The Lord gives dominion to the King
A Psalm of David.
Psalm 110: This royal psalm is also messianic. It is the only messianic psalm with no contemporary reference to David or another. Though assailed by critics, its Davidic authorship, divine inspiration, and messianic interpretation are all assumed by Jesus and the New Testament writers. It ranks as the Psalm most quoted in the New Testament (Matt. 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42-43; Acts 2:34-35; Heb. 1:13; 5:6; 7:17, 21), with many additional allusions. The content of the psalm may be analyzed under three headings: Sovereign King (verses1-3), Eternal Priest (verse 4), and Victorious Warrior (verses 5-7). The initial double reference to the Lord created interpretive problems in Jesus’ day (see Matt. 22:41-45), but only for those who refused to accept His deity. The answer is simple: the first word “LORD” is in capital letters, indicating that it is a reference to Yahweh, the personal name of God; the second word “LORD” contains only a capital “L,” indicating that it is the Hebrew word Adonai, meaning “Master”; the word “my” refers of course to David himself. Though the Messiah is David’s son (2 Sam. 7:14-16), He is also David’s Adonai; therefore, Messiah must be divine as well. The implication of the first three verses is striking: God and Messiah rule the earth as partners. Verse 4 establishes the priesthood of the Messiah though not until (Heb. Chapters 5 and 7), is this office explained. Not only is the Messiah a unique King-Priest, He is also a warrior (verses 5-7), who will execute judgment and thus “lift up the head” (verse 7), in conquest.
Verses 1-7: This psalm contains one of the most exalted prophetic portions of Scripture presenting Jesus Christ as both a holy King and a royal High Priest, something that no human monarch of Israel ever experienced. It (along with Psalm 118), is by far the most quoted psalm in the New Testament (Matt. 22:44; 26:64; Mark 12:36; 14:62; Luke 40:42-43; 22:69; Acts 2:34-35; Heb. 1:13; 5:6; 7:17, 21; 10:13). While portraying the perfect King, the perfect High-Priest, and the perfect government, Psalm 110 declares Christ’s current role in heaven as the resurrected Savior (110:1), and His future role on earth as the reigning Monarch (110:2-7). This psalm is decidedly messianic and millennial in content. Jesus Christ (Matt. 22:43-44), verifies the Davidic authorship. The exact occasion of this psalm is unknown, but it could easily had been associated with God’s declaration of the Davidic Covenant (in 2 Sam. 7:4-17).
- Christ the King (110:1-3).
- Christ the High Priest (110:4-7).
This psalm is one of the most glorious prophecies of the Messiah in the Old Testament and is often quoted in the New Testament (See first paragraph above for references).
“The womb of the morning” possibly represents the dawning of that blessed day in the millennial period when Israel will be born again, God’s beloved firstborn among the nations.
“Thou hast the dew of thy youth” paints the picture of the strength and splendor of the ascendant King.
Psalm 110:1 “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”
“My Lord”: Refers to the divine/human King of Israel, the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ’s humanity descended from David, which is demanded by the Davidic promise of (2 Sam. 7:12). Using this passage, Christ also declared His deity in the gospels (Matt. 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42-43), by arguing that only God could have been lord to king David.
“My right hand”: God the Father invited God the Son in His ascension to sit at the place of honor in the heavenly throne room (compare Acts. 2:22-36; Heb. 10:10-12).
“Thine enemies thy footstool”: Footstool was an ancient Near Eastern picture of absolute victory portraying the idea that one’s enemy was now underfoot (compare Psalm 8:6-7; 47:3; Isa. 66:1; 1 Cor. 15:27). This anticipates Christ’s Second Advent (compare Rev. 19:11-21), as a conquering king (compare Heb. 10:13).
This is most definitely a prophetic Scripture about the Lord Jesus Christ. In this David, is calling Jesus his Lord. Jesus is even now seated at the right hand of the Father at the throne of God in heaven. In Matthew chapter 22, Jesus speaks of this very same Scripture.
Matthew 22:43-45 “He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,” “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?” “If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?”
In the flesh, Jesus is descended from David. In the Spirit, Jesus is David’s Lord. Notice, it is the LORD who makes His enemies His footstool. LORD is Jehovah here, and Lord is Adonai.
Psalm 110:2 “The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.”
“The rod of thy strength”: From the human side, the ancestral staff of Judah is in view (compare Gen. 49:10). From the divine side, the rod of iron by which King Jesus will subdue the earth is intended (compare Psalm 2:9).
“Zion”: God intends to install His ultimate earthly king in Jerusalem (the southwest side is Zion; compare Psalm 132:13-18). The earthly Zion (compare Psalm 2:6; Isa. 59:20 is in view), not the heavenly Zion because:
(1) There are no enemies in heaven, and
(2) None of the activities (in verses 5-7), will take place in heaven.
