Advent Devotional Day 9: Psalm 110
Christ by Highest Heav’n Adored, Christ the Everlasting Lord
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. (Psalm 110.1-3)
Throughout Scripture, we see various themes woven together like a multicolored fabric. The fabric of Scripture is made up of a multitude of themes that run together to tell one story: the story of God’s creation and redemption of all things. In the series’ last installment, one of the themes that we picked up was the divine nature of the “anointed One,” or “Christ” and by this divine nature He rules all the nations. He is the One with the right to break the nations with a rod of iron, and He is the One to whom the kings of the earth owe uncompromised loyalty. As a coronation Psalm of David, Psalm 2 anticipated One coming who is both Son of David and Son of God. Psalm 110 falls into the same paradigm, with bright colors added to the fabric!
The Psalm opens (as you can see above) with a shocking introduction: “The LORD said unto my Lord.” David is the highest seat of authority in all the land, there are none but God alone that can be called David’s “Lord.” However, the LORD (Yahweh) is the One speaking to David’s “Lord” (Adonai) in this song. Further, Adonai is a term that is often used for God Himself throughout the Old Testament. While this Psalm picks up on beautiful themes of David’s eternal throne inhabited by His greater Son, I think the most shocking and awe-inspiring theme being introduced by these two Psalms that we have looked at is that they are bringing forward the idea that this King from David’s line is much more than just a son of David. In Psalm 2 He is God’s Eternally Begotten Son, in Psalm 110 He is David’s “Lord” right alongside Yahweh. The Divine nature of the Messiah who was to come is built into the fabric of Old Testament prophecy.
As the One who is David’s son and David’s Lord, He receives a kingdom that is better than David’s. Yahweh Himself is the One who puts the Messiah’s enemies underneath His feet as He sits at Yahweh’s right hand. He rules at Yahweh’s right hand from “Zion” the place of God’s glorious presence. In verses 5-7 of this Psalm we see this Anointed King shattering all the other kings of the earth, filling the nations with corpses, and lifting His head as He drinks from a brook just like Gideons soldiers who were thoroughly prepared for battle. This is a Song about a King with eternal, immense, boundless, and universal authority. This Song is about a King coming who is God the Son Himself. He is David’s Son and God’s Son, and because of this He is called David’s Lord.
There is another aspect of this Psalm for us to savor as we behold Christ in it as well. This truth is found in verse 3 above: “Your people will offer themselves freely…in holy garments.” Not only is the Messiah’s reign have disastrous implications for His enemies, it has marvelous implications for those who love Him. His people that come into His service as the King of the kings of the earth offer themselves “freely.” This is not an obedience by coercive power and domineering bullying. This is obedience from the heart that has been “trained by grace” in regeneration and sanctification. (Titus 2.11) This is a King who has graciously turned the hearts of those He rules over, enabling them to offer themselves to His service freely. They also offer themselves in “holy garments.” Not only do they come into the King’s presence freely, but they do so clothed with holiness. The King Himself has given them these garments, He has dressed them with holiness because of His abounding love for them. The picture is brought into clearer focus in the New Testament in the words of the apostle Paul: “He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor. 5.21) In David’s Son and David’s Lord, the King of kings, we have been given His own garment of righteousness.
Lastly, I want us to meditate on the eternality of His life and reign. “From the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours.” This is a picture of the perpetual vigor of a life that has no end. Not only does this King reign over His enemies, bringing them to their total end. Not only does He bring His people to Himself in His service and clothe them with His garments of salvation and righteousness, but He does so forever: “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the Living One. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and hades.” (Revelation 1.17-18)
Sometimes during the advent season we get an almost cartoonish picture in our minds of the Baby in a manger, and His doting parents sitting next to him. We even get a couple of bewildered cows thrown into the mix staring mystified at this Infant. Let us not forget to delight in the One born of a Virgin as the One who is born to rule the nations, born to bring His people redemption from their sins, and born to live forever as our Great King.