The Messianic Ruler
Matthew 22:41–16; Psalm 110:2–3
Matthew Lesson #140
October 16, 2016
“Father, we recognize that as we come together, we need to focus upon Your Word; this is the highest form of worship:
- to study and know Your Word and to apply it in our own lives,
- to realize how tremendous it is to have Your Word before us,
- to be able to understand it from the beginning to the end
- to be able to correlate it, to be able to see how magnificent it is as it connects intertextually from one passage to another, one illuminating and expanding on another,
- that it goes far beyond anything any human being could write or devise, even if they had a vision to do so.
We are reminded that it is through Your Word that we are sanctified. That as Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them by truth; Thy Word is truth,” that this points to the ultimate purpose of our study of Your Word, and that is to grow into the likeness, the character of the Lord Jesus Christ.
As such, we need understand who He is. We need to know that He is the eternal Second Person of the Trinity who entered into human history to take our sins upon Himself on the Cross, but that that was just the beginning of Your redemptive plan.
For in that we have redemption individually, but the focal point is ultimately towards His return, the establishment of His Kingdom and the redemption of all creation—ultimately bringing human history to its conclusion.
Father, as we open Your Word today, help us to understand what it is saying, the implications of it, and may we be impressed with Your greatness, Your majesty, and Your glory.
We pray this in Christ’s name, amen.”
We’re continuing our study in Psalm 110, so you might turn there. The focal point of this Psalm has to do with the future King, the Messianic Ruler, the Kingdom that will be established, His dominion and His power when He comes.
One of the things that we often are hearing today—if you are watching the news, turning on the radio, reading the paper, talking to anybody, looking at the Internet—we’re in an election season.
I think everybody is a little distressed and tired of it by this time: just waiting for the election to be over with, so we can go forward with whatever the new circumstance is.
The problem that we often run into as human beings is that we fall into the trap of expecting that the election of a certain person or a certain party will somehow solve all the problems that this will fix everything .
That isn’t going to happen on this side of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, because while government is instituted by God, those who govern are fallen, corrupt creatures, and they will rule for better or for worse.
Often from our perspective it seems like it’s for worse, but it all depends on their personal integrity and that relates to a lot of different issues, as we’ve seen coming out of this election.
We will only have perfect government when we have a ruler who has perfect integrity, and that Person who has perfect integrity is the One who is described in this psalm as the Messianic King: the One who will come, the One who will rule.
What’s important about this is as we set up—why we’re studying and looking at this—is it gives us a tremendous appreciation for the plan of God in providing the Messiah.
We often spend time looking at the first advent, and what the Lord accomplished on the Cross. But as we look at passages like the ones we’re looking at today, that was simply setting the foundation for that which would ultimately be accomplished when He comes in His Kingdom established as the Messianic King and the Davidic king.
This psalm that we’re looking at is the most quoted psalm in the New Testament; it is quoted at least twelve times in the New Testament.
It is alluded to in a few other places, but that tells us that from the viewpoint of God the Holy Spirit, this is one of the most significant aspects of divine revelation. Therefore, it is important for us to really understand what is being said here.
In the past I’ve taught it in a little more summary fashion. As a pastor as I continue to study the Word and continue to draw out implications and applications of the text, sometimes I do what I did yesterday, somewhat facetiously: told a friend of mine that I’m going to quit studying, I’m just going to give it up.
Because when I got back from the campout yesterday, I started off with five pages of notes to cover at least one of the verses, had about eight pages of notes to cover the next three verses.
Which is what I intended to do, and after studying and putting some things together over the next hour and a half, I had ten pages of notes on the first verse.
There’s a lot here; there are a lot of implications in this particular verse, as it talks about the Lord Jesus Christ and who He is in terms of what He is going to do and what He is going to accomplish.
In view of the fact that this psalm of only seven verses is quoted so often and referenced so many times in the New Testament, it is really important to understand what’s going on here.
For those of you who are newer to the congregation, one of the things that we stand for, that I emphasize as we go through Scripture, is that the Word of God was revealed by God the Father through God the Holy Spirit and penned by various human authors.
