Psalm 110

Psalm 110

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Sit at My Right Hand

A Psalm of David.

110   The LORD says to my Lord:
    “Sit at my right hand,
  until I make your enemies your footstool.”
  The LORD sends forth from Zion
    your mighty scepter.
    Rule in the midst of your enemies!
  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.
  The LORD has sworn
    and will not change his mind,
  “You are a priest forever
    after the order of Melchizedek.”
  The Lord is at your right hand;
    he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
  He will execute judgment among the nations,
    filling them with corpses;
  he will shatter chiefs
    over the wide earth.
  He will drink from the brook by the way;
    therefore he will lift up his head.

(ESV)


Psalm 110 Commentary

by Hank Workman

Who was this mysterious man, Melchizedek?

Well, we don’t know much.  He appears briefly in Genesis 14:17-20, here in Psalm 110, and is mentioned several times in the book of Hebrews.  Yet the brevity of the facts surround him that the patriarch Abraham recognized Melchizedek as a high priest, was worthy of tithes and greater than himself.  This priesthood was completely apart, predating the Law of Moses.

As Hebrews begins to offer tidbits of this man with the purpose of raising Jesus above him; he also is making a strong point to the reader that their old ways of following the old covenant was trumped by Jesus who was greater than this mystery man they all knew of.  The climax to these thoughts is found in Hebrews 7.

The point of Hebrews was to convince the Christians of the time to not turn back to their old ways, leaving Christianity in the dust.  These Jewish Christians would be interested in Jesus as a High Priest but would have a lot of hurdles to tackle in order to believe it.  This was mainly because Jesus didn’t come from the tribe of Levi or even from a priestly family of Aaron.  These intellectual hangups were halting their maturity in Christ.  Honestly, today there are many who get stuck on intellectual things and arguments when it comes to faith rather than moving forward in faith and yes spiritual maturity.

What is interesting is as briefly as his story appears in Genesis, he is gone.  We know nothing of his heritage, his genealogy nor even his birth or death.  The author of Hebrews states “he was made like the Son of God.”  Many believe that since this man appeared then was gone Melchizedek was actually Jesus who appeared to Abraham!

Turning now to Psalm 110, amazingly David writes prophetic words concerning the Messiah, our Jesus who would become a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.   God made a promise to His people He would fulfill that would reference this man yet Jesus as the fulfillment would be far greater.  For in this God vows that the Messiah would have an unending, eternal priesthood after the order of Melchizedek.  What God was doing was setting the stages centuries before Jesus came that there would be a far greater priesthood that did not come from Aaron.  He would be a priest forever.

And that is what Jesus is!  He right now sits at the right hand of God interceding for you!

Jesus is able to ‘save completely’ those who come to God through Him.  Since Christ’s priesthood lasts forever, there are no limitations on the mediation He offers between us and God.  His ministry brings a complete salvation in that it not only offers temporary deliverance from sin but perfects those who come to Him and through Him for all time.  We could not hope to draw near eternally to the eternal God through a dead priest.  In Jesus, He is completely alive.  We have a priest who provides salvation for us perpetually and completely.

Praise His Name!


Psalm 110 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Psalm 110 might be quoted more frequently in the NT than any other Psalm.

The Lord declared to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand until I put Your enemies under Your feet’?

Matthew 22:44 HCSB

David himself says by the Holy Spirit: The Lord declared to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand until I put Your enemies under Your feet.’

Mark 12:36 HCSB

For He must reign until He puts all His enemies under His feet.

1 Corinthians 15:25 HCSB

Now to which of the angels has He ever said: Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool?

Hebrews 1:13 HCSB

Loose quotations of this psalm are found in Heb 1:3, Heb 5:6, Heb 5:10, Heb 7:17, Heb 7:21.

The confusion surrounding this psalm is centered on the opening verse. This is the declaration of the LORD to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool.” So, there is a declaration by God (LORD) to my Lord. Who is “my Lord” in this context?

Even the scribes and Pharisees struggled to find this answer. They viewed Psalm 110 as Messianic, but they were incorrect in their interpretation, believing that the Messiah would be exclusively human and one of David’s sons. This blinded them to the true Messiah. Jesus interprets it for them in Mark.

So Jesus asked this question as He taught in the temple complex, “How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the Son of David?  36  David himself says by the Holy Spirit: The Lord declared to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand until I put Your enemies under Your feet.’  37  David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; how then can the Messiah be his Son?” And the large crowd was listening to Him with delight.

Mark 12:35-37 HCSB

Essentially, Jesus is destroying their view with a question. Why would David call one of his human descendants “Lord?” The obvious answer is, “my Lord” wasn’t just a descendant. He was also God in the flesh. Jesus was not only the Son of Man but also the Son of God. This was revealed to David years before by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. When David writes the LORD said to my Lord, he is writing of a conversation between God and Jesus. This makes sense when we consider all the Scripture which notes that Jesus did indeed ascend to the right hand of God.

They said, “If You are the Messiah, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I do tell you, you will not believe.  68  And if I ask you, you will not answer.  69  But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the Power of God.”  70  They all asked, “Are You, then, the Son of God?” And He said to them, “You say that I am.”

Luke 22:67-70 HCSB

But Jesus kept silent. Then the high priest said to Him, “By the living God I place You under oath: tell us if You are the Messiah, the Son of God!”  64  “You have said it,” Jesus told him. “But I tell you, in the future you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”  65  Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? Look, now you’ve heard the blasphemy!

Matthew 26:63-65 HCSB

Nelson’s Commentary gives an insightful summary of how this event ties back to Psalm 110.

“Jesus’ reply here alludes to the regal enthronement image of Psa 110:1. This reply is what convicted Him. Apparently what offended Jesus’ audience was His claim to sit in God’s presence and to exercise divine authority. In effect, His answer to their question about being the Christ was more than they expected. It was not blasphemous to claim to be Messiah. What was blasphemous was the claim to be the Judge of the Jewish people, with God’s authority. Jesus’ remark also implies the hope of vindication. Though the people would kill Him, Jesus would end up at God’s side.”

Nelson’s Commentary
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