My Lord: Psalm 110 (Sermon)





MANUSCRIPT 

WELCOME 

Hi, I am Rob Nash and pastor in a Converge church in Southwest Michigan. I have known your pastor for over five years. We are in a consortium of like-minded Converge pastors who meet in Kalamazoo. We have studied the Bible in a group called Fellowship in the Word. John is so talented. It is an honor to fill in for him as he serves another pastor being ordained. Let me also say that although I can fake an English accent, it wouldn’t be pretty. My natural accent elongates the O’s and A’s. (I am a transplant from Minnesota.) I think anyone with a British accent has an advantage, not only that. John has a way with words and a way with God’s Word. Community leaders, I read John’s notes on the text and was impressed. He serves you well, loves the Lord, and has a heart for you.

PSALMS OVERVIEW

A few weeks back, I asked John what he was preaching on. He told me the Psalms—what a great book. My church did a series on the Psalms at the beginning of the year. You can see in your Bibles that there are 150 of them. They break down into five books:


Book 1: 1–41 

Book 2: 42–72 

Book 3: 73–89 

Book 4: 90–106 

Book 5: 107–150 


King David wrote many of them, seventy-three to be exact. Fifty were anonymous. Solomon wrote a few, and Moses wrote one. There are several other contributors. This is an ancient hymn book with songs and poems for every occasion. If you are sad, there are laments. If you are angry, there are Psalms crying out for justice. If you are happy, there are songs of praise and thanks. The Psalms have an overall message; Pastor John had it on his slide last week: God’s King leads God’s people by God’s word to sing God’s praise. 

110

Today, King David is helping us do just that as we explore Psalm 110. So, if you have your Bibles, turn to that chapter and follow along. The words will be projected before us.  


 A PSALM OF DAVID. 

            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. (Psalm 110:title–7)


PRAYER

Let’s pray. God, we thank you for your Word. It is a light unto our path. We need you to illuminate it and speak to our hearts, in Jesus’s name, AMEN. 

BIG IDEA

Over five hundred years ago, the great Martin Luther wrote 120 pages on this Psalm alone. He said of Psalm 110, 


This is a true and exalted psalm, the main one to deal with our dear Lord Jesus Christ. Here, as nowhere else in the Old Testament Scriptures, we find a clear and powerful description of His person-who He is. (http://www.lutherquest.org/walther/articles/600/jmc.632.htm))


Spurgeon said verse 4 is the “Heart of the Psalm, which is also the very centre and soul of our faith” (Spurgeon Treasury of David). Both Luther and Spurgeon saw the Messiah in this Psalm. This Psalm looks into the future a thousand years and predicts a priestly king rescues his people from evil. It was right, and consequently, the New Testament quotes this Psalm more than any other (https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/a0d8/a07bb39aa84106a53c4d7b79bf07631c7c2a.pdf). The main idea is: God’s coming king will be a priest who will rule over everyone forever. Let me say that again: God’s coming king will be a priest who will rule over everyone forever. He is leading us to praise. The intended response is that we would sing God’s praise, which is exactly what Psalms 111 and moving forward leads us to. Psalm 110 breaks into three sections. Verse one, an overview, verses two through four, God puts evil in its place and appoints a king as a priest, and verses five through seven repeat the overview from the perspective of this priestly king. If you are taking notes, let me simplify it: 


SIT: God instructs the king to sit with him (v. 1) 

RULE: God instructs the king to rule as a priest forever (v. 2–4) 

EXECUTE: The priestly king does as God commands (v. 5–7)


INJUSTICE

Last week, John had this slide, “Journey through the Psalms.” We are now projecting it. Notice the slope. The Psalms take us through a valley. The journey is not monodirectional. They go up and down: they vacillate with upbeat tones, to depression, and fury, then to relief. Why? The Psalms aren’t random. They mirror life. History marches not in circles but with trajectory. God created the world and made us for himself. We rebelled in the Garden of Eden. Death came into the world, and God issued a curse. Then, God initiated his redemptive plan to bring us back. Psalm 110 pointed to a future hope of that redemptive glorious crushing of all evil and the Messiah’s victorious rule and reign as a kingly priest under God. Has that happened? In part, yes. But not in full. At the moment, we face evils all around. So did David. In context, we can hear what was going on with David. If you have your Bibles, look at chapter 109. Look at the first few verses. Do you see his suffering? He called out to God: 


Be not silent, O God of my praise! 

For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me, 

speaking against me with lying tongues. 

They encircle me with words of hate, 

and attack me without cause. (Psalm 109:1–3) 


Jump to verse 22. Hear his plea, 


For I am poor and needy, 

      and my heart is stricken within me. 

            I am gone like a shadow at evening; 

      I am shaken off like a locust. 

            My knees are weak through fasting; 

      my body has become gaunt, with no fat. 

            I am an object of scorn to my accusers; 

      when they see me, they wag their heads. 

            Help me, O LORD my God! 

