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Sunday, 3 April 2016

Behold the King Psalm 110

 Behold the King:  A Royal Song.

Psalm 110: A Psalm of David.

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 sceptre from Zion, saying, ‘Rule in the midst of your enemies!’
Your troops will be willing on your day of battle. Arrayed in holy splendour, your young men will come to you like dew from the morning’s womb.

The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind:
You are a priest for ever, 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 nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth. He will drink from a brook along the way; and so he will lift his head high.

New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
I'd like to build the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves
I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I'd like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company
I'd like to see the world for once
All standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills
For peace through out the land
(That's the song I hear)

Songs and singing are an important part of life, in fact the minstrels of our day are amongst the wealthiest people in the world. Man was made for singing and as such we sing about many things. We sing when we are joyful, we sing when we are at war, we sing when we are in love, we sing when we are in grief. We sing at all sorts of occasions whether they be sporting occasions or political gatherings. We sing when we are in the presence of royalty. Our English national anthem has been sung so often to our Queen that it makes you wonder if she is not just the slightest bit bored with it by now. But then when you see the worthy words that it has then we are not too surprised that she is the Godly woman that she is. Our short Psalm is a song also of which Augustine said: “although brief in the number of words it is great in it's thought!” Luther regarded this Psalm to be the “crown and chief and worthy to be set in a frame of gold and diamonds.” The Psalms were all written to be sung and are as such are poetry. As with all poetry they are not always that easy to interpret. That is especially true of Psalm 110 which if we break it down really has three stanzas:
  • The King and His army. (1-3)
  • The King who is also a Priest. (4)
  • The Priest-Kings victory. (5-7)

This is the most quoted from Psalm of the New Testament which indicates how important it is. The most important quotations come from the Lord Jesus who says that David wrote it about Him Matthew 22:41-46
It is directly and exclusively a Messianic Psalm that speaks of the King to come who will be a Priest and King.
Melchizedek who was the High Priest of God and the mysterious King of Salem came to Abram and blessed him and offered bread and wine. Abram in turn gave him a tithe and recognised Him to be the Lord God most High. This was the pre-cursor to Abram being given the covenant by God in which He was promised that a people who would come from his own descendants even though both he and Sara were far too old. This mysterious person Melchizedek is later spoken of in Hebrews as being the forerunner of Jesus who also is King and Priest. The Levitical priests were never to be kings and the kings were not permitted to act as priest. The dual function was reserved for the perfect Priest King who was to come.
Jesus on a number of occasions quoted from this Psalm, in particular when he was arguing with the Pharisees one such example is found in Mark 12:35-37

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? David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared:
‘“The Lord said to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.’”
David himself calls him “Lord”. How then can he be his son?’
The large crowd listened to him with delight.
Matthew 22:41-46
While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, ‘What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?’
The son of David,’ they replied.
He said to them, ‘How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him “Lord”? For he says,
‘“The Lord said to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.’”
If then David calls him “Lord”, how can he be his son?’ No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Luke 22:66-71 At His trial this happened.
At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. ‘If you are the Messiah,’ they said, ‘tell us.’
Jesus answered, ‘If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.
They all asked, ‘Are you then the Son of God?’
He replied,‘You say that I am.’
Then they said, ‘Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.’
From here Jesus was taken to Pilate and on to be crucified. It is clear that when Jesus quoted from Psalm 110 they were convinced that the promised Priest King was a divine character and any claiming to be such was a blasphemer.
You will need to spend some time with a concordance, pen and paper to go through the many either direct quotations of or allusions to this Psalm found in the New Testament in order to find it's true significance but by looking at these passages I am hoping to have whet your appetites for further study.
I have just one more passage to highlight before we consider how this Psalm helps us today:
Hebrews 8:1-2
Now the main point of what we are saying is this: we do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.