The Word of God is not something accidental. It’s not the experiential reflection of the individual writers of Scripture on their religious experience—which is a what a lot of Christian denominations think: that it’s good for faith and practice, but not so much for other things—but that all of the Word of God, as it was originally written and came down to us, was envisioned instantly and eternally in the mind of God, Who is omniscient.
I could spend a whole sermon just on developing that last statement. As Paul notes in 1 Corinthians 2:16, the Bible, the Word of God, is the mind of Christ. It is the study of the Word of God—whether we’re studying some obscure passage in the Old Testament or some favorite passage in the New Testament—it is all designed to edify us, to strengthen us spiritually, and to help us understand who God is, so that nothing that is here accidentally.
As we look at this psalm and focus on what He teaches about the Messianic Ruler, I want to remind you of our context.
We’re studying in Matthew, and we’ve come to this last situation in Matthew 22 where after being interrogated by the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Torah experts among the Pharisees, Jesus then asked a question of the Pharisees.
He says, “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose Son is he?” He’s really going to twist them up right now, because He wants to focus on and expose their misunderstanding of who the Messiah is.
They give a partially correct answer: they say that He is the Son of David. At that point, the Lord Jesus Christ quotes from Psalm 110:1, which we’ve studied in detail the last two weeks.
One thing I didn’t point out is that when we understand what the Bible teaches about Jesus, we understand He is the eternal Second Person of the Trinity.
The triune God is equally omniscient, therefore all three Members of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—have equally known the Scripture for all eternity.
It is called the mind of Christ. In fact, John at the beginning of his Gospel says, “In the beginning was—the LOGOS—the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”
Jesus is viewed as the living LOGOS, the living expression and revelation of God, so that is equated in terms of His thinking to what is written in Scripture.
In approximately 1000 BC when David by the Holy Spirit writes Psalm 110, God the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ are intentionally inspiring David—breathing this passage out—because in Their mind, They know that in 1,000 years, when Jesus is incarnate, He’s going to be using this very psalm, this very verse in order to confound the Pharisees.
This isn’t accidental. These correlations in the Scripture are not accidental, they’re not something that students of Scripture just look at and say, “Oh, isn’t that nice. This over here seems like this over here. Let’s just kind of string these pearls together and come up with something.”
No, these are intentional connections that are built and developed in the Word of God, so that as we study and reflect upon the Word of God, we can pull these different parts together and come to a fuller picture of God: of His Word, His plan of salvation, His ultimate plan of redemption, establishing His Kingdom on the earth, and completely destroying the impact of sin in the universe.
Jesus quotes from this particular psalm, as we reviewed. As He talks about Psalm 110 before the Pharisees, the entire psalm would come to their mind.
He’s focusing on the first verse, but we know that within Judaism that was the title. They didn’t have the psalms enumerated like we do, they just had titles and the title was from the first line in the psalm.
The Pharisees wouldn’t think just of the first verse, they would think of everything that’s in this particular psalm. As such, they recognize that Jesus is making a profound claim to be the Messianic King, the Son of David. They’ve understood this more and more and more as they’ve gone through these challenges in the past two chapters.
They’re already plotting to kill Him, but it’s crystallizing in their mind that He is committing blasphemy by claiming to be God.
But it is also a warning to the Pharisees that they would be defeated, because this is a psalm that pictures the defeat and destruction by the Messianic King of His enemies. If Jesus is the Messianic King, then they are His enemies, and He is announcing their destruction.
This is more than just what appears on the surface of the text. By that I don’t mean we have some kind of mystical hermeneutic to understand the Scripture, but to realize that there is a lot going on here, other than the overt challenge to the Pharisees.
In a quick review, we saw that:
- David wrote the Psalm as a prophecy about the future Messiah, as he describes in 2 Samuel 23:1.
- The future descendent of David would be a king who would be greater than David, David’s Lord.