      Save me according to your steadfast love! (Psalm 109:22–26)


King David’s life was not one of ease and comfort. He had enemies outside the kingdom and in. Even some of his own family turned against him. Hence, he begged God for help. Psalm 110 is God’s response, a future promise of a remedy for injustice. 

WE KNOW

Have you cried out for help? What injustices have you faced? Have you been mistreated, hurt, or sinned against? We come to Psalm 110 like a person cornered by evil and languishing. Yet, God invites us to look to a future as we pass through the valley of the shadow of death. This Psalm is a prediction and promise. One day, the tyrants will be deposed, the frauds will be found out, the murderers will be held accountable. One day, justice will come. Let’s go back to the beginning of the Psalm.  

SIT 

Look at Psalm 110, verse 1. The first thing we see can be confusing. This Psalm was difficult for me to understand over the years. Look at verse 1. “The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool’” (Psalm 110:1). Who wrote that? David. Notice how this Psalm begins, “A Psalm of David.” So, David was writing. Who was David’s Lord? Maybe this is obvious for you; it wasn’t for me. Take a look at the text. One of the Lords is capitalized. That indicates that the Hebrew word for Lord is Yahweh. The other Lord in verse 1 is the Hebrew word, Adonai. Thus we can read it, “Yahweh says to David’s Adonai to sit at my right hand.” Does that make sense? Who was David’s Adonai? Jesus spoke about him to the Pharisees in Matthew 22. Write the book of Matthew down. We will be in chapters 16, 22, and 26 for a bit. First, let’s look at Matthew 22 if you can turn there. Matthew 22. Look at Verse 41 of chapter 22.


Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, 

 “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord, 

  “Sit at my right hand, 

until I put your enemies under your feet” ’? 

If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. (Matthew 22:41–46)


What was Jesus getting at? He was saying that this “Lord,” this “Adonai,” was the “Christ” and greater than King David. So, was Jesus referring to himself? That is the very question they asked him on his trial in Matthew 26. Turn to Matthew 26. I will start at verse 63. Jesus will quote Psalm 110 again. The Pharisees are questioning him. 


…And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” (Matthew 26:63–66)


What? Why were they so upset with Jesus? What did he say that bothered them? He called himself the Son of Man and connected his existence to Old Testament predictions that line up with the “Christ.” That bothered them a lot. A few chapters before this, chapter 16, Jesus asked his closest followers whom they thought he was. Here is what we read in Matthew 16, verse 13.  


He asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 16:13–17)


Jesus identified himself as the Christ, the Lord, Adonai. He talked about himself in the third person on the right hand of Power, meaning God Most High. That meant that Jesus was putting himself above all those religious leaders and all others, even King David. They heard him. They understood him. But they didn’t believe him. Instead, he had transgressed the unforgivable sin in their book and deserved death. He hadn’t. He was the Christ, the Son of man, Son of the Living God, Adonai. So in a matter of hours, what happened? He was crucified. 

THEY KILLED JESUS

Yet, death did not stop him. He rose victoriously. He appeared to his disciples and more than five hundred witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:6). He spent forty days meeting and teaching about passages like Psalm 110. Then, he ascended into heaven, where he took a seat at the right hand of Power. The Apostles took this truth and shared it with the world. In Acts, we read Peter’s first sermon. I am going to quote a bit of it. Listen for Psalm 110. I will start in verse 29 if you want to Acts 2. This is the birth story of the early church. Again, starting at verse 29: 


Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” ’ Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do? (Acts 2:29–37)


What should they do? How would you answer that question? First, like all of us, they must turn from their sins and believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Lord mentioned in Psalm 110. They must make him their Lord as David did. They must offer up themselves by faith to God as verse 3 of Psalm 110 tells us God’s people will do. Jesus defeated death on the cross by resurrection (2 Timothy 1:10) and will beat it once and for all someday soon, the final enemy death (1 Corinthians 15:26). He now sits at the right hand of God the Father, waiting patiently for the whole number of souls to be saved. But he will not stay there long. Though God commanded him to sit with him, he isn’t to remain there forever. God will make his enemies his footstool. 

RULE 

We conclude verse 1 and see God has another command that gets him off the throne. This is the second command of Yahweh to Adonai. 


SIT: God instructs the king to sit with him (v. 1) 

RULE: God instructs the king to rule as a priest forever (v. 2–4) 

EXECUTE: The priestly king does as God commands  (v. 5–7)


Let’s go back to Psalm 110. Look at verse 2 and following.  


     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.” (Psalm 110:2–4)


Melchizedek? How many Melchizedek’s do you know? That is a strange name. But it is a gem of a verse. We first read the name in Genesis chapter 14 (Genesis 14:18–20). Who was Melchizedek? He was a king of righteousness and peace. Abraham met him and gave him an offering. He had no lineage and was quite an enigmatic figure. According to Hebrews 7, he foreshadowed Jesus. Jesus was not of a levitical order but the order or type like Melchizedek. 


