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Verse 7

Psalms 110:7. He shall drink of the brook in the way "That is," says Houbigant, "the brook Cedron, I suppose;" David pointing out the passion of our Lord, by a continuance of the metaphor wherewith he began. Jesus was exalted because of his suffering, therefore did he lift up his head. See Hebrews 12:2. This is the more general interpretation of the verse. There are some, however, who give it a different meaning, and suppose that by drinking of the brook in the way, is meant the succour and supply of Almighty grace. That water is a usual symbol by which instruction, or rather the influences of the holy Spirit are represented, is evident from Isaiah 12:3; Isaiah 55:1. Joh 7:38-39. According to this sense the meaning of the Psalmist will be, "If it be asked how the Redeemer shall be enabled to execute the various and important offices foretold in the former part of this psalm; the prophet replies, He shall drink of the brook in the way. He shall not be left barely to his human nature, which would unavoidably sink; but, through the whole administration of his mediatorial kingdom and his incarnate state, shall be supported with omnipotent succours. He shall drink at the brook of Almighty power: He shall be continually supported by the influence of the Holy Spirit; and therefore shall he lift up his head. By these means shall he be rendered equal to his prodigious talk, superior to all opposition, successful in whatever he undertakes, and greatly triumphant over all his enemies." See Hervey's Meditations, vol. 1: p. 129 and Bishop Stillingfleet's Sermons, vol. 1 p. 353. They who are inclined to see the first interpretation explained and elucidated, will find ample satisfaction in Bishop Reynolds's fine explication of this psalm, to which we refer the reader with great pleasure. If we consider this psalm, says a writer, as every one should, not only as a prophesy, but a pathetic poem, I think we cannot fail of being charmed as much with the elegance of the competition as we are satisfied of the truth of the predictions which it contains. In the first verse our Lord is seated at the right hand of God, as a place of the greatest dignity which can be conceived; as the partner of his throne and power: agreeably to which, in the second he is invested with his authority, by having the sceptre of his power, and an universal and supreme command even over his enemies, delivered to him. In consequence of this, he receives the homage of his subjects, the free-will offerings of his faithful people, who are as numerous as the drops of the morning dew which overspread the earth. In the fourth verse the sacerdotal is added to the regal office. In the fifth and sixth the Psalmist returns again to describe the exercise of his supreme and sovereign authority; and in the last, he gives a reason why he was exalted to so much honour; namely, as a reward for that most astonishing act of his humiliation; which is expressed very poetically by his drinking of the brook in the way; upon which St. Paul seems to have given a comment, when he says, that being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death: wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, &c. See Philippians 2:8-9.

This prophesy was fulfilled in Jesus, when he arose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sat down on the right hand of his Father, from thenceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool; i.e. till Satan, the prince of this world, be confined for ever to the bottomless pit; till all the persecuting powers of earth be destroyed, and till death and the grave shall be no more; Psalms 110:1. The kingdom to which he was advanced, was a spiritual kingdom: the sceptre with which he was presented in the heavenly Sion, was all power in heaven and on earth; to be employed for the protection of his subjects and the destruction of his enemies: Psalms 110:2. The laws of his kingdom were the laws of the Gospel; which were to be published from Jerusalem: They who freely offered themselves to publish his laws, and gather subjects into his kingdom, were the apostles and first preachers of his gospel; who waited at Jerusalem, the beauty of holiness, till they were invested with power from on high to execute their commission; and when they went forth among the heathen, to subdue and reduce them to the obedience of faith, they spread his gospel over the known world in a few years, and gathered into his kingdom multitudes of subjects out of every nation under heaven: Psalms 110:3. At the same time that Jesus was feared on his throne as king, he was made high priest in the heavenly sanctuary, to intercede for his people, and be their advocate with the Father: Psalms 110:4. The sceptre was given him as well for the destruction of his enemies, as the protection of his subjects. When, therefore, the potentates of the earth opposed his gospel, and persecuted its publishers, he destroyed them with the breath of his mouth; first, by pouring out his wrath on Judea, in the excision of its inhabitants and the subversion of its state, and afterwards by executing his vengeance on the persecuting powers of the heathen world, as they rose up to oppose the advancement of his kingdom: Psa 110:5-6 and see Revelation 19:11; Rev 19:21 to the end. When Jesus set out upon his warfare against the enemies of our salvation, he drank deep of the cup of sorrow and sufferings; but, in reward for his humiliation, he is highly exalted to the throne of glory at the right hand of God, that all should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father; and hence he encourages his followers by declaring, to him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me on my throne; even as I overcame, and am set down with my Father on his throne. See Green on the Prayer of Habakkuk.

REFLECTIONS.—The glory of our incarnate Saviour is the great subject of the Psalmist's praise.

1. He is exalted to the highest dignity in heaven, and David owns him his adored Lord. The Lord, Jehovah the Father, said unto my Lord, Jesus the Messiah, Sit thou at my right hand, advanced to the seat of most transcendant glory and honour, until I make thine enemies thy footstool; enemies innumerable has our Lord to conflict with, the world, sin, Satan, death, &c. but he sits upon the throne, and they must bow before his footstool; some are already subdued, and shortly the conquest will be complete, when the last enemy shall be destroyed, and all his faithful people made to triumph with him in glory. Hasten, O Lord, this happy day!

2. All power is given him on earth. The Lord shall send forth the rod, or sceptre, of thy strength, the everlasting gospel, the power of God unto salvation; which, by the Spirit's energy is made effectual to the conversion of the souls of sinners, bowing them to submit to the sceptre of his righteousness; and this went forth first out of Zion, and hath spread to the remotest corners of the earth: rule thou, or thou shalt rule, in the midst of thine enemies; the Redeemer's kingdom will be established in spite of all opposition, and his church rise superior to all the malice of men and devils: yea, such will be the effectual working of his mighty power, that even those whose minds were enmity against him, and their lives open rebellion, shall be convinced, humbled, sue for mercy, and be converted unto him.

3. His subjects shall be a willing people, inclined to offer up themselves, their bodies, souls, and spirits, to his blessed service; cheerfully lifting under his banners in the day of his power; when in the preaching of the word, accompanied with the demonstration of the Spirit, they shall be drawn to him by the cords of love, and arrayed in the beauties of holiness, meet to attend their glorious head, from the womb of the morning; and their multitudes shall be as the drops of morning dew. Note; (1.) It is of grace that we become his believing people. (2.) There are transcendant beauties in Jesus, effectual when seen to engage supremely the sinner's soul to him. (3.) Though Christ is to the believer all in all, it never makes him neglect internal purity, but makes him aspire after perfect holiness.

4. All is confirmed by the oath of God. The Lord hath sworn by himself, since he can swear by no greater, and will not repent, for he is without variableness, or shadow of turning; Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek; a priest, to make reconciliation for the sins of his people; for ever, the efficacy of the one oblation that he offered abiding the same, and he at the right-hand of God, ever living to plead it, and make intercession for us; after the order of Melchizedek, an order of priesthood, prior to and greater than that of Aaron, unchangeable and eternal. Note; The hope of the faithful soul is fixed upon the most solid basis, on the all-sufficiency of Jesus, and the oath of the eternal Jehovah. With what confidence then should we expect pardon, grace, and all the blessings of salvation, from the great high-priest of our profession; and how great is the dishonour that we cast upon him, when for a moment we dare question his power and grace, and stagger at promises confirmed by two immutable things, the word and oath of that God who cannot lie?

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