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Psalm 110

Psalms - Redemption Songs  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:23:56
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The Promised Priest-King of Zion (and His Victory over Evil)

Intro: An Alternate Reality

The Western post-modern world has changed
the way we think about reality in significant
and fundamental ways.
Think about this.
For most of human history, people have been convinced.
Like really convinced,
that there was more going on in the world
than just the natural order of things.
More than just what they could touch, feel or see.
In the Ancient World, every civilization had
gods or supernatural forces that were to 'real’.
And the people in these civilizations genuinely believed
that things happened in life were because of these gods.
Bad weather, sickness, earthquakes, the birth of children,
victory in battle and so on.
Pretty much everything was as because of some supernatural being.
A few hundred years after Jesus,
Christianity became the primary religion of Western civilisation.
Many gods gone.
Now just one God.
However, while the number of gods worshiped may have changed.
The acceptance of a supernatural reality didn’t change.
People genuinely and instinctively accepted
that there was more to their world than what
they could touch, feel and see.
God, and His forces of good, angels and His Holy Spirit
were real and active.
Evil, led by Satan and his minions was a fact of life.
There was a worldview that embraced and accepted
the idea of a reality that included a supernatural.
But this began to change.
A revolution took place.
A scientific, philosophical and pyschological revolution.
This revolution was fueled by a desire to understand better
the natural world.
It brought with it tools and instruments,
thoughts and ideas that radically changed how we lived but also,
how we in the West thought about reality.
It was a worldview revolution.
The idea of supernatural good and evil was a big problem for this
Scientific revolution because you can’t test it.
You can’t prove it with instruments.
You can’t make a tool or an experiment to understand it.
So, the question began to be asked.
If you can’t prove it, maybe it actually isn’t real.
If you can’t touch it, feel it or see it.
Then maybe it isn’t real at all.
This idea began to take hold.
So powerful was this idea that it
changed the way we think about reality.
Reality for us is no longer about gods or God,
or about cosmic forces of good and evil.
But what we can touch and feel.
Test and prove.
And everything else is to be viewed with strong skepticism.
This is the worldview we have grown up with here in the West.
And it’s so pervasive and powerful that when we encounter anything
that smells a little like supernaturalism, we get a bit funny.
But it’s interesting.
Despite this revolution,
We are really drawn toward portrayals of reality that are supernatural.
Here is a list of the most successful movie franchises of all time.
What do you notice?
With the exception of Fast and the Furious and James Bond,
there’s a fantasy or supernatural trend there right?
And more than that, because behind most of these franchises
is an over-arching story of a battle between good and evil.
We are drawn to these stories of a supernatural world
caught in the struggle between good and evil.
Why is that I wonder?
Perhaps it is just a desire for a meaningful existence as modern
psychology would suggest.
Or maybe, there is more to reality than what we can measure.
And this is where we come to the Bible and our Psalm
for this arvo/tonight.
As we walk into the world of this Psalm we are going to be confronted
with a very different perspective of reality.
A reality that is defined by a greater story of good and evil
than the Lord of the Rings and a greater leader than Optimus Prime.
As we engage with this different perspective,
can I encourage you to remember the cultural baggage we carry from
our Western revolution.
Because in Psalm 110 we are going to encounter a reality
that is bigger than what we can touch, feel, see or measure.
But this doesn’t mean it isn’t real.
I’m going to pray and then we will look at this Psalm together.
Heavenly Father. You are the God who is beyond measure. Lord, help us to know the truth today. Help us to understand Psalm 110 and to know what it means for us today. Amen.
Come to Psalm 110 and lets look at it together.

A Promise

David, the author of this Psalm, sees something.

The LORD says to my lord:

“Sit at my right hand

until I make your enemies

a footstool for your feet.”

It’s a vision, a scene flashes in his mind of Yahweh,
the God and Lord of Israel is speaking to someone David calls, my lord.
Yahweh says, sit at my right hand until I
make your enemies a footstool for your feet.
God is making a promise.
To someone David calls my Lord.
Sit at the my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.
The Psalm begins with a promise.
Yahweh is going to make the enemies of this lord,
a footstool for his feet.
Who is Yahweh speaking to?
The New Testament authors will reveal this to us.
But to go straight there would be to miss something.
To answer that question, we need to see this promise
in verse 1 as a window into one of the great themes of the Bible.
Because this promise is a reiteration,
a reminder of a promise from the very beginning of God’s relationship
with humanity.
You see, in the book of Genesis.
We have an account of the beginning of humanity.
You probably know it well.
It is an introduction to the reality of our world.
There is a God, who is the maker of all things.
A human creation, a people given a world and each other to enjoy,
offered eternal life in that world in exchange for obedience
to never eat the fruit of one tree.
Then we are introduced to our evil one in the form of a serpent.
Good and evil.
And a test.
To see where humanity’s loyalties will lie.
Will they remain faithful to the good Lord who made them.
No, they are fooled and instead choose to listen to the serpent
and eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree.
The enemy of God, the evil one,
the one the Bible will later call Satan has struck a blow.
He has brought humanity to the side of evil.
Humans are now in rebellion to God.
They and their descendents became servants of the evil one rather
servants of the good God who made them.
But this is not the end of the story.
It is only the beginning.
In Genesis 3, God makes a promise to His enemy.
It will come up on the screen,

