The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit in honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.” - Psalm 110:1
King David and his successors lived in a volatile part of the world. Their reigns more often than not saw them take up the weapons of war. But there was something different about the way they went into battle. They exhibited assurance. As the Lord’s anointed king had been reminded by the psalmist, he sat in a place of unique honor at God’s right hand from which he could watch Yahweh win the victory. In addition, the king knew it was only a matter of time until he would win because the battle was the Lord’s. This did not mean, of course, that he and his people would not be involved—in fact the king was told, “your people will serve you willingly” (110:3). Nor did it mean that the king could be complacent, lazy, or self-willed and get away with it. After all, sitting at God’s right hand implies being completely in harmony with God’s plan.
But this psalm is much more than a promise to the king of a physical nation. In fact, it holds the distinction of being one of the passages of the Old Testament most quoted in the New Testament. (See, for example, Matt. 22:43-45; Heb. 5:6; 7:17, 21; and 10:12-13.) The apostles were not at all reluctant to see in this psalm a prediction of the way that the Lord Almighty would eventually win total victory through his Son, our Lord Jesus. The apostles saw in Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension the fulfillment of all God’s claims to ultimate, universal victory over his enemies. Our risen Lord is now seated at the Father’s right hand—the place of prestige and authority. And he is not only praying for his children, but also waiting until the day for his triumphant return in glory.
This understanding greatly heartens the believer. As the believer lives today in a volatile world full of dangers and distractions, he bears in mind that Jesus his Lord is in the immediate presence of the Father, with unhindered access to him, able and willing to call heaven’s resources to the beleaguered man’s aid. And the believer need never forget that enemies are defeated foes—it is only a matter of time until they will be routed. He can go confidently on his way, day by day anticipating the return of the victorious King.
It is good to know who wins in the end. It’s even better to know you’re on his side—and if you’re not, you’d better get there!
For Further Study: Psalm 110