Psalm 110

Formation’s King and Priest

Jesus alone is formation’s king and priest. Before we pray Psalm 110, consider many of the New Testament passages that are linked to this prayer. I know for some of us this is a strange way to begin this prayer. Now and then, though, looking from the New Testament back to the Old Testament can help us pray better. These passages give profound perspective to Psalm 110.

“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…” (Matthew 22:41-44 and parallels in Mark 12:35-37 and Luke 20:41-44).

“This Jesus God raised up, and of that we are all 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” (Acts 2:32-36).

“And to which of the angels has he ever said, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet” (Hebrews 1:13)?

“So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, ‘You are my son, today I have begotten you;’ as he says also in another place, ‘You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5:5-6).

“But this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him: ‘The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, you are a priest forever.’ This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant” (Hebrews 7:21-22).

“Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven” (Hebrews 8:1).

“But when Christ had offered for all times 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” (Hebrews 10:13).

Those passages are only a few of the New Testament passages that fulfill the prophecy of Psalm 110. Here is the magnificent prayer for today.

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.

Psalm 110 all points to Jesus as King and Priest. David, in this Psalm, prophesied of the coming Messiah. The entire prayer celebrates the exaltation of Christ. Richard Belcher describes this Psalm with pinpoint accuracy. He writes: “Christ now reigns from that place of honor until all his enemies are under his feet (1 Corinthians 15:25)…His priestly work on the cross was to win the victory over sin, death, and the devil and his continuing intercession as our priest helps us fight this spiritual battle” (The Messiah and the Psalms, 2006, pg. 148-149).

King and Priest. Only Jesus is both. He alone perfectly rules as King of kings and He alone perfectly intercedes as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. All of this is anticipated beautifully in Psalm 110. It is so easy to get sidetracked in praying Psalm 110. Meaningful questions abound. How much did David understand of his own prayer? How much did he know about Melchizedek? Did David get to see his son, Solomon, drink from the spring at Gihon that he alludes to in 110:7 (1 Kings 1:38)? Did David in his wildest dreams anticipate that the cross would be required for kings and chiefs to be shattered, for nations to be judged, and for enemies to be made a footstool? How much of the future did David see?

I cannot answer those questions. I can only place my trust in the One David anticipated. COVID-19, job loss, inflation, political gridlock, social unrest, heartache, death, and all the uncertainties that surround our future must be placed at the feet of Jesus, our King and Priest. He alone is worthy of our trust. The spiritual gymnasium awaits.