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Psalm 110

A Psalm of Christ, Our King and High Priest

A psalm of David, altogether prophetic in character, setting before the Church of the Old Testament the Messiah as the Lord of David. No other psalm, no other prophecy, is quoted so often in the New Testament as this psalm. Compare Matt. 22, 44; Mark 12, 36; Luke 20, 42; Acts 2, 34; 1 Cor. 15, 25; Heb. 1, 13; 1 Pet. 3, 22. Compare also Ps. 45, 6. 7, where the same idea is brought out. 

V. 1. The Lord said unto my Lord, literally, “Declaration of Yahweh to my Lord,” David here recording what he, in the spirit, heard Yahweh, the God of heaven, say to his Lord, the Messiah, Sit Thou at My right hand, emblem of the almighty power of God with which He shows forth His great miracles, especially those for the salvation of mankind, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool. 

The Messiah, the Son of David, and at the same time David’s Lord, born as a true man and living His life in lowliness and humility, is given apart in the divine power and rule, Himself in charge of God’s government of the earth, exalted to that position according to His humanity. The climax of His kingly rule will be reached on the Last Day; for then the Lord Yahweh will crown His many victories in behalf of the Head of the Christian Church by Vanquishing even the last enemy of mankind, death, 1 Cor. 15, 25. On that day the Kingdom of Grace will become the Kingdom of Glory, and Christ will rule as the King of Glory throughout eternity.

V. 2. The Lord shall send the rod, the scepter, of Thy strength, stretching it out in the conquering power of His might, out of Zion, extending His Church on all sides, among all nations. The conquest of the enemies, the conversion of the heathen, is a proof of Christ’s almighty power. Rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies. In the very midst of His enemies Christ establishes His kingdom. 

V. 3. Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power, literally, “willingnesses” or “willing sacrifices” whenever He wants to mobilize them, whenever He wants them to carry forward His will, to spread the Gospel of His glory and salvation, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning; Thou hast the dew of Thy youth, literally, “in the majesties of holiness, from the womb of the dawn to Thee is the dew of Thy young men.” The people mobilized by the Lord, the soldiers enrolled under Messiah’s banners, appear in the majesties of holiness, in the garments of the true priests, the symbol of purity, white linen, their garments cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. Thus they are a nation of priests, 1 Pet. 2, 9. 

In such numbers are they mobilized for spiritual warfare and ministry that the young men - the vigorous numbers making up the army - are like dew from the womb of the morning for multitude, a countless host. As the dew falls most strongly just at dawn, when the morning star arises, so the members of Christ’s Church and army are brought forth when the heavenly light from the Day-star on high shines upon them, when they are converted by the power of the Spirit in the Word. The new spiritual life is bound to show in all the works of the Christians. The psalmist now pictures the majesty of the Messiah. 

V. 4. The Lord, Yahweh of heaven, hath sworn, in a solemn oath, and will not repent, the words of His oath being directed to the Messiah, Thou art a Priest forever, throughout eternity, after the order of Melchizedek. Jesus Christ is the great High Priest of His Church, who, by His atonement, by offering Himself as a sacrifice to God in the place of all men, as mankind’s great Substitute, earned an everlasting redemption, the fruit of which is assured to all believers by His intercession for us at the throne of His Father. The priesthood is His after the order of Melchizedek, King of Salem, who was both king and priest in one person. The thought is carried out in great detail in the Epistle to the Hebrews, chap. 6, 20-7, 28. 

V. 5. The Lord at Thy right hand, the Messiah Himself, possessed of the full divine Godhead, also according to His human nature, shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath, crushing them, treading even the greatest and roost powerful enemies under foot on the great Day of Judgment, when His anger will blaze forth. 

V. 6. He shall judge among the heathen, carrying out His sentence of wrath upon all such as persistently oppose His work; He shall fill the places with the dead bodies, the picture being that of a carnage of battle, with the dead and dying strewing the battlefield; He shall wound the heads over many countries, shattering “the head over much earth,” the reference roost likely being to Antichrist, of whom it is stated that the Lord shall consume him with the Spirit of His mouth and destroy him with the brightness of His coming, 2 Thess. 2, 8, so that he and all his adherents will receive their reward in everlasting damnation. At the same time the Victor will stand forth in His glory. 

V. 7. He shall drink of the brook in the way; therefore shall He lift up the head. He who was obliged to drink of the brook of suffering and tribulation in the state of His humiliation, especially in His last great Passion, will have His exaltation confirmed forever, before friends and enemies, on the great Last Day. It is nothing but victory, conquest, and triumph that falls to the lot of the Messiah. With His head raised up high above all His enemies, He shall never again be laid low, but shall hold the field forever, together with those who have accepted Him as their Savior and their King, in an everlasting victory and triumph.

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