Psalm 110 – Worship At Jesus’ Footstool
Psalm 110:1-7 NIV
The Lord says to my lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”
The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies.
Your troops will be willing on your day of battle. Arrayed in holy majesty, from the womb of the dawn you will receive the dew of your youth.
The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
The Lord is at your right hand; He will crush kings on the day of His wrath.
He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.
He will drink from a brook beside the way; therefore He will lift up His head.
To get a better understanding of this Messianic psalm about Jesus, we must first know who the writer was. It was King David.
David started the Psalm saying, “The Lord says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”
Who are “The Lord” and “my lord”? In its original Hebrew, “The Lord” is ‘YAHWEH’ and “my lord” is ‘Adonai’. Both of these Hebrew words were translated into ‘Lord’ in the English language, though they are different words. We know who YAHWEH is. The word ‘Adonai’ is used to refer to someone greater than the writer. And since the writer was King David, “my lord” refers to someone David considered greater than himself – the Messiah.
The unbelieving Jews at that time (and even today) did not acknowledge “my lord” as referring to Jesus. Instead they believed that it referred to David himself. This doesn’t make sense since David wrote this psalm, David cannot be greater than David himself.
In ancient days, it was customary for the victorious king to put their feet on the necks of the conquered enemies (Joshua 10:24, 1 Kings 5:3, Psalm 18:39), as a sign that they have been subdued.
King David also wanted to build a temple as a footstool for God. “King David rose to his feet and said: ‘Listen to me, my brothers and my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it.’” (1 Chronicles 28:2 NIV)
We can also draw our understanding from Psalm 99:5 about the purpose of the footstool, at which we will worship God. “Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his footstool; He is holy.” (Psalm 99:5 NIV)
So when David said that Jesus would sit at YAHWEH’s right hand until YAHWEH makes Jesus’ enemies a footstool for his feet, it was God promising Jesus that he would be victorious and completely subdue his enemies.
We were all Jesus’ spiritual enemies before we accepted him, but we now worship at his feet. Those who choose to remain Jesus’ enemies will be subdued beneath his feet one day.
As the Lord extends His “mighty scepter from Zion”, Jesus’ rule will extend beyond the Jewish nation, and he will rule in the midst of his enemies. The unbelieving Jews believed that the ‘enemies’ were not themselves but those who ruled over them. They weren’t aware that they were the enemies of God when they did not accept Jesus Christ. Paul wrote that we were once enemies in our minds because of our evil behaviour.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now He has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation. (Colossians 1:21-22 NIV)
“Your troops will be willing on your day of battle.” Are we willing to be in the battlefield with Jesus? Yes! I will! Get our hearts right and ready to fight the spiritual battle! “Womb of the dawn” gives a picture of us rising up fresh early in the morning. Try feeling the morning dew before the sun rises to experience the freshness of the morning air. Such is the heart that God will give us when we go into His presence to receive the word of God, and prepare our hearts for our battle of the day.
God has “sworn and will not change his mind”. It is a solemn pledge that God has made to Jesus that he is “a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” Melchizedek means ‘king of righteousness’ and he was the King of Salem (Jerusalem), thus the ‘king of peace’ as well.
Melchizedek was mentioned only twice in the Old Testament (Genesis 14:18 and in this psalm) and in Hebrews 5,6,7. Little is known about him, but he was called “priest of God Most High”. He blessed Abraham, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. He is thus greater than Abraham, the father of Israel. And his priesthood lineage is more superior to that of Aaron.
“The Lord is at your right hand; he will crush kings on the day of his wrath. He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.” This verse should be referring to Judgement Day.
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords. (Revelation 19:11-16 NIV)
There are a few key points to take away from the above verse in Revelation. Jesus is faithful and true, and his name is the Word of God. The very word that Jesus spoke will judge us (John 12:48), but we are on his side in this battle because God is faithful. Reflecting back to verse 3 of this psalm, are we amongst the troops of Jesus on his day of battle? Jesus is also called ‘True’; he will judge those who remain as enemies.
“He will drink from a brook beside the way; therefore he will lift up his head.”
Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom.” (Matthew 26:27-29 NIV)
After Judgement Day, we will drink with our Jesus in Heaven. There will be no more pain, no more tears. All these are possible because of the blood of Jesus, which has redeemed us from the penalty of our sins. Life has been difficult for all of us. Life is tough, but God sets us free from the slavery of sins so that we may be likeminded with Him and join Him in His spiritual battle.
Let us worship at Jesus’ footstool, and be a part of his winning team.
Andy is the head of compliance for an international bank and is happily married, with three daughters. He became a disciple of Christ three decades ago, and studies God's Word passionately. He desires to be constantly led by the Spirit.