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Psalms 110:1-7 - Homiletics

The victorious King.

New Testament references leave no doubt as to the Messianic character of this psalm. "The image of a warrior destroying his foes may seem a strange representation of the establishment upon earth of Christ's spiritual dominion. But David described Messiah's victory over his enemies by images familiar to him as a warrior; so Ezekiel drew his images out of the forms of the Assyrian world." Here, in prophetic vision, we see Christ our Lord—

I. HOLDING THE MOST EXALTED STATION . He is at the right hand of God (verse 1). This is he who is "highly exalted;" who has "sat down at the right hand of God;" who receives the adoration of the heavenly host along with "him that sitteth on the throne" ( Revelation 5:13 ).

II. WIELDING THE HIGHEST AUTHORITY . (Verse 2.) He is to sway the scepter, to receive the commission, "Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies."

III. EXERTING IRRESISTIBLE POWER . (Verse 2.) His is "the rod of strength," and "the Lord at his right hand shall strike through kings," etc. (verse 5). Who shall measure the power of Christ today? What forces are there in the world that are not Christian in their origin and in their character? The name of Christ, the truth and principles of Christ, the spirit of Christ,—this is leavening the literature, the laws, the institutions, the habits, and customs of the world. Other great forces have disappeared or are waning, but the power of Jesus Christ not only survives the changes of eighteen centuries, but it is spreading and deepening from year to year.

IV. WORKING THROUGH A BEAUTIFUL AND HOLY WILLINGHOOD . (Verse 3.) The people (the subjects) of Messiah are to be "willing," or to be free offerings; they will offer themselves to him; they will serve under him with cheerful self-surrender. When forced, reluctant levies will win his victories, but they who hasten to his side, who long to strike bravely and earnestly in his cause, who rejoice in his watchwords, who are prepared to lay down their lives in his cause. When "the day of his power" comes, the day of battle, they will be found eager to obey the summons. And these subjects of his will be clothed with the beautiful garment of holiness. With no tawdry finery, in no massive and burdensome armor, will they be clad; they will be invested with purity, piety, love, patience, unselfishness, all-consuming zeal; fairer in the sight of truth will they be than the most splendid pageantry—the army of goodness, the hosts of Christ, separated in space but united in aim and spirit.

V. POSSESSED OF AN INEXHAUSTIBLE ENERGY . "Thou hast the dew of thy youth" may refer to Christ's soldiery or to himself. In either case, it is an ascription of unfailing vigor to his cause.

"Ever new and ever young,

And firm endures tho' endless years

Their everlasting circles run,"

may be affirmed of the cause of Christianity. It is always morning; there is no sign of sunset. It knows nothing of decline. It absorbs the new forms of activity and association, and employs them. It uses the latest knowledge, the latest arts. Instead of crumbling with age, it gathers strength and energy with time.

VI. MEETING THE DEEPER NECESSITIES OF MANKIND . (Verse 4.) The warrior and the priest do not ordinarily meet in one person. Our Lord, however, is a Conqueror who subdues, and also a Savior who cleanses and redeems. He is more to our race than can be indicated by an image drawn from one vocation; so much more that the unity of the sacred poem must be disregarded. His Priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek, cannot be omitted. On that heavenly throne is he who once gave himself as a sacrifice for us, and redeemed us from sin and death; an unchanging and eternal Priest, in whom to trust so long as time endures.

VII. CROWNED WITH GLORIOUS VICTORY . This once crucified One, exalted to the right hand of God, who completed his redeeming work when amongst us, and who has such followers to fight beneath his banner, will one day have his enemies beneath his feet (verse 1). Great conquests have been won already. Immeasurably greater these would have been if his people had adhered to his truth and done his bidding. But now they hear the call of their Leader and the cry of their brethren, and are hastening to the field. To-day the triumphs of the cross are vastly greater than they were a century ago; and at the present rate of advance, with such signs of progress as have never been known before, there is every reason to expect that, a hundred years hence, the gospel will have covered and conquered a very large part of heathendom. Nor will the glorious struggle end until the whole world is won, and the crown of victory is placed on the Divine Sovereign's head.

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