14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

“Cursed are you above all livestock

and all wild animals!

You will crawl on your belly

and you will eat dust

all the days of your life.

15 And I will put enmity

between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and hers;

he will crush your head,

and you will strike his heel.”

I will put enmity, there will be opposition between
the evil one and the woman,
and between the offspring of the evil one and hers.
We have two forces lining up against each other.
But more than that, the language here is important.
He will crush your head, the he there is singular.
Not they, but a he.
We are looking for a he singular.
A promised one.

A Promised One

There will be war between the promised one and the serpent.
The cosmic battle between good and evil will continue.
Here on earth.
Until the Promised one crushes the head of the serpent.
Now, what does that remind you of.
Picture a man stepping on the head of the snake.
Almost like He is using it as a footstool.
With this promise begins the anticipation of history.
This moment is like a stone being dropped in a pond.
The ripples flow out from it.
If you follow the books of the Bible, you can track this anticipation.
Who will this Promised One be?
Surely, the son of Adam & Eve.
Will it be Cain or Abel?
Abel surely, he gave a better offering to the Lord than Cain.
But then Cain murders Abel.
It is a continuation of the war.
Has evil won then?
No, there is another son, Seth.
The book of Genesis follows the descendents of Seth with anticipation,
who will be the He, the promised one?
You can trace this theme of waiting for the promised one all the way
through Genesis and beyond, into the rest of the Old Testament history.
As you do, you learn more things about this promised one.
He’s going to be a descendent of Abraham and of Jacob,
this means He will be from the Israelite peoples.
All the while, there is a continuation of the struggle
between good and evil,
between God’s people and the evil ones.
Like in Numbers 24, a man called Balaam
receives a prophecy from God.
It will come up on the screen,

17 “I see him, but not now;

I behold him, but not near.

A star will come out of Jacob;

a scepter will rise out of Israel.

He will crush the foreheads of Moab,

the skulls of all the people of Sheth.

A scepter, that’s a king, coming out of Jacob,
he will crush the foreheads of Moab.
Who is Moab, or Edom or Seir.
They are the enemies of God’s people and so the enemies of God.
The war continues, it’s battleground is earth and history.
A promised one is coming and now we know He will be a King of Israel.
We see it again in 1 Samuel 17:1.

Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Sokoh and Azekah.

2 Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines.

3 The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.

Here are the two forces, opposite one another.
God’s people, His representatives on one hill and the Philistines,
the enemy on the other.

A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span.

5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels;

A champion… wearing scale armor.
It’s the armor of a snake.
Verse 16, for forty days Goliath taunted and tested the people of Israel.
What does this remind you of?
After forty days the promised one is revealed.
And it is a surprise.
A young boy, David vows to kill this giant.
David is the champion of the Lord.
Flip a page to chapter 17, verse 45.

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.

47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.

49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

David, the champion of the Lord,
crushed the head of the serpent warrior.
The spiritual, supernatural forces of good and evil have battled
and the good King has crushed the head of the serpent.
But this is not the final battle.
We know from Psalm 110 that David was not the one.
Later in David’s life, God will reveal to Him that
it will be a descendent of David’s who is the promised one.
David was merely a reminder, an arrow pointing forward.
Because the promised one will be someone greater than David,
someone David calls, my lord.
Come back to Psalm 110 now.
Who is this my lord in verse 1?
It is the promised one.
King David, a man who has fought as a champion in the battle
between God and His enemies sees a vision
of the promise made to the promised one.
It is a vision of a promise that serves
as the backdrop of history and reality.
This is no fantasy story, like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.
This is reality. There is a good God and an enemy.
A war between good and evil.
And humanity must take sides.
But we know that there is going to be a
promised one who will end the war.
He will crush the head of the serpent,
the evil one and his forces and they will be like a footstool for His feet.
It’s not fantasy. But it is fantastic.
But who is this promised one? Who will he be? How will we know him?
We learn more in Psalm 110.

A Promised King

Psalm 110 reminds us of this. Verse 2 and 3,

2 The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying,

“Rule in the midst of your enemies!”

