The Expository Files


 "Sit At My Right Hand"

The King's scepter and the Priest's intercession

  Psalm 110:1-7

Many of the Psalms are prophetic in nature, speaking of the Messiah to come. The 110th Psalm is one of the most significant of the Messianic Psalms. If I were to pick three, they would be: the 2nd Psalm dealing with the sovereign reign of Christ and the ultimate subjection of all the kings and nations of the earth unto Him; the 22nd Psalm, dealing with His death; and the 110th Psalm describing various aspects of the coming of Jesus. All these were written when Jesus' birth was yet over 900 years in the future. Consider the authority of Christ Jesus as revealed in this
Psalm as it portrays the strife and turmoil caused by those who reject Him; His faithful people who faithfully and willingly serve Him; His exaltation and victory; and judgment.

God the Father and God the Son
The LORD says to my Lord:
"Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet."
(Psalm 110:1)

David is the writer of this Psalm, and in it, he mentions two Lords… “the Lord” and “My Lord”. There are two Hebrew terms for God used in this passage. “The LORD” (Jehovah; Yaweh) “said to my Lord” (Adonai). We have two members of the Godhead involved in a conversation! The name "Jehovah" is used again in verses 2 and 4; "Adonai" is used again in verse 5.

"The LORD said to My Lord" is quoted 5 times in New Testament. Jesus, in affirming His deity, quotes this Psalm (in three gospels; Matthew, Mark and Luke; see Matthew 22:42-46). Earlier that week the crowds had proclaimed Jesus to be “the Son of David” (Matthew 2l:8-11). Now, what would make Jesus, a descendant of David, also David's "Lord"? (Matthew 2l:14-15). Jesus equates praising Him as the promised Descendant of David the same as calling Him "the Lord" (Psalm 8:l-2; 148:12-13).

Following His resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven and has sat down at God's right hand (Acts 2:34). This is where He continues to reign (and intercede for His people) today until His return. Jesus is more than an angel. He is the Creator; God the Son (Hebrews l:13; 10-12). He was both David's Lord as well as David's descendant.

The Scepter of the King

The LORD will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying,
"Rule in the midst of Your enemies."
Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power;
In holy array, from the womb of the dawn,
Your youth are to You as the dew.”

(Psalm 110:2,3)

King Jesus is now on His throne in the “day of His power”. The scepter is in His hand (Hebrews 1:8). He reigns in the hearts of His people as they accept His Lordship over their lives (Colossians 1:13). We are now in the "Day of His Power" (Matthew 28:18). It is the day of the Lord with respect to salvation from sins in His name (Romans 10:12,13). He is now absolute head over all things as to His church (Ephesians l:18-23).

His rule continues even in the midst of His enemies at the present time (see verse 2; Acts 5:27-32). His rule is accepted voluntarily by His people (see verse 3). No one is forced. We serve Him because we want to. We want to because we love Him and respect Him. We love Him, but He first loved us Our incentives are powerful, and they ought to be. If you are a faithful disciple who has partaken of the water of life, you have done so by choice (Romans 12:1; Revelation 21:17).

The Intercession of the Priest

The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind,
"You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek."

(Psalm 110:4)

Jesus is Priest as well as King. This is something unique. Priests came from the tribe of Levi. No king ever did. Kings (except for the first king) came from Judah. No king came from Levi. But Jesus would fulfill both roles; Ruler and Intercessor (Zechariah 6:13). A High priest-king reigns on His throne today, and for us, it is a throne of grace (Hebrews 4:14-16). Jesus as our intercessor gives us a solid hope and anchor for our lives (Hebrews 6:19-20). He is a perpetual priest (Hebrews 7:23-28).

Judgment and Victory

The Lord is at Your right hand;
He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.
He will judge among the nations,
He will fill them with corpses,
He will shatter the chief men over a broad country.
He will drink from the brook by the wayside;
Therefore He will lift up His head.

(Psalm 110:5-7)

"Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet." This phrase is symbolic of the judgment and final defeat of the enemies of the Lord Those who have exalted themselves against the Lord will be "shattered" and “judged". That day is coming! Note this graphically descriptive part of the vision John saw (Revelation 19:11-16).

"Until" is forward looking. What happens next? After the final judgment scene of wrath fades, peace returns. The King rests from judgment (see verse 7).

The new heavens and a new earth; a new order of things of which you and I may share a part in the heavenly kingdom of the Father (l Corinthians 15:23-28).


It is a short Psalm; just 7 verses in length. But it is epic in its scope. We see from verse 3 that it is so important to willingly receive the Lordship of Christ and the responsibilities and blessings that come with it. It is up to each one of us to make our choice, and the only viable choice in eternity is Jesus, our priest and king.

By Jon W. Quinn
From Expository Files 19.4; April 2012