Tuesday, January 30, 2024

2024.01.30 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 110

Read Psalm 110

Questions from the Scripture text: Who wrote this Psalm (superscript)? Who did David say spoke (Psalm 110:1a)? To Whom? What did YHWH tell David’s Lord to do? What will YHWH do while He sits there (verse 1b)? Who extends the scepter in Psalm 110:2a? Whose strength does it represent? Form where does YHWH extend it? What does YHWH command David’s Lord to do in verse 2b? Into what will David’s Lord transform some of His enemies (Psalm 110:3a)? What will accomplish this (in what day, verse 3b)? How does this free-will-offering-people’s King appear to them (verse 3c–d)? How does the introduction in Psalm 110:4a–b compare to the introduction in Psalm 110:1a? What does He declare David’s Lord to be (Psalm 110:4c)? For how long? From what order (verse 4d)? Where does David now observe/prophesy his Lord to be in Psalm 110:5a? What will his Lord do (verse 5b)? In which day? What else will his Lord do on that day (Psalm 110:6a)? With what result (verse 6b, cf. Revelation 19:17–18)? Who are among the executed kings from Psalm 110:5b (Psalm 110:6)? How does Psalm 110:7a express the Lord’s refreshment/freshness? How does verse 7b express His readiness/continuing action?

Who is the Messiah? Psalm 110 prepares us for the opening portion of public worship on the Lord’s Day. In these seven verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that the Son of David is David’s Lord, extremely exalted King, eternally effective Priest, and effortlessly executing Judge. 

David’s Psalm, superscript. It is important for us to remember that “A Psalm of David” is Hebrew Scripture. Indeed, it is part of Psalm 110:1, closely tied to the immediately following phrase. The Lord Jesus emphasizes David’s authorship, by the Spirit, in Mark 12:36–37, twice intensifying it by saying, “David himself.” There is an important lesson here about inspiration: the Spirit’s use of David makes the Scripture the sure, true Word of God. But David’s instrumentality is important, because so much rests upon the topic of the psalm being his Lord.

David’s LordPsalm 110:1. In the Mark passage above, with its parallels, the Lord Jesus challenges His hearers to meditate upon the reality in Psalm 110:1. In other Scriptures, the Holy Spirit does that for us. Acts 2:34–35 proclaims that “Sit at My right hand” exalts Christ above David, who did not ascend into heaven. Hebrews 1:13 proclaims that it exalts Christ even above the angels, none of whom are ever invited to the right hand of the throne (cf. Hebrews 1:5–14). Acts 5:30–31 proclaims that Jesus’s seat in glory empowers His saving us as Prince and reconciling us to God as Priest. Hebrews 10:11–14 proclaims that Jesus’s taking His seat confirms that His sacrifice was complete and infinitely effectual. Hebrews 10:13 emphasizes His patient waiting for the final surrender. 1 Corinthians 15:25–28 emphasizes that Jesus’s patient waiting is not a passive waiting but a destroying of enemies from His royal throne—including even death itself, which is an enemy of the King of life! 

Each of these passages are rich with more fruit for our meditation upon the glory of David’s Lord and ours, Jesus Christ! (men and boys who participate in the monthly breakfasts have just done so in Gouge, volume 1, where we considered the benefits that belong to the bride, when she is the body of Him, and united to Him, Who sits on the throne!)

David’s RedeemerPsalm 110:2-3. David, like we, was conceived sinful and born sinful (cf. Psalm 51:5). But here, we learn of the first great exercise of the power of Christ as mediatorial King—not the day of His pouring out wrath, which will come at the end (cf. Psalm 110:5-7), but that day of His power (Psalm 110:3b) in which He rules enemies (Psalm 110:2b) by redeeming them into those who offer themselves as freewill offerings (Psalm 110:3a). 

YHWH stretches out His scepter from Zion (Psalm 110:2a), but it is Christ, Whose scepter it is, and Who wields the authority (verse 2b). Here, He is not only exalted above David and exalted above angels, but exalted as One with YHWH; Jesus is the one, true God! But how does He obey the command to rule? By bringing His people to be volunteers (as implied above, the word is “freewill offerings,” as we have just seen it used three times in Leviticus 22). 

And one of the reasons for their delighting to serve Him is how He has enabled them to see Him in Psalm 110:3c–d. The word picture is, literally, beautiful. His people see the beauty (more literally, “majesty” or “majestic beauty”). The picture is of the sun rising upon Him but being outclassed by Him, or perhaps of Him Himself as the sunrise, in that majestic beauty that is His holiness. His life, His vigor, is not something that is spent as He expends it. He is in the continual state of freshness and vigor, like a young warrior-king, risen early in the day, the dew glistening upon Him as He is the picture of life and strength and vigor and action. And all of this is just a metaphor that falls short of its object! 

