From Psalms 108-114
The Psalm I have chosen today is quite famous because it anticipates a coming Christ who would rule over the whole world.
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
1 The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” (Ps 110.1)
We will discuss this verse in greater detail later. But for now we should note a few things in advance.
First, there are three people alluded to;
- David the author,
- The LORD, and
- the person David refers to as ‘my Lord’.
Person 3, David’s Lord has authority over David. That’s why he calls him ‘my Lord’.
YHWH (the LORD) tells David’s Lord to sit at his right hand (the place of power) until he puts all his enemies under him.
David’s Lord is assumed to be the promised Christ.
2 The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies!
3 Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours.
4 The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Ps 110.2-4)
The Psalm continues to speak about David’s Lord. He will rule over his enemies. He will have people under him. So we see the growing concept of king and kingdom. But there is more. Not only will he be king, he will be a priest who continues on forever of the order of Melchizedek (cf. Gen 14.18; derived from the Hebrew meaning ‘king of righteousness’). Melchizedek was the kingly priest who met Abram after his successful rescue of Lot. In all this we see growing number of reasons why David refers to him as ‘my Lord’.
5 The Lord is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
6 He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth.
7 He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head. (Ps 110.5-7)
David’s Lord will conquer all his enemies. People will die when he executes judgment. He will establish peace by conquering all his enemies. Which is very close to the introduction and of the Psalm. His enemies will be made his footstool. Might be a good idea to be on his good side.
Story of Israel
The Lord spoken of in this Psalm did not make an appearance soon after David. No king was directly spoken of as conquering all his enemies as this Psalm says. Nor was any king said to be both king and priest of the order of Melchizedek as this Psalm. For a long time it remained unfulfilled.
Story of Jesus
Ps 110:1 holds the record for being the OT text most often cited or alluded to in the NT. The Psalm resurfaces in peoples speculation as they begun to question whether Jesus is the Christ.
35 And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36 David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared,
“ ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.” ’
37 David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly. (Mk 12:35–37)
Ive drawn this picture below to help us understand what Jesus is playing with here.
Jesus asks how the promised Christ could be the Son of David (his descendant). Then he quotes Ps 110.1 and the main idea he takes from here is David calls the promised Christ ‘my Lord.’ In Jewish culture, fathers had headship over their whole family and all their descendants. So if the promised Christ is David’s son, shouldn’t David also have authority over him as his father? Shouldnt the promised Christ call David ‘my Lord’ if he is his son? Jesus makes the point – No. The Psalm reverses this relationship. Jesus’ point is the promised Christ is greater than David and has authority over David even though he is born after him. In the Psalm and well before Jesus came, David recognised the promised Christ would be his Lord. The Lord who God promised will rule forever (2 Sam 7.13).
We should assume that Jesus knows he is the promised Christ. What Jesus is alluding to is that he is greater than David even though he is his son (2 Tim 2.8). There are only a few related possibilities that Jesus may be hinting at here that explain why he thinks he is greater than David.
- Jesus believes he is older than David in the same family line,
- Jesus believes he is higher in rank than Israel’s greatest king,
- Jesus believes He has greater authority than all.
This is the Jesus who laid down his life for us and on the third day was raised to life. Do you, like David call Jesus ‘my Lord’?
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights Reserved.