As an ancient Near Eastern potentate, no one would be greater than he, but he recognizes that this one figure called “my Lord” will be greater than he; He is David’s Lord, and He is the Messianic King.
- The Messianic King is seated at the right hand of God the Father.
This is a position of power, a position of privilege, but He is seated, indicating that He is not taking action. He seems to be waiting for something:
- The Messianic King is awaiting victory that Yahweh will give Him.
That’s what we see in the next two verses, as Yahweh promises to give Him victory and extend His dominion, and then that is when He will receive the Kingdom. He doesn’t receive it when He is seated at the right hand of the Father.
- The Messianic King will come from Heaven.
This indicates as well, is consistent with, the view that the Messianic King is divine, and no purely human descendent of David would be coming from Heaven.
We have seen in the last couple weeks that there are three basic divisions in the psalm. In the first part we see that,
- Yhwh—God the Father—will exalt the Messianic King to His right hand where He will await the defeat of His enemies and the establishment of His Kingdom. Psalm110:1–3
It is that defeat of His enemies that is a key idea that we need to keep in focus this morning.
Then there is a shift that takes place when we get to the fourth verse:
- Yhwh vows to make the Messianic King a priest after the order of Melchizedek. Psalm 110:4
He is going to be not just king, but He is going to be a priest-king: this is important. As a result of that:
- Yhwh will give the Messianic King a mighty and glorious victory over His enemies, followed by a time of refreshment and exultation to a position of honor and dominion. Psalm 110:5–7
We probably won’t get to that until next week.
As I pointed out, when we looked at these verses, Psalm 110:1 reads, “The LORD said to my LORD—the first “LORD” in all caps is God the Father saying to “my Lord,” Adonai.
This is an implication of deity, but it refers to the Second Personage who is in Heaven, “Sit at my right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” So we should note the use of the word “enemies” there.
In the second verse, “The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule …” There’s the command—“Rule in the midst of Your enemies.”
Again, we need to make this connection between “the enemies” of Psalm 110:1 and “the enemies” of Psalm 110:2.
Psalm 110:3, “Your people shall be volunteers in the day of Your power; in the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, You have the dew of Your youth.”
That’s going to be an interesting passage to go through; one that doesn’t appear to make a lot of sense, and there’s a reason for that.
Look at this word “enemies:” it’s interesting. Remember, in Hebrew there are no vowels. In the original texts, there were no vowels. It’s important to recognize that in light of some things we’re going to say, but it was just consonants.
A lot of people think that, “How in the world could they understand what was being written if all they had were consonants?”
Well, if I took something familiar to you, a verse of Scripture or something like the Declaration of Independence or just some common saying, and took all the vowels out, and you read it, you would be able to understand what it means.
You do this every now and then when somebody in front of you has a customized license plate, and they have five or six consonants there, and you look at it and you immediately figure out what they’re saying—they’ve left out the vowels—so it’s easy.
What I’m pointing out here is that the word “enemy” is this word that looks like an apostrophe. It is how you transliterate the Aleph in Hebrew, and it is pronounced ’oyev when you put the vowels into it, but it is aleph yod vav (’yv).
If you look at the word for enmity, it’s the same thing: you have the apostrophe for aleph, a “y” for yod and the “v” for vav, then you add a suffix, the “h.”
It shows that these two words: the word “enemy” and the word “enmity,” are cognates. “Enmity” is just a form of the word “enemy.”
In Genesis 3:15 we see this word “enmity” first stated in Scripture. He’s addressing the serpent. This is after the fall, when Eve has succumbed to the temptation, and then Adam as well, and God is outlining the consequences and the judgment for sin.
Genesis 3:15, God says, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed”—the serpent, Satan’s seed—“and her seed.” That term looks forward to the redemption promise.
In fact, this is the first indication of how God is going to solve the sin problem. That’s why it’s called the First Gospel or the Protoevangelium: “… I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”
There is this picture from the beginning that the Messianic Seed is going to be involved in warfare to defeat Satan and those who are aligned with Satan.
