Psalm 110 – God and the King

Psalm 110 speaks of the God’s strength in the life of a King.  It is the Lord who provides for the success and power of the throne of David, and God’s sovereignty goes before him through all generations.  He is also accessible and humble in the person of Jesus…

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 extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying,
“Rule in the midst of your enemies!”
3 Your troops will be willing
on your day of battle.
Arrayed in holy splendor,
your young men will come to you
like dew from the morning’s womb.

4 The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind:
“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”

5 The Lord is at your right hand;
he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.
6 He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead
and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.
7 He will drink from a brook along the way,
and so he will lift his head high.
Psalm 110

Psalm 110 is difficult to understand.  Is it referring to David, its author, in his life as King? Or is it about Abraham, who rescued Lot and who encountered Melchizedek in that story in Genesis? Or is this a prophetic psalm of Jesus, who, according to Hebrews 5-7, is that high priest for eternity?

I believe the answer is that this is a prophetic psalm of Jesus, yet as I read it, my observations are all about the power of God…

The Lord is the one who makes enemies into footstools.
The Lord extends the scepter of the King.
The Lord provides and motivates the army of young men.
The Lord’s mind is unchangeable and his word has perfect integrity.
The Lord is near, at the King’s right hand.
The Lord will crush Kings and judge nations on the day of his wrath.

These are all statements of sovereignty and omnipotence.  The Lord is worthy of the glory.

Yet he also drinks from the brook along the way, and so he lifts his head high.  The last verse is perhaps the most complex.  First of all, why does drinking from the brook result in him lifting his head high?  Is this an indication of strength, that he could stop and take a drink from the brook directly, unafraid of attack in a vulnerable place?

Or is this about the humanity of the Lord, bringing this back to Jesus.  The God who stops to drink water like the common man, who was fashioned after God’s likeness, is humble and accessible.

God is all these things.  He is all-powerful, and yet in Jesus is humble and accessible and an ultimate example of how to live.  God is all these things…


Marc Kinna


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