3 Your troops will be willing

on your day of battle.

Arrayed in holy splendor,

your young men will come to you

like dew from the morning’s womb.

Words like scepter and rule remind us that this promised one is a King.
This King will have willing troops who join the King in battle.
And the King will be arrayed in holy splendor.
He will be a holy King.
Come to verse 5.
This promised King has the Lord, God, at His right hand.
And there is a day coming, a day of his wrath, when he will crush kings.
There’s our word again, this is the enemy crusher, the snake crusher.
He will judge the nations.
This King will come as a judge.
Judgement suggests a decision.
He will be the one to determine where people stand.
What side of the battle.
On one hand there will be the Promised King’s troops, on the other are
these rulers of the earth, the forces of evil, the enemies of God.
Psalm 110 is built on the foundation of the Genesis 3 promise.
The Lord, the King of Psalm 110 is the promised one
who will defeat the enemies of God.
He will end the battle between good and evil forever.
But He is going to be more than that.
You may have noticed we skipped a verse.
Verse 4.
Let’s come back to it now.
Because this is something new.
And it changes everything.
Verse 4,

4 The LORD has sworn

and will not change his mind:

“You are a priest forever,

in the order of Melchizedek.”

The promised one is going to be a priest.

The Promised Priest-King

A forever priest.
Now, why is this so significant.
This is the first time we learn that He will be a priest.
And the significance lies in what it means that
he will be a forever priest.
Quick bit of background.
God gave the people of Israel three types of leaders with different roles.
Prophets, priests and Kings.
Prophet’s spoke on behalf of God.
King’s led the people and governed.
Priest’s offered sacrifices to cover the sins of the people.
David himself was a Prophet-King.
Never before had their been a Priest-King of Israel.
Priest’s came from the tribe of the Levites.
The Promised One had to be from David’s tribe.
The tribe of Judah.
But what is this priest in the order of Melchizedek business?
Sounds like a Harry Potter book right?
Well, it is a bit mysterious.
Melchizedek was a King in the time of Abraham.
In Genesis 14, this King is introduced as
both a King and a priest of Yahweh.
He’s a Priest-King.
Psalm 110 says this promised one will be a Priest-King,
not of Levi but of the order of Melchizedek.
This adds a whole new dimension to our snake-crusher.
This promised one will not only be a King who crushes the head of evil
but will also be a Priest who offers a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.
Who will He be and how will this happen?
All of creation is waiting to find out.
Where is this promised one who is born of a woman,
a King of the line of David,
from the tribe of Judah who will triumph over evil and offer a sacrifice
for the forgiveness of sins.
Well, I’m sure you know.

The Promised Priest-King and His Victory Over Evil

On the cross Jesus the Christ was victorious over the forces of evil.
Unlike His ancestor David, Jesus’ victory didn’t come physical weapons.
But through a sacrificial offering.
This is the climax of the story of history and of our world.
There in Jerusalem, two thousand years ago was the final showdown.
The evil one, the serpent, Satan.
First he tried to tempt Jesus, just as he did Adam & Eve.
This failed.
Then Satan sought to kill him.
He enlisted the help of his followers,
Judas Iscariot and the rulers and authorities of Jerusalem
and the Roman Empire.
And he succeeded.
How it must have looked.
On the day the Promised one was killed.
On that dark day when Jesus died.
Surely, death is a defeat.
Surely, the promise one has failed.
But no!
Three days later he rose from the dead.
On a purely natural level, the cross looked like
just another man dying a terrible death.
On a spiritual level, in reality something far more significant was occuring.
Look at how Paul describes what occured in Colossians 2,

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,

14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.

15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

The cross was a triumph,
a public spectacle over the powers and authorities -
that’s Paul’s way of saying Satan and his team.
A triumph of good over evil.
In the book of Hebrews. Chapter 2,

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—

15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

The message of the New Testament is that
Jesus defeated the powers of Satan
along with the evil curse of sin and death.
The cross is where He crushed the head of the snake,
the evil one is now His footstool.
But the resurrection and the cross is also
where we see Jesus fulfil His office as Priest.
He made Himself a sacrificial offering for sins, forever.
You might remember now our earlier passage that Ben/Adam read to us.
Again from the book of Hebrews, in chapter 7,

because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.

25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.

27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.

