The Lord of My Lord
A Psalm of David.
1The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”
2The Lord sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies!
3Your 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.
4The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”
5The Lord is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
6He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth.
7He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head.
Today we are treated to a most incredible Messianic Psalm. This Davidic prayer of praise is widely quoted in the New Testament and points both forward to Jesus and back to the time of King David. Jesus Himself quoted this psalm as He was instructing the Pharisees about His position as the Son of David / Son of God.
41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” 43 He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, 44“‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”’? 45 If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” 46 And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.
In this passage from Matthew we find (just as we did earlier this week in our study of Mark) that Jesus never shrugs away from His deity. He is the Son of God and proves it by declaring that He knew all of the Old Testament heroes, kings, and prophets before His birth. Peter uses the same argument in his famous evangelistic sermon on the day of Pentecost. David is the author of Psalm 110 and Jesus is the subject!
29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, 35until I make your enemies your footstool.”’
The imagery used by David in this psalm is that of an ancient conqueror subjecting the defeated king to his dominion.
To use one’s enemies as a footstool refers to the ancient custom in which a conqueror placed his foot on his vanquished foes as a display of his triumph. This prophecy will be fulfilled on judgment day, when Christ will complete his conquest of all our enemies, including death, and when Satan and all who have opposed Christ must submit to his rule. The fulfillment of this passage is described in more detail in 1 Corinthians 15:20–28.
Brug, J. F. ©1989. Psalms 73–150 (p. 161). Milwaukee, WI: Northwestern Pub. House.
1 Corinthians 15:20–28
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.
Finally, David mentions Jesus’ position as priest and king. This is surprising because in the Old Testament the kingship and priesthood were strictly separated. The kings came from David’s family of the tribe of Judah. The priests came from Aaron’s family of the tribe of Levi. Christ’s extraordinary combination of offices indicates that he will be no ordinary priest. He will be a priest in the order of Melchizedek. This makes Jesus unique (once again) and worthy of praise. His position as supreme Rule and Judge is fixed in place by God and supported by all that we read in the Revelation. We worship the same Messiah as King David and it will be exciting to meet David as together we bow before our Lord Jesus Christ.