiss of betrayal by one of Jesus’ trusted followers. God even desires for His followers to greet each other with “…a holy kiss…” (II Corinthians 13:12) The Bible mentions one other kind of kiss, though – a kiss for the Son.
The verse above is from Psalm 2, a short chapter in which God sends out a news flash to anyone who vainly thinks they can upset His dominion, “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD…” (v.1, 2) These are certainly those proud ones for whom God’s “wrath is quickly kindled” and who will eventually perish. He knows that they will never “kiss the Son.”
Later in the passage, God responds to their lofty threats, “He who sits in the heavens laughs...” God simply chuckles at such nonsense then tells the rest of the story. “Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion” and that this King is none other than His Son. Jesus is the King of Kings, who will one day reign from the throne of David. In these verses, God gives the brief, newsworthy message that He has the final say in world events and finishes by asking each of us to Kiss the Son.
Although the inference is primarily that we need to embrace Christ as our Savior and find refuge in Him, the phrase ‘kiss the Son’ seems to suggest more and is a rather odd request since we cannot physically see or touch Him now. We can only look forward to a time when we will. Written during Old Testament times, those living then had not yet seen Jesus, either. Even those who did get to see Christ while He was on earth, had to tell Him goodbye while watching Him ascend into the clouds. Because they had no clue about this event, they likely did not get to kiss Jesus goodbye. For the time being, none of us can literally kiss the Son.
This kiss we should give the Son cannot be tangible but must be intimate. Kisses require closeness. They demand an invading of others’ space- but in a good way! Just as maintaining closeness in relationships often requires creativity, I think the reason God seems to throw this verse out there for us to figure out, especially knowing that we cannot actually touch Jesus now, is because He wants us to use creativity in how we kiss the Son. Due to personality differences, the how of the kiss varies, and as long as it aligns with Scripture, He is pleased. What will not vary are the opportunities.
Jesus kissed us first by dying for us, even when “…we were still sinners…” (Romans 5:8) Through His Word, God provides the insight needed for how to kiss Him back. One way we kiss Jesus is with our devotion by loving Him more than anyone or anything else, then loving others as much as we do ourselves. Another avenue we kiss Him is with our attitudes by striving for gratitude, in particular, because He died to save us from our sins. We also kiss Him with adoration by being in awe of His awesome majesty and power.
My favorite commentary on this passage is by Charles Spurgeon from a sermon of his in 1859 titled, An Earnest Invitation. In this eloquent message, he lists progressive ways in which we can kiss the Son; with a kiss of reconciliation which brings us into a loving relationship with God, a kiss of homage as a way of showing respect to our King, a kiss of worship whereby we lavish Him with our praise, and a kiss of affectionate gratitude. He proposes that gratitude is perhaps the “…sweetest of all” the kisses by using the illustration of Mary Magdalene pouring out her gratitude of love on Jesus, all the while wiping her tears with her hair and kissing his feet. Mary was the recipient of much forgiveness, so she kissed much!
Out of her gratitude, nobody could stop Mary from showing Jesus her love. In order to anoint His feet with her kisses, Mary had to fight past the scorn and accusations of others, but more importantly, she had to come near to Him. As was mentioned earlier, kissing requires closeness. Mary had to be in His presence to display her love. Of all the ways that we can kiss Jesus, abiding in His presence seems equally as sweet as showing gratitude. The more of His presence, the more opportunities we have to lavish our love and our kisses. Since we are all so prone to wander, our devotion can easily be misplaced onto other loves. Upsetting circumstances can steal our gratitude and busyness can thwart our praise. However, abiding in Christ, by the ongoing surrender of the will and the continuing realization of our need for Him, offers the greatest potential for us to give Jesus ‘unsinkable…unstoppable’ kisses. God wants us to kiss the Son because He knows well that only THIS KISS will bring both Him and us perpetual bliss.