[FOR REFERENCE ONLY.] For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever. (Hebrews 7:1–3)


Jesus is a prophet, a priest, and a king. Interestingly, Psalm 110 is one of the only places in the Bible where we see that the Messiah would be a priest. 

So what? What is the significance of the priesthood of Jesus? What do priests do? Priests go before the gods and represent the people. They make sacrifices, they pray, and they teach. Jesus taught. He was a fantastic teacher. He taught with authority. He also prayed. He teaches his disciples to pray. He ascended to Heaven and sat at God the Father’s right hand. There we read he lives to make intercession for us. We read that Jesus prayed for you in the last 24 hours of his life, and he lives to make intercession for you today. And not only does he teach us and pray for us, but he also made a sacrifice for us. Hebrews makes that connection. Write down Hebrews chapters 7 and 10. Let’s look at chapter 7 to start. Quick. Look at chapter 7, verse 15 of Hebrews.   


[Jesus] has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. For it is witnessed of him, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 7:15–17)


What do priests do? They pray, they teach, and they pray. The author of Hebrews quoted Psalm 110 again a few chapters later. If you have your Bibles, turn to chapter 10, verse 12.  


But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:12–14)


What was that offering? Himself. Jesus made a once for all sacrifice with his life for us who believe. He didn’t die in vain. He died to free us from sin. He died to crush evil in us and outside of us. He died to give us life with him forever. Therefore, we don’t have to fear death or judgment at all. His victory is ours. He is our advocate and acceptance. 

EXECUTE


SIT: God instructs the king to sit with him (v. 1) 

RULE: God instructs the king to rule as a priest forever (v. 2–4) 

EXECUTE: The priestly king does as God commands (v. 5–7)


That brings us to our third point: Execute. The priestly king does as God commands. 

TEXT

Let us read verses 5 through 7. 


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. (Psalm 110:5–7)


Now, this sounds brutal, but consider again the perspective of those who have been victims, those who have been victimized. Consider the wickedness of this week, last night, or even today. Read Psalm 110 from the perspective of the person who has lived under injustice. The Old Testament prophet Amos wrote that justice would roll down like a river (Amos 5:24). The Bible paints a picture of the future where: 


  • All unlawful convictions will cease, 

  • The sex traffickers, drug dealers, and swinderlers will be out of business. 

  • All the bribing, lying, stealing will be discovered for what it is. 


In the end, Jesus will do the Father’s bidding and execute his vengeance. And one day, every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father whether people claim to be atheists, agnostics, or you name it (Philippians 2:10–11). Justice will come like a thief in the night. 

JOHN’S VISION 

One of Jesus’s closest friends had a vision of this future. He wrote it down while he rotted in prison for his faith. This is what he saw. 


Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:11–16)


This is a picture of King Jesus reigning supreme when history as we know it concludes. This week I heard people thought the end might be here with everything going on. They were wrong. It might be soon or not. No one knows the day or the hour. But we do know oppression happens and will happen until Jesus’s enemies are made a doormat to wipe your feet. At that point, Jesus will get off his throne and execute justice once and for all. What side of justice are you on? Psalm 110 guarantees relief for those who call Jesus their Adonai. 

APPLICATION JUSTICE - WORSHIP

Let me ask you this, is God your Lord, Adonai, like David? Do you have a heart like those in verse 3 who are God’s people? They offer themselves freely to him. Do you? God gave himself for you and lives to make intercession for you and loves you. Will you give your life for him? As we look at God’s coming justice, will you offer yourself in worship to God?   

APPLICATION JUSTICE - PATIENCE

As we think about this passage, perhaps you are hurting. You are wounded and suffering. You long for justice. It will come, brothers and sisters. God is good. He is sovereign. Be patient. 

APPLICATION - JUSTICE - FAITH

As we think about this passage, perhaps you fear Justice. You are not right with God. You don’t want justice. Not yet. Instead, you want mercy. Jesus is the ultimate priest. Hebrews says he came to make a sacrifice once for all. He did the unthinkable; he gave himself. He died to make you right. No other sacrifice or work is necessary. Trust in him, him alone, and you will be saved. Your sins will be forgiven and adopted as God’s son or daughter. 

APPLICATION - JUSTICE - REPENTANCE

As you think about this passage, possibly you do not care. Care. Judgment is coming. God has given us this day. Turn from your godlessness and be saved in his righteousness. He longs for none to perish, not even you. Let Christ be your mediator and substitute, prophet, priest, and king. Don’t do this life on your own. Turn to him. If you are turning and trusting for the first time, tell someone about it. Tell Pastor John or one of the elders if you have questions. They pray for you. They have your best interest in mind and care for you. 

PRAYER 

Let’s pray. Dear God, thank you for your Word. Your Word is the truth. You are the truth. We love you. Thank you for justice. Thank you for sending your Son to die for us. For raising him from the dead and giving us hope. We look forward to the day when sin will be obliterated. Give us worshipful hearts, patient hearts, and trusting hearts. We love you in Jesus’s name. AMEN. 


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