"The King to Come"
The Psalm we read today is one of the most popular Old Testament passages for the authors of the New Testament. Psalm 110:1 is directly quoted in the Gospel of Matthew, the Book of Acts, and the Book of Hebrews. “The Lord says to my lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’” (NIV). Beyond these direct quotations, countless other times New Testament writers borrow the imagery of sitting at the right hand of the Lord as they ponder who Jesus is and what it means for us. It is no wonder this Psalm would be compelling to them, and it should be compelling to us!
We would do well to be reminded of this Psalm’s original purpose for its original audience. As one in the collection of “Royal Psalms,” it served as royal propaganda, reminding the reader of God’s divine action in appointing the Davidic line and exalting the monarchy’s role in bringing God’s purposes to bear in the world.
For us, this Psalm builds on that legacy and serves an even greater purpose. It points toward an even better King that is to come. It points toward an even better thing God is doing in the world. It asks us to long for the One who will be the King and the Prophet and the Priest of God’s people.
During this Christmas season, as we celebrate the Messiah’s first coming and await His return, this Psalm gives us a foretaste of the One that is to come and encourages us that the wait will be worth it. The One at the right hand of the Lord will put our enemies underfoot, as the kings of old put their feet on the throats of their conquered enemies. Our King will ultimately and completely conquer all that oppresses us to make us finally and fully free.
During this journey, as we wait together, as you look around at our fallen and broken world, and as you encounter the brokenness within yourself, be encouraged. The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind! Even when you find yourself in the midst of your enemies, you can be assured that the Messiah is coming and bringing with Him God’s true justice. While we wait, let us pray, “Come, Lord Jesus, come.” Lord, lift up Your head, for we are ready to crown You King of this world and King of our lives!
Psalm 110 (ESV):
Sit at My Right Hand
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.