This is frequently a theme in the psalms; we see in Psalm 92:9, “For behold Your enemies, O LORD, for behold Your enemies shall perish; All the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.”
In Psalm 2:2—another Messianic psalm that is often and closely associated with Psalm 110, that’s looking to the future when the kings of the earth will be aligned against Yahweh, God the Father, and His anointed, the Messiah—“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against Yahweh”—God the Father, and against His Mashiach—“against His Anointed, saying ...”
We see these enemies of God. There is a going to be a future battle that will bring to a head the satanic rebellion, the human rebellion, against God, and the Messiah will be victorious.
Psalm 47:1 talks about this, “Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! For the LORD Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth.”
Notice the emphasis on the majesty and the power of the King. That is a focal point we should keep in mind throughout this. Our attention is directed to the majesty and power of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ
Then the psalm says, “He will subdue the peoples under us, and the nations”—that is the goyim, the Gentiles—“under our feet.” The nations will be defeated by the Messiah: this is what is pictured.
I keep going back to this passage in Daniel 7: Daniel has a vision, and in that vision he sees the future kingdoms of man, and then their ultimate destruction by the One who comes before God the Father called the Ancient of Days.
In fact, we sang a hymn this morning called “O Worship the King.” The King in this hymn is not Jesus Christ; it’s God the Father. If we pay attention to the hymn, what it says in the first verse, “O worship the King, all glorious above, and gratefully sing His wonderful love. Our shield and defender.”
Those are common terms used in the psalms to refer to God the Father. Then it says, “The Ancient of Days.” The Ancient of Days is not the Lord Jesus Christ. The Ancient of Days is God the Father, “The Ancient of Days pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.”
We live in a world today that wants to say that somehow we’re in some form of the Kingdom. We’re not; this really grows out of Amillennialism. Post-millennialism came up with the idea that we could bring in the Kingdom.
That idea got secularized and brought into politics. Since the end of the 19th century, liberal progressive ideology has been under the idea that they could bring in a Kingdom. But by the early 20s or 30s—early 20th century—it became a secularized version of the Kingdom: a utopia. There cannot be utopia if man is fallen.
Oh, yeah, I forgot! Liberals don’t believe man is fallen. Liberals believe man is basically good, but the Bible says God created man perfectly righteous in His image and likeness, but then he fell.
He became corrupt. That doesn’t mean he is as bad as he can be, but it means every aspect of his being has been corrupted by sin.
Today we live under the rule of God the Father, the sovereign King ruling over the world, and that is to whom that psalm is addressed. Jesus, because He is seated at the right hand of God the Father, is not going to come in His Kingdom until sometime in the future.
So it is wrong to talk about Jesus now as the King. It is wrong to talk now as if there is some form of the Kingdom. Yet this has become common language among evangelicals.
It’s easy to get infected with this and when I talk to people in the congregation and others about some of the things that they experience in Bible College or seminary, everybody talks like this. It’s loose, bad, nonbiblical language; so we have to be careful with that.
Daniel 7:13 shows that there is “… One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days …”
Daniel 7:14, “Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom”—that is not until just before He returns to the earth or as He returns to the earth, as we’ll see and in this particular psalm.
The result of that is, “that all the peoples, nations, and languages will serve Him.”
That is what we just saw depicted in Psalm 47:3, “He will subdue the peoples under us, and the nations”—the Gentiles—“under our feet”.
We see an order of events.
- The ascension of Messiah to Heaven.
This is when Jesus ascended to Heaven in Acts 1:9.
- Seated at the right hand of God: as Jesus says, “on My Father’s throne,” not on His throne. Revelation 3:21
- Then He will ask the Father for a Kingdom. That’s in Psalm 2:8. The Father says. “Ask and I will give it to you.”
- He’s granted the Kingdom finally. That’s Daniel 7:14.
- The Messiah then, once He’s granted the Kingdom, returns to the earth and defeats the kings of the earth. That’s Psalm 2:9 and Revelation 19:19–21, at the culmination of the campaign of Armageddon.
