Psalms for Troubled Times – Psalm 110b

At the LORD’s Right Hand

‘The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (v1)

Many times throughout the Bible, we find mention of the LORD’s right hand, but this is the first time we read of anyone sitting at His right hand. After this, we don’t read this phrase again until we come into the NT, where it is only used of our Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed, this is a place that is uniquely His. But what is the significance of this place? 

A Place of Privilege

There is one other occasion when we read of someone sitting at the right hand, and it is when Bath-sheba approaches unto the throne of her son, King Solomon. 

‘And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king’s mother; and she sat on his right hand.’ (1 Kings 2:19)

This indeed is a place of privilege. It is not a place that anyone can take for themselves, but it is reserved for, and given to those who occupy a special place in the heart of the sovereign. It is reserved for those who are beloved.

This is what we find in our first verse of Psalm 110. The LORD is speaking to Abraham’s seed: the promised Christ and son of David, His beloved Son … to give to Him, who has risen from among the dead, that place of unique privilege.

This is the Son that ever dwells ‘in the bosom of the Father’ (John 1:18), yet out of love for us, ‘was made flesh and dwelt among us’ (John 1:14). His was a life, ‘full of grace and truth’, from which rose a sweet-smelling savour to the heart of God the Father. His was a life upon which the Father could give His commendation: ‘This is my beloved Son’.

Now to Him is given honour and glory, for the Father has ‘set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.’ (Eph 1:20-23)

And this gives to us an assurance and hope of a brighter future, glory for ourselves, not because we deserve it, but because we are now inextricably linked with Christ … by grace, we are a part of His body, the Church.

A Place of Power

With this position of privilege comes power and authority. In many respects the Son has always acted as ‘the right hand’ of God.

In Moses’ song of praise following Israel’s deliverance from our of Egypt, he could say: ‘Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy’ (Exo 15:6), and in this phrase ‘Thy right hand’ I see the eternal Word, the pre-incarnate Christ. 

Hebrews 1 would confirm this essential authority of the Son of God, telling us that He upholdeth ‘all things by the word of His power’ (Hebs 1:3).

But having become a man, has He lost any of that power or authority? The answer is an emphatic no, for now glorified, the Son of Man has been exalted back to the place of power; a place that is rightfully His as a divine person, the ‘I AM’.

‘And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.’ (Mark 14:62)

And as we return to Psalm 110, we find this thought of the power and authority granted to the King of Kings, running throughout the psalm.

‘The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power’ (v2,3) … ‘The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries’. (v5,6)

And if Christ in the place of privilege gives us, the Church, personal assurance and hope of glory; then Christ in the place of power gives Israel and this world a universal assurance of righteous judgment upon evil and the hope of a brighter future of justice, peace and blessing.

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