POST OVERVIEW. A second post on Psalm 110, this time considering verses 2-7 where we see the Lord bringing His judgment on the unrighteous on the last day.
REVIEW OF PSALM 110:1
In a previous post (#629, 3/4/2023), we began our study of the eschatology of Psalm 110 by carefully examining just the first verse of the psalm. There we had discovered that, as the psalm opens, the Lord (Adonai) is welcomed back into heaven by the LORD (Yahweh). We saw that this first scene of the psalm took place when Jesus returned to heaven as the victorious Lamb after accomplishing His work of redemption on the cross. This first verse of Psalm 110 is therefore approximately parallel with Acts 2:33-36, with Revelation 5:6ff, and with Revelation 12:5b.
But we also saw that the focus of this psalm is not on the work that Jesus accomplished on the cross but is instead anticipating a future work that He will do when “His enemies are made a footstool for His feet.” Therefore, our orientation for reading the rest of the psalm is one of anticipation, asking the question, “What work will the Lord Jesus perform when He comes again?” That will be our question as we read the rest of the psalm.
I will again be using the New American Standard Bible (1995) for the text.
CONSIDERING THE ESCHATOLOGY OF PSALM 110:2-7
PSALM 110:2. Once again, it is important to see who is acting in this verse. In verse 1 the LORD (Yahweh) had said to the Lord (Adonai) that He should sit at His right hand UNTIL His enemies are made a footstool. Now in verse 2, the time anticipated by verse 1 has arrived and we now see that it is Adonai who is going to “rule in the midst of Your enemies.”
INTERPRETATION. God the Father speaks to God the Son, saying, “Jesus, now is the appointed time. The end of the age has come. There will be no more delay and no more suspension of judgment. Rise from Your seat at My right hand and take up Your double-edged sword. Take Your seat upon the white horse (Rev. 19:11-21) and begin Your awesome work of final judgment.”
PSALM 110:3. Before Adonai comes to reap the earth, He gathers His army around Him. These are His adoring subjects, and so “Your people will volunteer freely in holy array” as they prepare to follow their King into the battle.
INTERPRETATION. The Lord Jesus, the victorious Lamb, will gather His resurrected and glorified saints to Himself (this gathering of saints is pictured in Ezek. 37:1-14, in 1 Thess. 4:15-17, in Rev. 11:11-12 and in Rev. 14:1-5), and then these will immediately return with Him as His army (1 Thess. 3:13; 4:14; Rev. 19:14). In this context, “Your people” is all the elect of all time.
PSALM 110:4. This statement was made in eternity past from Yahweh to Adonai. In it, Yahweh established the eternal divine priesthood of the Lord Jesus, the priesthood of Melchizedek. The author of Hebrews teaches about this priesthood of Melchizedek and about Jesus’ place in it in Hebrews 7. Refer to this passage in Hebrews for an understanding of this verse. (I have written about Hebrews 7 and Melchizedek in a separate series of blogs.)
ADONAI COMES IN TERRIFYING JUDGMENT
The final three verses describe the work of judgment on the last day. This is THAT day, the day of the Lord, the day of the wrath of God. This portion of the psalm reveals why the unregenerate are terrified when the Lord returns (see Rev. 6:12-17).
PSALM 110:5. Now, as the war of the last day begins and the final rendering of judgment is poured out on the reprobate, we see that it is Adonai (Jesus) who is still at the right hand of Yahweh (God the Father). “He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.”
INTERPRETATION. We have already made clear that these verses in Psalm 110 are describing the same events that take place in Rev. 19:11-21. Jesus Christ, accompanied by all His glorified saints, is coming to judge the earth and to tread the wine press of the wrath of God the Almighty. Here “kings” are mentioned specifically (“shatter kings”) to direct us to the passages in Revelation 16:13-16 and 19:17-19 (see obvious allusions in Rev. 20:8-9) that tell of Armageddon and the kings who gather their armies together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty (16:14). Jesus will “shatter” all opposing kings. All worldly authority will crumble before Him.
PSALM 110:6. Adonai (Jesus) “will judge among the nations and fill them with corpses. He will shatter the chief men over a broad country.”
INTERPRETATION. The verse’s meaning could not be clearer. In the day of His wrath, Jesus will come upon all the unrighteous with absolute justice and will slaughter all the unregenerate such that the earth will be filled with corpses. This same scene appears in Rev. 14:20 when blood flows from the wine press of God’s wrath up to a horse’s bridle for two hundred miles and in Rev. 19:21 where the Rider on the white horse (Jesus Christ) kills all the armies who had gathered against Him. The carnage will be unimaginable and none will escape.
PSALM 110:7. In a peaceful scene we see Adonai drinking from a brook.
INTERPRETATION. After the violence and destruction of the previous two verses in which the Lord judges all the inhabitants of the earth, the picture turns to a peaceful scene of the Lord drinking beside a brook. The message is so obvious that it can easily be missed: the Lord drinks from the brook just like a Man! To the Hebrew mind, both in David’s time and in Christ’s day a thousand years later, there was never any question that Adonai, the Lord, was God. But now in this verse we find a mystery, because here we find the Lord drinking from a brook. This means that Adonai, the one who comes to judge the earth, the one who shatters kings and who by Himself fills the nations with corpses, is also a Man. The psalm is teaching that the Lord is both God and Man. But how can this be?
Of course, we now know that the Lord Jesus, the one who will fulfill this psalm and the one who will render recompense to the nations, is both God and Man. He is the one who will fill the nations with corpses and He is the one who will drink from the brook when He is thirsty, just like any other man. This psalm is definitely prophetic and Messianic.
What we see in Psalm 110 is a picture of the end of the age when the Lord Jesus will gather all His elect to Himself via the Resurrection and then will render recompense to all the unrighteous in the Judgment at the last day.
Soli Deo gloria rmb 3/9/2023 #631