To guide us in the thoughts, desires, and actions of our worship today we consider the 110th Psalm, a highly significant song of David given through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. When we read this psalm, we will come to see that the truth revealed in it is the very basis and reason for our worship, for the key to our worship is Christ. Let’s put it before our mind’s eye right away, reading it slowly and meditating on it:
The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
2The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
3Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
4The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
5The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.
6He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.
7He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.
Having read this psalm, we see that this Word of God is clearly Messianic, pointing us to and showing us the glory of Israel’s king to come, the Lord Jesus Christ. While the immediate occasion of this song may have been the coronation of David as king (after he had conquered Jebus and established Jerusalem as the royal city), we understand (in the light of the NT) that David was not merely writing about himself but about someone greater. He speaks of the Son in his covenant line Who is the fulfillment of all God’s promises and Israel’s hopes – THE Christ (Messiah), Who in the fullness of time was revealed to be Jesus, the very Son of God in our flesh.
And in fact, Jesus Himself used Psalm 110 to prove that he is the promised Son of David as well as the Son of God. You will recall this exchange between Jesus and the Pharisees:
41While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. 43He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?46And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
And the greatness and glory of this Messiah is not only that He is the sovereign King of God’s Israel (the church in both the OT and NT) but also that He is Priest. And not just any Priest, but a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek (Gen.14:18). The writer to the Hebrews especially explains the significance of this priesthood (5:6,10; 6:20), telling us these truths about Jesus in chap.7:
For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 2To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 3Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually….
11If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? 12For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. 13For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. 14For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. 15And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 17For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 18For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. 19For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. 20And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: 21(For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) 22By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. 23And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: 24But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. 26For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. 28For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.
It is not my purpose to add much more commentary on this psalm, for this is the Spirit’s own commentary on Psalm 110. I trust we see now why I said that this psalm reveals the very basis and reason for our worship: Christ Jesus, our great Priest-King! Why are we allowed to draw near God today? Why are we able to draw near to Him in worship and in fellowship? Why do we want to draw near in praise and thanks? Because the LORD (Jehovah) said unto His Lord, “Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool.” With firm trust in this Messiah, may we come near to our God this day and magnify Him in every part of our worship.
If you wish to meditate through music on this psalm, I point you to the PRC Psalter page and to this versification of Psalm 110 found in our Psalter (Click on the title to hear piano accompaniment):
302. Our Lord Jesus. Psalm 110. 8s and 7s. (3 stanzas)
1. The Lord unto His Christ hath said,
In glory I enthrone Thee
Till all Thy foes, in triumph led,
Their sovereign King shall own Thee;
From Zion shall Jehovah send
Thy scepter, till before Thee bend
The knees of proud rebellion.
2. Thy people will be gladly Thine
When Thou shalt come victorious,
In holy beauty Thou shalt shine
Like morning fair and glorious;
The word of God shall not depart:
The King of Righteousness Thou art,
A Royal Priest forever.
3. The Lord at Thy right hand shall smite
Earth’s kings in indignation,
And He shall judge with sovereign right
Throughout His wide creation;
While living streams His strength sustain,
The Christ the victory shall gain,
Head over all exalted.