by Mike Ratliff
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, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. (Matthew 22:41-46 ESV)
Many Psalms, written a thousand years before Christ’s birth, contain many references to Him that are wholly inapplicable to any other person in history. Even many references to David surpass him in scope, strength and duration – often pointing to a Son of David who would reign eternally. Let us look at one of these Psalms that our Lord cited in Matthew 22:41-46, which is Psalm 110. Our Lord tells us that this Psalm speaks of Him. In it we will see that it also very succinctly shows us the result of our Lord’s incarnation, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension in what has been called the ‘Church Age.’ It also shows us what will transpire when He returns at the end of this age.
The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” (Psalms 110:1 ESV)
The word ‘LORD’ in all caps above is the Hebrew word יהוה or yehôvâh. This is the Covenant name of God most prominently known in connection with His relationship with the nation of Israel. On the other hand, the word ‘Lord’ is the Hebrew word אדן אדון or ‘âdôn ‘âdôn. This word means, “proprietor, master, lord, Lord when referring to God, owner, ruler, commander.” What did David mean when he wrote this? Well, he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to prophesy what we are preparing to study here. This message is from יהוה to David’s אדן אדון. Who is David’s Lord? This is a prophecy of the coming messiah and this identifies Him as not just a man or a descendant of David, but one of divine origin. This is speaking of our Lord Jesus Christ. When did he sit at the right hand of God?
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)
He endured the Cross. He died and was resurrected. After he ascended to the Father 10 days prior to Pentecost, He was seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Therefore, what we learn in Psalm 110:1 is that the first part of this psalm refers to that period of time between His victory at the Cross and that period when He will leave the right had of the throne of God to fulfill His Kingdom.
The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! (Psalms 110:2 ESV)
Even though our Lord is at the right hand of the throne of God, this does not mean He is not ruling and reigning right now. All who belong to Him are part of His Kingdom and He is on the throne. He is reigning while His Kingdom is in midst of His enemies. The Church is in this world, but is not part of it. The world system is the enemy of the Christian and our Lord. These enemies are not yet our Lord’s ‘footstool.’ In fact, the suffering Church suffers because of them.
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. (Psalms 110:3 ESV)
Those whom God saves are changed forever. They are new creations that learn to offer themselves as living sacrifices, which is their reasonable worship (Romans 12:1). Through this, they also learn to continually become transformed by the renewing of their minds. This is speaking of Christians maturing and bearing the fruit of the spirit as they grow in Christlikeness. This is what we are to do during this period between our Lord’s first and second coming. Through this, we become victorious over the flesh and the world.
The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalms 110:4 ESV)
When the time came for our Lord to be born of a virgin, grow up, minister, and become the suffering servant bearing the sins of His people on the Cross, it was because God ordained it and it was going to take effect regardless of who opposed it. This is another wonderful example of the Sovereignty of God. What He ordains takes place and no one can stay His hand. Who is Melchizedek and what has he have to do with our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah? Melchizedek was “king of Salem,” which means “king of peace.” He was also a “priest of God Most High” (Genesis 14:18-20). Abraham tithed to him after he had defeated several kings in a battle to rescue his nephew Lot. During this age, the Messiah is both a priest and king after the order or like Melchizedek. Our Lord Jesus Christ is both our King and our High Priest (Hebrews 5).
We have reached the end of the portion of Psalm 110 that deals with this age. Now let us look at the part that deals with what must take place at the end of this age that will usher in the age to come.
The Lord is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath. He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth. He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head. (Psalms 110:5-7 ESV)
When our Lord returns at the end of this age He will not appear as the suffering servant who had no place to lay His head. No, when He returns, He will be the Warrior King who will be victorious over His enemies. He will make His enemies his ‘footstool.’ The defeat of Satan at the Cross will be completely consummated at our Lord’s return. The key word for how utter this victory will be is found in the word ‘shatter’ from v6. This is the Hebrew word מחץ or mâchats. This word means, “to splt, cleave; to crush; to wound severely; to strike. The term carries the connotation of annihilation.” This word describes a blow that results in complete and total victory with the enemy crushed at the victor’s feet. We find this word picture written out for us very clearly in Judges 5.
“Most blessed of women be Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, of tent-dwelling women most blessed. He asked water and she gave him milk; she brought him curds in a noble’s bowl. She sent her hand to the tent peg and her right hand to the workmen’s mallet; she struck Sisera; she crushed his head; she shattered and pierced his temple. Between her feet he sank, he fell, he lay still; between her feet he sank, he fell; where he sank, there he fell–dead. (Judges 5:24-27 ESV)
The word ‘crushed’ above is מחץ. Sisera was a wicked oppressor of the Israelites during the period of the Judges. He was running for his life and begged to be hid by Jael. She told him to turn aside to hide. Then as he rested, she took a tent peg and a mallet and drove the peg through his head into the ground. His death, his crushing was complete and sudden. This is how our Lord’s victory will be when he crushes His enemies when He returns. Sin, death, Satan, his demons, and all those who are Satan’s seed will be crushed suddenly and completely.
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh. (Revelation 19:11-21 ESV)
This battle will be short and sweet. Our Lord will return as the Victorious Warrior King, His enemies will be made his ‘footstool’, and those who are known by Him will be with Him forever in the New Heaven and the New Earth. Oh, does he know you? Do you know Him as Lord and Saviour? If so, you will be with Him as He crushes His enemies! If you are not then you will be among those who will be crushed.
Soli Deo Gloria!