It is clear to see that Jesus not only believed that King David wrote the Psalm but due to the very fact that David calls this descendant His Lord he cannot be talking of a mere king. The King now has a whole new dimension, He is not only Priest King but also he is Lord! This King to come is a man who is descended to David and is rightly King over His people, He is a priest but not of the order of Aaron who needed sacrifice to cover his own sins before he dare to minister before the Lord. This Priest to come is a mystery just like Melchizedek was, he came and offered sacrifice and accepted worship and as such was a remarkable character. I would like to put it to you that this King of Salem who we know to be Melchizedek or King of Peace is none other that the pre-incarnate (before His incarnation) Lord Jesus.

The King and His army:

In verses 1-3 we are entering into the courtrooms of heaven where there is a conversation between God the Father and His Son, the Messiah. If you notice in your bible you will find that the first LORD of verse 1 is capitalised but the second Lord only begins with a capital letter.

My paraphrase of the verse goes something like this: The word of Yahweh to My Adoni who is My Ruler. Be enthroned at My right hand, which is the place of honour, authority, and power, until I make Your enemies subject to You just as is a footstool for Your feet.

Adoni means a human superior whereas Adonai is a reference to a divine superior. Why is this important? Because God is saying that Jesus who is the God in humanity has a rightful place in heaven where He is King and is very God but also very human,. It may seem to be complicated but what David was promising is that a man who is descended from him will one day be the Messiah who will reign over His enemies in heaven and on earth. He will come from the Holy City and rule with all of the authority of heaven amongst His enemies. He will rule in and through His people who will themselves be priests (wearing holy or sanctified garments) The army will be as fresh as the dew and will be as youthful and full of energy as their King.
The great promise here is that when the Messiah comes He will gather His army together and empower them to be powerful, effective and energetic enough to fight the good fight.

This being the first verse of the song I was wondering what it might be that they would be singing:

Fight the good fight with all thy might;
Christ is thy Strength, and Christ thy Right;
Lay hold on life, and it shall be
Thy joy and crown eternally.

Run the straight race through God’s good grace,
Lift up thine eyes, and seek His face;
Life with its way before us lies,
Christ is the Path, and Christ the Prize.

Cast care aside, lean upon thy Guide,
His boundless mercy will provide;
Lean, and the trusting soul shall prove
Christ is its Life, and Christ its Love.

Faint not nor fear, His arms are near,
He changeth not, and thou art dear.
Only believe, and thou shalt see
That Christ is all in all to thee.

Our subject this morning is; “I would like to teach the world to sing” the world is already singing songs it's songs about so many things but there is none such a worthy topic as this: Jesus the Messiah rules over earth and heaven and He alone is worthy of all of our praise and worship.

  • He King who is also Priest:

This is the declared and unchanging word of God. This is forever true for all times which is for our great encouragement. Our Jesus is an eternal and mysterious priest forever. Melchizedek as we have already said was a mysterious figure that seemed to come from nowhere and to return just as mysteriously. It is His name and location that give us a great clue as to His character. His name means my King is Righteousness and He is the King of Salem which simply means peace. The King of Righteousness is the one who brings peace. Not the hippy peace so often sang of 50 years ago, that peace only brought disaster to the world. The one whom Melchizedek speaks of is none other than the Prince of Peace who imparts of His righteousness to His people.

When we consider some of the promises made about Jesus then we begin to see just how perfectly He fulfils all that is promised in the Scripture. It was said of Him that He would be called Immanuel which means God with us. There is none righteous but God alone! Jesus is the King of heaven who is with His people. It was also said that he was the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world. It is the function of the Priest to intercede for sin, the Lamb was the acceptable offering to atone for sin and here we have in One Man both the Priestly function and also the Sacrifice that is effective! Jesus does exactly what Melchizedek pointed to, He is Priest but He also offers sacrifice and worthy of all praise.

We could look at so many different examples as to the King-Priest function of the Lord Jesus Christ that we would be here forever and not even begin but there is one more that is important and that is the King of Righteousness. Remember in the last point we saw an army dressed in holy garments. They have been set apart or sanctified, they have been made worthy, they are fit for service. How is it possible for any who are sinful to ever be fit for service of the Holy and Righteous God of heaven. We are so tainted with sin that the theologians tell us that we are before God “totally depraved!”