- Then at that time, the Messiah will establish His rule, and He will have dominion over the earth; that is when He becomes King of all the earth. Daniel 7:27; Revelation 20.
Daniel 7:27, “Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”
That doesn’t happen until the Second Coming at the conclusion of the battle, the campaign of Armageddon.
That’s kind of tied some things together for us. We’ve had a little review, and we understand the framework in terms of the future fulfillment of this psalm and the prophecy in this psalm.
The next two verses, Psalm 110:2–3, describe certain aspects of the future rule of the Messianic King. Here we see that when He returns, at that time He receives dominion over all.
It’s an everlasting dominion according to Daniel 7:27, and all dominions will serve Him. Psalm 110:2 tells us that at that time He will rule over His enemies, and Psalm 110:3 says His servants will willingly offer themselves to serve Him completely.
So Psalm 110:2 focuses on the submission of His enemies, and Psalm 110:3, the willing subjection of His servants to Him.
Psalm 110:2, “The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies!”
This is a very important passage that emphasizes that it is Yahweh—God the Father in context—who “sends the rod of Your strength”—Your strong rod as we will see—“out of Zion.”
It is Yahweh who is the One who’s extending the dominion of the Messianic King, God the Son.
Again, like many other things, we see the different roles of the Father and the Son. The Spirit is not mentioned here, but He is included also in other passages, where we see all three Members of the Trinity equally involved in fulfilling these promises.
There’s a lot here! You read this, and you don’t catch all the significance that’s here, the verb “to send,” the idea of the rod—what does that mean?”
What does it mean, “out of Zion?” What does it mean “to rule in the midst of Your enemies?” We need to look at each of these things.
The first word that we see in the Hebrew text is not Yahweh. The first word in the Hebrew text is the word for “the rod.” This is a common Hebrew word, matteh, which simply means a rod.
Sometimes it refers to a shepherd’s staff, sometimes as a broader term, it can refer to the scepter of the king, and that makes a little more sense here. This is how it should be translated.
In fact, the first part of this is from the Tanakh, the Jewish Publication Society translation of the Old Testament. “Yahweh shall stretch forth the scepter of Your strength”—that is, the Messianic King—“out of Zion.” It’s the idea of ruling in the midst of Your enemies.
Psalm 2:9 is saying, “You—Yahweh speaking to the Messiah—shall break them with a rod of iron.”
Psalm 2:9 correlates: it’s talking about the same rod, the scepter of the Kingdom. As we go through this, I want you to realize that this idea of the scepter of the Messiah is a critical idea that is strung throughout Scripture.
What we have a reference to in Psalm 110:2 is the idea that God is going to stretch forth this rod. Here the term “rod” or “scepter” represents His rule or His dominion.
What is that rule going to be like? Well, in Psalm 2:9 we have Yahweh speaking to the Messiah, and He says, “You shall break them.” Who’s the “them?” The “them” are those kings that are united against God.
He says, “You shall break them with a rod of iron.” The rule of the Messiah is going to be a rule that is strong, a rule that is powerful, a rule that will crush His enemies. “He will break them with a rod of iron:”—very vivid, descriptive language—“You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
Just think about what it would be like to take some of your fine china and just drop it on the floor. That is how the Messiah is going to treat His enemies: He will crush them.
This idea is picked up in crucial passages in the New Testament, for example in Revelation 2:27. The context is a letter to one of the seven churches, and He’s talking about the fact that those who are overcomers will rule with Christ.
And then He says, “He shall rule them”—and it’s a direct quote of Psalm 2:9—“He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels, as I also have received from My Father.”
The promise there for you and me is that we will be co-rulers with Christ in Heaven and carrying out this dominion and rule as those who co-reign with Him.
Revelation 12:5 gives the historical overview of the role of Israel in giving birth to the Messiah and the future reign of the Messiah.
The woman that is presented there is Israel, who gives birth to a male child who is defined as the One who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.
Now this isn’t sweet little Jesus, meek and mild, is it? This is the coming glorious King who is going to rule mankind, crush His enemies, and rule mankind with a rod of iron.