“Rule”: Christ will rule on the earthly throne of His father David (compare Luke 1:32), in fulfillment of (Isa. 9:6 and Zech. 14:9).
We have talked so much about Zion symbolizing the church. I believe that to be the case here. The power of Jesus in the earth today is shown to the world through His church. Jesus is the Lord. There is no greater rule in the earth today than the rule of Jesus in His people. Moses had a rod of power that God had given him. This rod of Jesus is even more powerful than that. Jesus has all power in heaven and earth and under the earth. The rod of Jesus is a rod of love. He brings his Word in such power to all who will receive it. They are no longer his enemies, but His servants. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is not a denomination, but a family. The Light of Jesus is in all churches that believe in Jesus. The Light that the church gives off is not Light that the church produces, it is Light that we are showing from Him. It is Jesus’ Light. We are just the fixture that you see His Light in. The rod of Moses did not bring the water, it was the Rock (Jesus Christ), that brought the water. The rod of Moses just activated the water to flow. Christians are not the truth, Jesus is. We just bring His Truth to the world.
Verses 5-6: Depict a battlefield, revealing the victories to come. He contemplates the conflict and the victory, one that will be characterized by everlasting dominion and eternal power and triumph.
Verses 3-6: The passage describes the Kings might, His people must be (“willing”).
Psalm 110:3 “Thy people [shall be] willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.”
“Shall be willing”: The redeemed inhabitants of earth will willingly serve the King of kings and Lord of Lords.
“The day of thy power”: Refers to the power displayed during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ (compare Zech. 14:1-21; Rev. 19:11 – 20:6).
“The beauties … womb … dew”: This seems to apply to the King and to represent Him as in the constant vigor of youth, a period distinguished by strength and activity or it may refer to His holiness, eternality and deity.
The power here, is the gospel power. The power of the Word of God is the greatest power in the world. The spoken and the written Word are the great powers of the Lord Jesus made manifest. Possibly the statement, from the womb, means babies. These would be baby Christians. There is nothing more beautiful than a brand new Christian. Youth have energy and an eagerness that some of the older Christians have lost. What a wonderful thing it would be to be able to keep the enthusiasm that we had when we were first saved.
Psalm 110:4 “The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.”
“Thou art a priest”: The first time in the history of Israel when a king simultaneously served as High-Priest. Christ (a.k.a. “Branch”, compare Isa. 4:2; Jer. 23:5-6; Zech. 3:8; 6:12-13), will build the temple at which the world will worship God (compare 2 Sam. 7:13; Isa. 2:2-4; Ezek. chapters 40-48).
“For ever”: Christ represents the final and foremost High-Priest in the history of Israel.
“The order of Melchizedek”: This High-Priest could not be of Aaron’s lineage in that he would not be eternal, not be of Judah, not be a king, and not be of the New covenant (Jer. 31:31-33; Heb. Chapters 8 and 9). Melchizedek, which means “king of righteousness”, served as the human priest/king of Salem in (Gen. 14-17-20), and provides a picture of the order of Christ’s priesthood (compare Heb. 5:6; 7:17, 21). The sons of Zadok will serve with Christ in the Millennium as His human priestly associates (compare Ezek. 44:15; 48:11).
Melchizedek and Jesus were High Priests of a heavenly nature. They were not high-priest from earthly blood lines, but were High-Priest forever. The high-priest on the earth had limited power and was high-priest for a short time on this earth. Jesus, or Melchizedek, was High-Priest King for all of eternity. Jehovah swore, and it is a fact that cannot be disputed. He will not change His mind. This order of High Priest is of all of the faithful. Melchizedek appeared to Abraham and Abraham believed and paid tithes to Him. Abraham is the Father of all believers. We believe in Jesus Christ our High-Priest. Abraham and all Christian believers believed the same thing, and it was counted as righteousness to them.
Psalm 110:5 “The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.”
“Thy right hand”: The roles have her reversed, the Father now stands at the right hand of the Son. This pictures the father supplying the needs of the Son (compare Psalms 16:8; 109:31; Isa. 41:13). The Father provides the defeat of His enemies on earth so that His Son can fulfill God’s land and nation promises to Abraham (Gen. 12:1-2), and kingship promise to David (2 Sam. 7:12-13, 16).
“The day of his wrath”: This refers to the “Day of the Lord” (compare verse 3 “the day of thy power”), which finds its global expression at the end of Daniels’s 70th week (compare Dan. 9:24-27). This term exclusively speaks of God’s wrath, which will be poured out on an unrepentant world in order to set up Christ’s 1,000 year (millennial), reign (compare Joel 2:1, 11, 31; 3:14; Rev. 6:16-17; 14:19: 19:15).
The Lord here, is speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus not only sits at the right hand of the Father, but is in fact, the Right Hand of God. When Jesus returns to this earth as King of kings and Lord of lords, He will rule with the rod of iron. Earthly kings will crumble before Him. His power shall be in all the earth. In that day, all will believe who He is and will be His subjects.
