Study Guide – Psalm 110

Psalm110

1 The Lord said to my Lord,
    “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand
until I humble your enemies,
    making them a footstool under your feet.”

2 The Lord will extend your powerful kingdom from Jerusalem;
    you will rule over your enemies.
3 When you go to war,
    your people will serve you willingly.
You are arrayed in holy garments,
    and your strength will be renewed each day like the morning dew.

4 The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow:
    “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”

5 The Lord stands at your right hand to protect you.
    He will strike down many kings when his anger erupts.
6 He will punish the nations
    and fill their lands with corpses;
    he will shatter heads over the whole earth.
7 But he himself will be refreshed from brooks along the way.
    He will be victorious. NLT

 

Background: It's difficult to comprehend this psalm without having a whole picture of Scripture in mind. David's writing in Psalm 110 references Genesis and then is quoted extensively in the book of Hebrews. It looks backwards to the promise of blessing to Abraham and looks forward to the promise of the Messianic King to come. Hebrews picks up on this, showing how Jesus outdoes even our highest expectations of how the Messiah would fulfill the vision of this psalm.

 

With this in mind, how does this deepen our understanding of how to read some of the psalms?

 

Look at verses 1-3. What does David suggest are the characteristics of the Lord's kingdom? And what are the promises the Lord gives to the one who will rule his kingdom?

 

Why is the "willingness" of God's people (v3) an important point to David?

 

::::: DIGGING DEEPER ::::::

At first it seems that David is refering only to himself in this psalm, but a deeper look reveals that David might have someone else in mind. How does Hebrews 1:13 address this?

 

Verse 4 is unique. It references a priestly king who gave a dramatic blessing to Abraham. You can read about it in Genesis 14:17-24.

 

::::: DIGGING DEEPER :::::

If you have time, go back and read Genesis 14:17-24. What do you learn about this king+priest, Melchizedek? Next, read Hebrews 4:14-5:10. What more do you learn about Melchizedek? How does the writer of Hebrews use Psalm 110 to compare Melchizedek to Christ?

 

Will God be worn out by all the accomplishments mentioned in verses 5-7? What is it that refreshes the Lord?

 

::::: APPLICATION CHALLENGE :::::

Perhaps more than anything else for many Christians in our society today, this psalm convicts us of our need to understand more Scripture. After you are done studying these psalms study guides, what could you do next to increase your knowledge of what's in the Bible?

 

Related articles

Study Guide – Psalm 45:1-9
Study Guide – Psalm 6
Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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