Psalm 110: a call to arms

Do you see yourself, fellow believer in Christ, as being in his army, preparing for battle, not as a conscript but as a willing volunteer? And those volunteers are going to keep coming into his army, day by day.  Because this is the day of his power.  And God the Father will progressively extend his rule – his authority – in the midst of the opposition of the powers of darkness, until his victory over them is complete and all his enemies are under his feet as he sits on his throne.  And who will God use to exercise Christ’s authority?  He uses us, his people, his willing army, to whom he has given his name.  That is what is prophesied in Psalm 110.

Let me give you a rather different translation of Ps 110 from the one with which you may be familiar:

Of David. A psalm.

v 1. The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand

until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

v 2. Your mighty sceptre the LORD sends forth from Zion: “Rule in the midst of your enemies!

v 3. Your people (will be) freewill offerings in the day of your power.

In holy garments, from the womb of the dawn, your young men will come to you like the dew.”

v 4. The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind:

“You are a priest for ever, in the order of Melchizedek.”

v 5. The Lord is at your right hand; he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.

v 6. He will punish nations, heaping up the corpses; he will crush the head over the wide earth.

He will drink from a brook beside the way; therefore he will lift up his head.

We know from the many references in the NT (e.g. Mt 26.64; Acts 2.33) that the opening lines have been fulfilled by Jesus Christ’s ascension to heaven and exaltation to sit at the Father’s right hand.  He will reign there at his right hand until (see Heb. 10.12f and 1 Cor 15.25) his enemies are made his footstool – completed on the day of his return.   Who are his enemies?  Primarily, they are the spiritual powers of darkness.  And who will the LORD use to bring about the overthrow of the powers of darkness: he uses us, his Church (see Eph 6.10-18; 3.10).  Do you realise that it will be our faith in Christ’s atoning blood and our spoken witness to him, no matter what the cost, that will bring victory in the war in the heavenly realms, so that Satan and all his forces are cast down onto the earth just before Christ returns?  Read Rev 12.7-13. This overthrow of the powers of darkness and the deliverance of the world from their domination will be completed when Christ returns (read Rev 16.12-16 and 19.11-21).  He will destroy the armies that have gathered from all over the world under the final antichristian world ruler (“the beast” of Revelation, “the head over the wide earth” of Ps 110.6) to oppose his return as King, casting this ruler and his prophet-henchman into the lake of fire.  This final battle will fulfil Ps 110.5-6.  Yet our victorious King is the fully human Son of Man, as the closing line of the Psalm makes clear.

This is “the day of his power”.  Christ’s authority is all-powerful: no power can withstand it.   His authority will prevail – we have that promised – but he needs us rise up in faith, in the power of his Spirit and the beauty of his holiness, as his willing warriors who will use that authority and overcome the enemy.  Come and join me in that army.

JIM SHAW

(Member of Derby City Church, Elim)

30.6.19

If you would like to study Ps 110 in more detail, click Psalm 110