He’s going to be righteous and just, but also gracious and merciful. But the rod of iron is particularly directed toward His enemies, those who would oppose Him.
Revelation 19:15 depicts this as He returns. Revelation 19 describes the return of Jesus on a white horse with His saints to defeat the armies of the Antichrist and the false prophet in the campaign of Armageddon, bringing the Tribulation to its conclusion, sending the Antichrist and the false prophet to judgment in the Lake of Fire.
It’s described in verse 15 that “out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations.”
See how from Psalm 2 to Psalm 110 to the New Testament we have this same theme. The Bible is consistent with itself, and we see that this thread runs all through Scripture, so we come to understand the nature of the Messianic rule.
Revelation 19:15, “He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”
That’s what has been pictured from Revelation 4: the Messiah must first come and rule and destroy and crush His enemies and then establish His Kingdom.
We have this emphasis: “the mighty scepter,” a scepter of power or “the scepter of Your strength” in Psalm 110:2. But in Psalm 45:6 it is described as “a scepter of righteousness.”
“Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.” That is saying that Your Kingdom will be characterized by a perfectly righteous rule, not like any of the kings that we’ve had in human history.
It will be a perfectly righteous rule because, “You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You—Mashiach, that’s that Word meaning anointed, so it’s a Messianic prophecy—“Your God has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”
This is quoted in Hebrews 1:8. In Hebrews the writer is demonstrating that it is Jesus Christ who is the Messianic King, and that this Messianic King is greater than all of the angels related to His authority and related to His position.
We must be reminded that authority without power is meaningless, so it starts off establishing His authority. “To the Son He says”—that’s God the Father speaking a direct quote from Psalm 45—‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;’—He is speaking to the Son, giving Him His throne—‘A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.’ ”
This is His authority that comes from God so that He can rule over His Kingdom, and that it is based on righteousness.
In Hebrews 1:7–14, the context of this quote, the writer of Hebrews is demonstrating that the King-Priest is superior to angels with respect to His power as well.
He is given authority from God, and then He is given power. Power without authority is meaningless, and authority without power is also meaningless. They must have the two, they must come together.
What’s interesting is that an Aramaic translation in a 4th century AD document called “The Targum of Jonathan” paraphrases Psalm 45:2, and says, “Your beauty, O King Messiah, is greater than that of the sons of men.”
So it is clear that even as late as the fourth or fifth century, rabbinic scholars understood that Psalm 45 was a Messianic Psalm and was directly addressing the Messiah and His future rule and His future reign.
We see this emphasis, and this idea of His reign comes from the Davidic Covenant. This is a covenant: I read the passage from 2 Samuel 7:12–16 this morning; it’s also covered in Psalm 89, and 1 Chronicles 17:11–14.
Psalm 110 connects this idea of scepter over to Psalm 2:7, which is then quoted three times later on in Revelation, connecting it to the rule of the Messiah and our role in that rule.
I then connected this to Psalm 45, which is connected to an understanding of the power and authority of the Messiah in Hebrews 1, which in turn connects us back to understanding the Davidic Covenant that the Messiah is not some accident but is the result of a promised covenant between God and David that would be given this rulership.
God, in the Davidic Covenant, promised David an eternal house, an eternal kingdom, and an eternal throne. Only someone eternal can fulfill that responsibility, so that David’s son that is envisioned ultimately in 2 Samuel 7, can’t be purely human because He is the One who’s going to rule eternally.
The only way you could have that promise fulfilled is either in an eternal succession of sons who could fulfill that role, or had that line culminating in someone who himself is eternal.
There’s a connection between 2 Samuel 7:16, “Your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before You” and Psalm 89:3, “I have made a covenant with My chosen, I’ve sworn to My servant David” and Psalm 89:20.
This all connects together and is also seen to be fulfilled in passages like Isaiah 9:7, talking about the Messiah, “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
The characteristic of that kingdom is described in Isaiah11:4, “But with righteousness He shall judge the poor.” This kingdom is characterized by righteousness: it’s what we see in Hebrews 1:8.
