September 28, 2015
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
Every Word is Important
“The Lord said unto my Lord sit Thou … Thou art a priest forever …”
Nowhere is the authorship of a Psalm so critical and so well attested than in Psalm 110. The Lord Jesus attested to it, and adds in Mark 12:36 that David spoke by the Spirit. Peter stressed that “David himself” (Acts 2:33-35) spoke. It will form the basis of a New Testament theology of the King-Priest roles of Christ. David, the King, speaks of the more-than-King Who is to come.
There may not be any two similar verses in the Old Testament so fundamental to New Testament theology as verses 1 and 4 of Psalm 110.
This Psalm contains:
Two Offices – King, Priest
Two Responses – Enforced Submission and Willing Sacrifices
Two Outcomes – Heads wounded and the Head worshiped
vv 1-3 The Expectant Sovereign
Every word of these verses carry import and will be seen in New Testament light as fundamental to doctrine:
The Lord said – The divine authority for all
My Lord – David’s Son yet David’s Lord
Sit Thou – He is greater than angels in Hebrews 1:13 and greater than David who has not ascended into heaven Acts 2:34
At My right hand – His exaltation to God’s right hand – Acts 5:3; He is seated in accomplishment – A finished work -Hebrews 10
Until – He is there expecting – Hebrews 10:13; 1Corinthians 15:25
Verse 2 speaks of the rod of His power and the enforcing of obedience, His rule, in the midst of His enemies. That day is yet future. In verse 3 is the willing surrender of those who love Him – willing offerings in the day of His power (cf. Judges 5:2). It will be in the beauty of holiness; a King Who will never lose the freshness of His youth and His vigor for God.
Thus verses 2 and 3 form a contrast between enforced submission and glad surrender. We have the privilege now of being willing and living sacrifices (Romans 12:1, 2).
v 4 The Established Priest
Now an oath is added and this verse is quoted in Hebrews in multiple places with stress being placed on virtually each word at different junctures (Heb 5:6, 6:20; 7:17, 21).
In Hebrews 5:6, it stresses God as the author of the statement; in 5:9 He is a High Priest; in 6:20 the stress is on “forever” while in 7:17 it is after the order of Melchizedek. Finally in 7:21 we are reminded that it was with an oath. Not one word is “wasted” in this wonderful statement to the risen Lord.
vv 5-7 The Excelling Warrior
The Sovereign Lord shall arise and strike through Kings in the day of His wrath … judge among the nations … wound the heads of great lands …
Read the Psalm and look up all the references in the N. T. where it is cited. Make a list of all the doctrines which flow from it.