A Psalm of David.
1. The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”
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.”
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.”
A Fixed Rule
In the first part of this incredible, prophetic Psalm (vv. 1-4) we witness a conversation between God the Father and God the Son. David, the Psalmist here, has had this grand dialogue revealed to him and 1,000 years before Jesus, son of Joseph, set foot on the earth the Messiah – the Christ – was foretold of.
Quoted some 27 times in the New Testament — most notably by Jesus himself in Matthew 22:4 (Pharisee stumping 101) — this Psalm projects grand themes forwards towards the cross and shows us the foundation of faith in the Old Testament. Whilst we look back to the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus, the saints of old looked forward.
God the Father is proclaiming the forthcoming rule and reign of God the Son. This rule will come about because God himself has sworn it (v. 4) and the people of God have faith in this because of the the assurance through God’s revealed faithfulness towards them.
Furthermore, the coming rule (now established in our day) will be in the order of Melchizedek. That is, a priestly, eternal order. Jesus as Messiah is both King and Priest. He is both ruler and the source of all blessing and the way to the Father. As Melchizedek blessed Abraham Jesus continually blesses us.
The blessings of this Kingdom through the reign of King Jesus are available to all. There is no waiting for this, his rule will be established in the midst of God’s enemies, not when they have all been dealt with (v. 2). God’s Kingdom has now been permanently established and the offer goes out to all people in all places to join him. We are joining his side, his army, not out of obligation but offering ourselves freely (v. 3). This isn’t an army of conscripts but a family of volunteer soldiers.
The second half of this Psalm 110 (vv. 5-7) sees the response of David. After the revelation from God of the promise from the Father to the Son, David composes himself and finds the words to affirm the rule of his Lord. What the Pharisees in Matthew 22 couldn’t understand was how the Messiah, in the line of David, could be David’s Lord too. What the Pharisees failed to see, David both saw clearly and affirmed. The King of all Israel laid his crown down before the future coming King, Jesus, Lord of all.
The Kingdom of God has an equal measure of invitation and challenge. We are all invited to join Jesus’ team. In doing so we must make him Lord. Lord of all of our lives. We lay what crowns we have or may think we have at the feet of Him who was been foretold of. His scepter, his rule is established. Our total lives — our minds, our hearts, our strength — must all be submitted to the Messiah, our Lord and our God. We’re not called to affirm his rule and enjoy him in part. God’s army is not an army of part-timers who enjoy a bit of soldiering once a month but a committed, consecrated family of people who have freely given their whole lives in service to God and don’t look back.