When we read this passage, it’s not just talking about the sending forth of a rod, but this is talking about that God the Father, Yahweh, is going to extend the dominion of the Messiah out from Zion.
This is what is depicted in terms of God’s establishment of the Davidic king; this is the One that is referred to by David as “my Lord” in Psalm 110:1.
The word for “shall send” is the Hebrew word shalach, and this is a Word that means “to send something,” and it also has the idea of extending something, especially when it’s attached to something else. The idea here is that Yahweh is extending the power of the Messianic King.
This word shalach, just as a side note: when it comes in the modern Hebrew, the main idea is to send, but to change words to give different connotations and build your vocabulary, you just change the verbs or change the prefix or suffix.
Most of you are familiar with Idan Peysahovich who has spoken here a few times. When I first met Idan, he was the director of the Jewish Agency for Israel in Ukraine. His job title was, he was a sheliach. That’s from the Hebrew word shalach.
He has been sent out from Israel in order to recover the scattered Jewish people and bring them back to the land. He is an extension of Israel in order to bring people back. That’s the idea in this word, that extension of power.
The Lord is going to “extend the rod of Your power.” It has the idea of “Your powerful rod” or “Your majestic scepter.” It’s extending “Your dominion out from Zion,” so the center is in Zion.
When we study prophecy we see that when the Lord Jesus Christ returns at the Second Coming, where He is defeating the forces of the Antichrist and the false prophet, the end of the campaign takes place in a location there in Jerusalem.
Many identify it with the Kidron Valley, there just below the Temple Mount, called “The Valley of Jehoshaphat.” This is where that campaign ends.
He defeats the enemy there; that is ground zero for the establishment of the Kingdom. Then God is going to extend it out from there, Zion being the center now.
What do we mean by this word “Zion?” If you’ve been with me to Israel, you always get a little confused because they’ll point at Mount Zion, which is just to the west of the old city of David, but the Scripture talks about the old city of David as Zion. The term has morphed over time.
Psalm 132:13, “For the Lord has chosen”—Yahweh has chosen—“Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place.”
In that context it’s talking about the old city of David, which is just a small little promontory it seems, extending to the south from the Temple Mount; it doesn’t look like it was very large at all. It was really rather small when David captured it from the Jebusites.
In Psalm 48:2, “Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.”
Here we see Zion being expanded out to refer to the whole city of Jerusalem, not just the original part that was the city of David, but all of the city of Jerusalem.
It is also designated that way in Zechariah 2:7, where it is extended to the entirety of the land.
Psalm 87:2, “The LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.”
What is pictured there is the Zion Gate going into the old city of Jerusalem. It’s pockmarked with bullets from the War of Independence in 1948. It’s located on Mount Zion, which is just to the west of the city of David.
Psalm 133:3, “It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion”—there it’s the mountains of Zion; it’s the whole city, the whole area—“for there the Lord commanded the blessing—Life forevermore.”
In prophetic passages, Zion refers to Jerusalem as the capital of the Messianic King. We see this in Psalm 2:6, “Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.”
We’re told that the LORD—Yahweh—is going to extend the power, the dominion of the Messiah out from Zion to rule over the whole earth. Then He is told by God the Father to rule: it’s a command.
It is the same word that is used in Genesis 1:28, when God tells man that they are to rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the animals of the land, the cattle of the land, all this they are to rule over everything. That is given to the Messiah.
What we must understand is God created the human race to rule over creation, but that rulership, that dominion, was lost when Adam sinned.
The only way mankind—the human race—can recover it is through the Perfect Man, the God-Man who returns and establishes His Kingdom. Only then will we fulfill that initial command of God to rule over creation.
Psalm 8:5 refers to this, “For You have made him”—mankind, the human race—“a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; and You have put all things under His feet.”
That takes us back to the idea in Psalm 110:1 that the Messiah is to sit at the right hand of the Father, “until I make Your enemies Your footstool.” At that point, when Operation Footstool takes place, that is when the Messianic King will rule and fulfill the initial mandate for the human race in Genesis 1:26–28.