2 Thessalonians 1:10 “When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.”
Psalm 110:6 “He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill [the places] with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.”
Among the “nations.” That is, he shall set up a kingdom, or shall rule over the nations of the earth. He shall come to execute judgment and justice, and shall apportion to people what is due to them (see notes at Isa. 11:3-5).
“He shall fill the places with the dead bodies”: He shall make a great slaughter, indicative of conquest, and of the subjugation of the world to himself. It would be “as if” the bodies of the slain in battle strewed the ground, or filled the valleys of the earth.
“He shall wound the heads”: The same word is used here that occurs in the previous verse, and that is there rendered “shall strike.” It is the language of “conquest,” as if the world was to be subdued to himself by war.
“Over many countries”: Margin, “great.” Over vast and extensive regions, carrying his conquests into distant lands. This will be fulfilled only when all the earth shall be subject to the reign of the Messiah (1 Cor. 15:24-28).
Compare (Psalms 2:8-9; 50:1-6; Isa. 2:4; 9:6-7; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:26-27; Joel 3:2, 12; Micha 4:3; Matt. 25:32; Rev. 6:15-17; 14:20; 16:14; 19:19-21).
The wrath of God is not a very pleasant thing to think about, but it is as certain as the sun coming up in the morning. Jesus is the Judge of all the world. He gave His body on Calvary that all who will believe might be saved. The offer of forgiveness for sins is there. It is our obligation to receive forgiveness for our sin and the salvation that He offers us.
1 Timothy 4:10 “For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.”
He suffered for all, but not all will accept the free gift of salvation. This same loving Jesus, will judge everyone. Those who have not received salvation, He will condemn to an eternity in hell.
Psalm 110:7 “He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.”
“He shall drink”: This pictures a refreshed conqueror who has kingly access to the whole world. This could anticipate the east-west flow of fresh water out of Jerusalem as recorded in (Zech. 14:8).
“Shall he lift up the head” The lifted head pictures Christ’s strength in victory (compare Psalms 3:3; 27:6; 75:10). As (Psalm 22:28) reports, “For the kingdom is the LORD’s and He rules over the nations” (compare Zech. 14:9).
The drink of the brook, indicates haste. It possibly means that He will do a quick work of His judgement. The victory over Satan and the world has already been won. Jesus not only defeated Satan, but conquered sin and death as well. Perhaps this lifting of the head means a walk of victory. Praise the Lord. We have seen in this lesson, the plan of God from the foundation of the world. God has received Himself a family by the wonderful sacrifice of His precious Son, Jesus Christ. We saw the humiliation of Jesus during His stay on the earth, when He defeated Satan at the cross. There will be a glorious time on this earth when Jesus will reign as King and Lord. This was all part of the master plan from the foundation of the world. God made man in His image, but He made him of earthly material. The weakness of man in the flesh, required a Savior. Jesus is the Savior of all who will accept Him. We have been redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb. Jesus Christ never for a moment stopped being God. He took on the form of flesh of man to redeem us, but inside that flesh lived the Spirit of the Living God.
1 John 5:7 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
God the Word, took on flesh of man to save us from sin and death.
Psalm 110 Questions
- Who penned this Psalm?
- Verse 1 is a prophetic Scripture about the _______ ________ __________.
- What did David call Jesus in verse 1?
- What does the name LORD mean?
- What does the name Lord mean?
- Where, in the New Testament, do we see a reference to Psalms 114 verse?
- In the ________, Jesus is descended from David.
- In the _________, Jesus is David’s Lord.
- Where is Jesus seated now?
- Who makes His enemies His footstool?
- Who does Zion symbolize in verse 2?
- What is the power of Jesus in the world today shown through?
- What is the rod of Jesus?
- The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is not a _________________.
- What is it?
- Where is the Light of Jesus today?
- Who was the Rock that Moses struck symbolic of?
- What is the power in verse 3?
- What are the really true great powers in the world?
- What does the statement “from the womb” mean?
- There is nothing more beautiful than a ________ _____ ____________.
- What would be wonderful to retain from our early salvation?
- Who were High Priests of a heavenly nature?
- How was their Priesthood different from the earthly priesthood?
- Jehovah swore, and it cannot be __________.
- Who did Melchizedek appear to?
- What was counted righteousness to Abraham and the Christians?
- When shall the Lord strike through kings?
- Who will Jesus be when He returns to the earth to rule?
- Who is the Judge of the earth?
- What does “drink of the brook” indicate?
- Who and what, has Jesus already conquered?
- We have seen, in this lesson, the plan of God from the ______________ ___ _____ _________.
- How did the Father receive Himself a family?
- God made man in _____ _________.
- The weakness of man in the flesh required a ________.
- We have been redeemed by the precious ______ of the ______.
- Why did God the Word take on the form of flesh?