Of David. A psalm.
1 The Lord says to my lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.”
2 The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying,
“Rule in the midst of your enemies!”
3 Your troops will be willing
on your day of battle.
Arrayed in holy splendor,
your young men will come to you
like dew from the morning’s womb.
4 The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind:
“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”
5 The Lord is at your right hand;
he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.
6 He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead
and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.
7 He will drink from a brook along the way,
and so he will lift his head high.
In the streets of London late last century when a little girl fell off her bike, she was given the opportunity of a lifetime. Sitting on the kerb in tears, with her twisted bike, at that very moment the Queen Mother was being driven past in her Rolls Royce. She ordered the car stopped, and offered the girl a lift home, to which this little English girl replied, “No thank you, I’m not supposed to take lifts from strangers”. She missed a great ride home because she didn’t recognise royalty!
Psalm 110 tells you how to recognise royalty, God’s ultimate king, the Messiah. Jesus quotes it in Mark 12:36-37: “While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, “Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David?”. He then quotes verse 1 of our Psalm and continues: David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?” Jesus says that while the Old Testament promises some coming “son of David”, that’s not the whole story. David also calls the Messiah his “Lord”. This king is bigger than you think.
When Jesus is arrested, the high priest asks him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”
“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:61-62). “Right hand” are the key words to latch on to here. “Right hand” is the key to recognising royalty. “Right hand” is there in verse 1 of our Psalm. And again in verse 5 of our Psalm. God’s ultimate king rules at God’s right hand, with everything at his feet. It is very comforting to know that all the rulers of this world exist under his authority and of course are answerable to him.
God’s ultimate king is God’s right hand man. Jesus is saying it’s him. He says that the high priest – everyone – will be able to see it when he rises from the dead and ascends to God’s right hand. And through his ascension to heaven, through his victory over death, the way is opened for all who trust in him to follow.
Head: What have you learnt about Jesus from Psalm 110? What have you learnt about yourself?
Heart: How does it make you feel that you can catch a ride home to heaven through royal transport?
Hands: As you go about your day, what difference might it make to picture Jesus at the right hand of God? What difference might it make to picture even death at his feet and so to picture yourself – all you do and say – also at his feet? Does it make you feel safe in our troubled times?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that Jesus is the ultimate king. Thank you that he died, rose and ascended to rule all the world at your right hand. Thank you that all his enemies including death itself are at his feet. May I be there too. May I live this day at the feet – under the loving rule – of my wonderful King. Please give to me the assuring confidence of peace with you forever. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.