Psalm 110: A Prophetic Messianic Royal Psalm
How would you like to be a silent auditor to the conversations of the leaders of this world? What if you had an extension of the “hot line” in your own home? But this does not happen in today’s world. And if it did, I am sure it wouldn’t be that comforting or promising anyway!
Did you know that in the Scriptures we have an instance of someone from our world listening to the intercommunications of the Holy Trinity as it happened line by line! This privileged person was none other than King David as recorded in Psalm 110.
The Lord Jesus, in Matthew 22:43, qualified that David in the Spirit spoke of Him. Spurgeon, in giving the introduction for this psalm said, “May the Spirit who spoke by the man after God’s own heart give us eyes to see the hidden mysteries of this marvelous Psalm, in which every word has an infinity of meaning.” I invite you to revisit this psalm.
The Text: Psalm 110
A Psalm of David.
1 The LORD says to my Lord:
“Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
2 The LORD will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying,
“Rule in the midst of Your enemies.”
3 Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power;
In holy array, from the womb of the dawn,
Your youth are to You as the dew.
4 The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind,
“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”
5 The Lord is at Your right hand;
He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.
6 He will judge among the nations,
He will fill them with corpses,
He will shatter the chief men over a broad country.
7 He will drink from the brook by the wayside;
Therefore He will lift up His head.
Taken from NASB
The Reasons: All Seven of Them
- What we have in Psalm 110 is something of an insight into heaven itself! Today, when we read this psalm, we may well be entering into the highest of heavens joining David as he heard “the LORD” (Yahweh) speak to “my Lord” (Adonai). Intriguing! No wonder Psalm 110:1 is the Old Testament verse most quoted or referred to in the New Testament Scriptures!
- Psalm 110 picks up the key motif of the Psalter that was first articulated in Psalm 2. Interestingly, the placement of Psalm 110 in Book V of the Psalter shows the progress of the Davidic covenant with the promise of a worldwide conquest actualized. This promise was given to the anointed one at the time of his installation in Psalm 2, was prayed for in Psalm 72, was temporarily hindered in Psalm 89, but is actualized in Psalm 110. Did you know that Psalm 110 is the linchpin psalm of the first seven psalms of Book Five of the Psalter?
- Psalm 110, a prophetic royal Psalm, has been styled the pearl of the Messianic psalms. Although just seven verses long, it is the psalm most frequently quoted and alluded to in the New Testament. There are at least a dozen quotes and several allusions by the Lord Jesus, Peter, Paul, John, and the author of Hebrews. It is found in Matthew, Mark, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Hebrews, and Revelation. This rate of regularity ought to capture every Bible student’s attention.
- Psalm 110 is a direct prediction of the Messiah. The first oracle is introduced by a phrase common in the prophets (the LORD says), a formula of prophetic revelation signifying a divine utterance. The phrase “the LORD says” is frequently used in the Bible in divine oaths but it occurs only here in the Psalter. Note God’s determination in sending the Messiah (Genesis 3:15) is solidified by an oath unlike any other.
- Psalm 110 is a royal psalm, in which David foresees the coming Messiah who will combine in his person the office of a King, Priest, and Warrior. This portrait of God over all the earth clearly indicates whose say has final authority. May this thought encourage our walk with Him! No wonder Christians today can sing songs like, “Jesus Messiah, Name Above All Names.”
- Psalm 110 has some special features that distinguish it from other psalms of the king. Foremost, the meaning of Psalm 110 refers directly to Christ, which is the way the New Testament handles it. As a messianic psalm, it uniquely focuses upon the Lord Jesus Christ and finds its greatest and ultimate fulfillment in Him. Do you realize that it is only a matter of time when our King Jesus will execute His glorious reign as described in Psalm 110?
- Finally, note what others have said on Psalm 110:
- Luther is said to have held that “every syllable of this Psalm is greater and more glorious than the Tower of Babel.”
- Luther also viewed this Psalm as “crown of all the Psalms, worthy to be overlaid with precious jewels.”
- Augustine spoke of the psalm as brief in the number of its words but vast and weighty as to its content.
- Michael Wilcock noted in his commentary on Psalm 110: “To the modern reader, Psalm 110 is full of puzzles. To the early church, it was full of treasures.”
- Such is the 110th Psalm and much more! What would you say about this Psalm?
Could we even imagine how David must have leaped for joy learning what wondrous plans God has made and how it would be carried out! Sadly, many have rejected and others continue to reject Psalm 110 as a messianic psalm. In Jesus’ time, the Pharisees would not admit Him as their Messiah. During the twentieth century A.D., Psalm 110 had become one of the most debated psalm in the Psalter. But no verdict on this psalm would ever be able to alter what this psalm promises and prophecies.
Praise God for what Psalm 110 has loudly announced concerning our King-Priest-Warrior. So should there be any room for doubt, dread, dismay, or defeat in our Christian lives? A big NO! Rather, we must be engaged in running our races with endurance (Hebrews 12:1-3) knowing that in Him every Christian is more than a conqueror (Romans 8:35-37). Beloved, be encouraged. Our King-Priest-Warrior sees all and is coming soon (Revelation 22:20)!