We see here that first of all, Yahweh will extend the Messianic King’s dominion, and then He will command Him to rule. He will take over that rulership over the planet in the Kingdom.
He will rule in the midst of His enemies. We have a picture of this in two passages, one is in Matthew 30:31–46, which is where Jesus talks about the judgment of the sheep and the goats. The sheep are the surviving Gentiles at the end of the Tribulation, the goats are the other Gentiles who survive, and they are judged.
It’s also described in Joel 3:1–3. This is after the conclusion of the Tribulation, the Battle of Armageddon, and we read, “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem”—the final restoration of the Jewish people to their homeland—“I will also gather all the nations”—literally, the Gentiles—“I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat …”
That is where the Campaign of Armageddon ended—the Valley of Kidron—right there in Jerusalem: the Lord Jesus Christ will enter into judgment with them, “on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations. They have also divided up My land.”
It is there that the Messiah will judge the Gentiles. He will punish His enemies, Psalm 2:9, with the rod of iron
Also Zechariah 14:17–18, “It shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain.” That’s a picture of the judgment.
At the end of the Millennial Kingdom— that 1,000-year rule—we read in 1Corinthians 15:24, “Then comes the end, when He—the Messiah—delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power”—that’s the end of human history—“for He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.”
The final enemy is Satan and the revolt at the end of the 1,000-year rule and reign. He says then, “The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.”
We get this panorama of the Messianic rule just from the language that is used here in Psalm 110:2, which focuses on how God will eventually, through the Lord Jesus Christ, destroy His enemies.
It’s not going to occur on Election Day 2016, but it will occur. No matter what happens, we can take comfort in the fact that God is still in control. We need to fulfill our responsibilities to vote. But God is still in control, and no matter what happens, we can have joy and peace and stability.
That’s one of the major messages of the Old Testament prophets is that no matter how bad it got, even with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple and the scattering of the people, they could have peace and stability and tranquility knowing that God was in control, and they could have joy in the midst of their circumstances wherever they were taken.
The reason for that is because of the Lord Jesus Christ who has paid the penalty for sin. Because that has taken place and if we believe on Him, we know what our destiny is, and that no matter what happens here on earth, it will fade in comparison with eternal glory.
“Father, we’re thankful for this opportunity to study Your Word and to realize the career of the Messiah: that it began with the suffering Messiah on the Cross who paid the penalty for our sins, that the people might be justified by His death—by His substitutionary death on the Cross.
Father, that is not the end but the beginning, the foundation for the future, and that ultimately this will lead to and culminate in His return and the establishment of a righteous rule that brings judgment upon all the rules and the kingdoms of unrighteousness.
Father, the issue for many people who may be here, many people who are listening, is their eternal destiny. There may be some listening who have never made a decision in reference to Jesus Christ.
They don’t know about salvation, they’ve never understood it, they don’t know where they will go after they die. The Scripture is clear that when we die, we either go to be with You or we go to a holding place for eternal judgment.
But the issue for us is to trust in Christ as Savior. If we do that, then we know, we have confidence. Scripture says these are written that you might know that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and that by knowing this, by believing in Him, we can have eternal life.
Right now, right where you sit, you can make this decision, you can say, “I believe that.” What you believe in your soul, God the Father recognizes instantly. You don’t need to pray a prayer, raise your hand, walk an aisle, or do anything else. If you believe Jesus died for your sins, you have eternal life.
For the rest of us, we need to recognize that these passages remind us that we will come back as Church Age members to rule and reign with Christ. We are in preparation today for that future time, and so we are, as it were, in training.
We are future priest-kings in training to rule and reign with Christ, and we need to take seriously our responsibility to grow and mature; for not all things are equal after the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Everyone has a different responsibility, and that will be determined by how well we grow, mature, and focus on our spiritual life in this age.
We pray that we will be challenged by these things in Christ’s name, amen.”