We must not be surprised, then, that when His power enables people’s faith to see Him in that power, to see Him in His divinity, to see Him in the majestic beauty of His holiness, to see Him in the everlasting dawn of His perpetual vigor and strength… that they gladly offer their whole self as a freewill offering (cf. Romans 12:1)! O, dear reader, God grant that you would have had a glimpse of Christ as He is described here, and that this glimpse would be clarified and crystalized and with increasing fidelity and resolution forever. And that your view of Him would compel your offering yourself continually to Him in all that you do!

David’s Intercessor, Psalm 110:4. Here is another text that finds much exposition in the book of Hebrews (cf. Genesis 14:18–20; Hebrews 5:5–11, Hebrews 6:19–7:28). It is your author’s conviction that Melchizedek was, in fact, a Christophany, literally “being the likeness” of the Son of God (cf. Hebrews 7:3). This King did not participate in the world war of Genesis 14. In Hebrew, His Name is literally, “King of Righteousness,” and Genesis 14:18 also calls Him the King of Peace (cf. Hebrews 7:2). He taught Abram (cp. Genesis 14:19 with Genesis 14:22) by way of divine benediction, bringing Abraham under the divine smile of God’s favor (cf. Genesis 14:19–20) and into the divine sharing of God’s fellowship by bread and wine (cf. Genesis 14:18). 

Here is a mediatorial representation that predates and then supersedes not only Aaron (cf. Hebrews 7:3, Hebrews 7:11–17) but also Abram and all creation (cf. Jn 8:58). From the eternal covenant of redemption, in which the Son committed to save those whom the Father gave Him (cf. John 6:37–40; John 17:1–10, John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4–5), the Son was already representing us. And He took to Himself a true humanity so that He properly might be both our priest and our substitute (cf. Hebrews 2:14, Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 5:1–6; Philippians 2:5–9). 

Now, His exaltation to the right hand of God comes by the oath of God that we see in Psalm 110:4, and by the virtue of His indestructible life (to which Psalm 110:3d has just alluded). This assures us that His priesthood, which is from eternity, is also unto eternity; He will never stop being our Priest (cf. Hebrews 7:20–28). In Psalm 110:1, YHWH had spoken to our Lord. Now, in Psalm 110:4, He swears an oath—not as if His Word could ever be made more true, but making it more sure to us, despite the weakness of our faith, by compassionately providing for us more reason to believe it. O that we would believe this truth about the priesthood of Christ with all our hearts!

David’s AvengerPsalm 110:5-7. There’s a bit of a scene change in these last three verses. We have moved from the revealing of God’s decree in Psalm 110:1-4 to David’s prophetic glimpse of the outcome in Psalm 110:5-7. In the flow of our devotional, we are moving from the Exalted King and Forever Priest (as seen especially in Hebrews) to the Avenging and Victorious Judge (as seen especially in Revelation). David now looks up, as it were, and sees his Lord (Jesus!) at the right hand of YHWH (Psalm 110:5a), as commanded (cf. Psalm 110:1a). 

It is no longer that day of power to redeem (Psalm 110:3a–b) but now the day of His wrath (Psalm 110:5b). The “executing” with which Psalm 110:5 and Psalm 110:6 both conclude is a word that means to strike or smite right through. It conveys both the complete devastation that comes to His enemies and the sheer ease with which Jesus does it. We are reminded of the sheer ease conveyed by Revelation 19:21 and the entire horde of all of the armies of all of the enemies of Jesus being summarily executed by the sword that comes from His mouth. So also the filling with dead bodies (Psalm 110:6b) is reminiscent of the great slaughter in the valley of Armageddon (cf. Revelation 16:13–16, Revelation 19:17–21). 

Even one who is head over many lands (Psalm 110:6c) cannot stand up to Him. Christ’s people needn’t fear any tyrant, however great upon the earth; He will slaughter all enemies, small and great, in the last day! But there He is in Psalm 110:7, still refreshed, not exhausted, head lifted up not only in victory but also in joy. An everlasting joy in which His “volunteers” participate, hallelujah! Serve the Lord with fear, rejoicing, trembling, and submission now, in the day of redeeming power, before the day of wrath comes (cf. Psalm 2:7–12)!

How have you experienced Jesus’s power to make you love His holiness and life? How have you been availing yourself of His intercession as your Priest? What comfort and joy do you take in the certainty and finality of His vengeance? 

Sample prayer:  Lord, we praise Your Son, Who sits enthroned. Continue to make His enemies His footstool, we pray. Extend His scepter from glory, and display that power by which He turns enemies into freewill offerings. Help us, by Your Spirit, to offer ourselves to You. Grant unto us to delight in Christ’s majestic beauty in holiness and life. Receive us through His eternal and effective priesthood. And make us to kiss the Son before His wrath is kindled even a little. Give us life in Christ, Who has life in Himself, and grant that we would worship You forever, and today, through Christ Himself, AMEN!

 Suggested songs: ARP110B “The LORD Has Spoken to My Lord” or TPH110A “The LORD Said to My Lord” 

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