The amazing thing about King Jesus is that by His Priestly function He personally atones for our sin not by proxy but in reality. He becomes the sinner that we are in our place and is punished on our behalf and in return for our sine He gives us His righteousness and so we are seen by God as perfectly righteous and without sin.

Revelation 9:6-10
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.’
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)
Then the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ And he added, ‘These are the true words of God.’
At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, ‘Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.’

Let us start singing in our hearts:

Jesus is King and I will extol Him,
give Him the glory, and honour His name;
He reigns on high, enthroned in the heavens–
Word of the Father, exalted for us.

We have a hope that is steadfast and certain,
gone through the curtain and touching the throne;
we have a priest who is there interceding,
pouring His grace on our lives day by day.

We come to Him, our Priest and Apostle,
clothed in His glory and bearing His name,
laying our lives with gladness before Him–
filled with His Spirit we worship the King:

O Holy One, our hearts do adore You;
thrilled with Your goodness we give You our praise!
Angels in light with worship surround Him,
Jesus, our Saviour, forever the same.
  • The Priest King's victory.
In verse 5 the term the divine titleAdonai is used of the Messiah who is a man. (The divine title is nowhere else in scripture applied to Him.) Adoni and Adonai are like the bookends of the Psalm they keep it all together neatly. It is clear that the earthly Lord and the heavenly Lord are one and the same person. This is not easily seen in our English translations and therefore we lose some of it's importance. In verse 1 God is saying that God the Son is a man and in verse 5 He is saying that Heavenly Lord is reigning victoriously upon the earth with God the Father at His right hand! In verse 1 God calls upon Jesus in order to empower Him in verse 5 we see it working out with God the Father working with His Messiah to bring judgement upon His sinful world.
Jesus is the King of heaven who will break all kings when he comes in judgement. He is King of kings, Lord of lords and He is God of heaven but now notice this. He will judge the nations, He will judge all peoples in righteousness. There is coming a day when sin will no longer rule and he will rule supremely. The earth has finally come under subjection to the King in the same way as a footstool does to weary feet.
I suppose that it is fair to say that it is better to be seated on the throne with the king than it is to be His footstool: that is the offer of this Psalm. Jesus offers exaltation through the forgiveness of sin, He offers to deal with the sin that separates you from God if only you will submit to Him in repentance. If you come to His feet at the cross distraught at your own sin and the price that was paid there. He is then faithful and He is just and will forgive you your sin and He will exchange your guilt for His righteousness and instead of you coming under wrath and judgement you will become a much loved child of God.

There's a sound on the wind like a victory song,
Listen now, let it rest on your soul.
It's a song that I learned from a heavenly King,
It's the song of a battle royal.
There's a loud shout of victory that leaps from our hearts
As we wait for our conquering King.
There's a triumph resounding from dark ages past
To the victory song we now sing.
There'll be crowns for the conquerors and white robes to wear,
There will be no more sorrow or pain.
And the battles of earth shall be lost in the sight
Of the glorious Lamb that was slain.
Now the King of the ages approaches the earth,
He will burst through the gates of the sky,
And all men shall bow down to His beautiful name,
We shall rise with a shout, we shall fly!
Come on, heaven's children,
The city is in sight.
There will be no sadness
On the other side.
Now the King of the ages approaches the earth,
He will burst through the gates of the sky,
And all men shall bow down to His beautiful name

I would like to teach the world to sing the most important songs ever written. The Psalms are the songs of the bible and are as such the only inspired songs that have ever been written. There are many inspiring songs and many great songs but these are supreme because they are written by God's special people and inspired by God's Holy Spirit.
Hopefully we are all inspired today to sing as we go on our way and to teach first each other how to sing and then to teach the world all about the King of Kings as we sing of Him.

King of kings, majesty,
God of Heaven living in me,
gentle Saviour, closest friend,
strong deliverer, beginning and end,
all within me falls at your throne.

Earth and Heaven worship you,
love eternal, faithful and true,
who bought the nations, ransomed souls,
brought this sinner near to your throne;
all within me cries out in praise.

Your majesty, I can but bow,
I lay my all before you now.
In royal robes I don't deserve
I live to serve your majesty.

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