Jesus becomes a High Priest who unlike all other priests,
is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners.
He made a once and for all sacrifice of Himself,
to cover the sins of the people.
This is a remarkable turn of events as you look at it in history.
That the Messiah would come as more than just a conquering King,
but a priest.
We are presented with a reality that is David & Goliath on steroids.
Two armies and two champions.
The Promised One and evil represented by Satan.
Now, what by rights should happen is that the Promised One
and His troops destroy all their enemies.
Not just the champion but the enemies army.
Except, because of the gracious mercy of God,
the Promised One, offers sinners, His enemies,
an opportunity to cross over.
To join the winning side. To join the good guys.
We all think, surely we are the good ones.
The forces of evil are like murderers, and Hitler and terrorists
and you know, the really bad people.
But this isn’t the reality that the Bible reveals.
Actually, we are on the wrong side.
We don’t automatically fall on the side of God.
Because we are sinners.
We, just like Adam & Eve, have rejected God and
are by nature His enemies.
We all need to cross over.
We need to be forgiven.
If you have never accepted Jesus’ offer of forgiveness for your sins.
Can I encourage you to do it.
To ask forgiveness.
His sacrificial offering is available to you.
If you would like to find out more about
the good news of Jesus Christ’ mercy,
I would love to chat to you more.
Please come and chat to me later.
Or on a connection card you can leave your name and tick the box,
I want to find out more about God.
But for those of us who call ourselves Christians.
Who have found mercy in Jesus Christ’ work on the cross.
I want to point us to a give a few thoughts on
why the fulfilment of the Promised One’s work is such good news.
First thought - Christians can be down but shouldn’t be discouraged
about the sins of the world.
I don’t know about you but whether it is the SS Marriage media war
that is going on right now or
the fact that when you want to switch off for a bit,
you can hardly find a good TV Series anymore that doesn’t
confront you with strong violence and nudity.
I get distressed at the way people talk about God and the Bible.
I don’t know about you, but things like this get me down.
I get down and sometimes I get discouraged.
But Psalm 110 and the victory of Jesus on the cross
is a reminder to me that I can be down,
I can be sad about the world and its rejection of God.
But, I am reminded today that I have no grounds to be discouraged.
The result of the war is certain.
Jesus won the battle.
We are on the winning team.
We can be down, but we need never be discouraged.
This country, this world even may become a
harder place to be a Christian.
But this is why we need so badly to see the true reality that we live in.
I’ve heard it said that Christian’s are on the wrong side of history.
Well, that’s not what we have seen tonight.
The history of the world revolves around
Christ’s victory on the cross and we are on the right side.
Second thought, I don’t know about you but sometimes
I feel down and defeated by my own sins.
I find some sins so hard to fight.
Pride particularly.
And I get tired of fighting it because it’s hard work and it’s painful.
But I have a great High Priest who made a once
and for all sacrifice for sin.
My sins are forgiven.
And He defeated the power of sin and evil.
I still have to fight, but it’s a battle I can win with Christ in me.
And so, all these things lead me to a final thought.
I should be thankful.
How great it is to be on Christ’s side.
To be on His team.
To have forgiveness of sins and to share in the
promised victory of the Promised One.
We are going to give thanks right now through song.
And then I’ll get back up and we will give thanks by taking communion together.
For two thousand years, Christian’s have responded to the work of
Jesus Christ on the cross by giving thanks with bread and wine or grape juice.
That’s what we are going to do right now.
When we take communion we give thanks for what Jesus has done.
We remember.
Our world is full of symbols that are used to
remind us of something significant that happened.
Recently, on the 11th of November.
People wore pins with a poppy flower on them.
To remember the sacrifice of soldiers in the first World War.
Christians remember and give thanks for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
For His death and resurrection.
For the forgiveness we have received.
Jesus the night before His death, gave Christians
two symbols to remember His sacrifice.
A loaf of bread, broken to remind us of His body
that was broken on the cross.
And wine, a reminder of His blood that flowed
to cover the sins of believers.
He said, do this in remembrance of me.
And so we do.
Christians do it in remembrance of His perfect sacrifice.
Can I encourage you, if you do not trust
in Jesus’s death and resurrection.
If your not sure if you believe that you are a sinner,
forgiven by Jesus Christ.
Then please feel free to watch and to observe this thanksgiving.
This is something that we do as Christians.
Here is how we do it at Salt Church.
The grape juice and the bread are up the back tables.
Why not work out with the people next to you for one person to go.
Bring it all back and we will take it together.
Can I confess to you.
I have sinned today.
I have acted pridefully and foolishly.
I haven’t loved like I should have.
But I know that my sins have been forgiven.
Thinking of His sacrifice today I am reminded of how desperately I
needed Christ but also how fully I am forgiven.
I want to give thanks.
Would you give thanks with me.
Let’s take the bread that points us to His body that was broken for us.
Let’s take it together. Thankyou Lord.
This drink that reminds us of His blood that flowed to cover our sins.
Let’s drink together. Thankyou Lord.
Let’s pray.
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