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In this glorious Psalm, and in the Spirit of prophecy, the sacred writer celebrates the person, kingdom, priesthood, prophetical office, and character of the Lord Jesus. The whole of this portion of scripture refers to Christ, and to his people in him.
A Psalm of David.
In the opening of this gospel psalm, I pray the Reader to seek grace, with me, from God the Holy Ghost, that the eyes of our understanding may be enlightened, to see Jesus in and through every part of it; and that as we read it, we may be enabled to act faith upon Him of whom it treats, until our whole souls go forth in the most lively emotions of love and praise to the great Author of our salvation. We shall have a better and more clear conception of this conference between the Persons of the Godhead, if we take into our view some corresponding scriptures. For this purpose consult Isaiah 42:1-4 , where Jehovah the Father is speaking to the church concerning Christ. Then from the Isaiah 42:5-9 , where he is speaking to Christ. Read also Isaiah 49:0 where, in the form of a dialogue, the sacred Persons are conferring on the same subject of redemption. Christ begins the chapter with telling the Gentile church of his call as Messiah. Then from the 6th verse God the Father speaks to Christ on the same account. Both these scriptures serve to illustrate and explain each other, as well as to throw a light on the first verse of this Psalm: Jehovah said unto my Adonai. Read also as a farther confirmation, Matthew 22:42-45 . Peter's comment, Acts 2:34-35 . Paul's also, 1 Corinthians 15:25 . Then pause and contemplate God our Father thus addressing God the Son as the Messiah, the glorious head and surety of his people, when, having finished redemption-work he returned to glory, and sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. Hail, almighty Conqueror! thou art worthy to receive all glory and honour; and we behold thee now on thy throne, having obtained eternal redemption for us by thy blood!
Here comes in a blessed promise made to the person of Christ, as the mediator and head of his church. The expression of the rod of his strength, probably means the sovereignty of his word, which first went forth from Zion. Jesus commanded his disciples, when they went forth to preach and evangelize all nations, to begin at Jerusalem, Luke 24:47 . And are not the word of God's grace, and the work of God's Spirit, blended in this view of the rod of Christ's strength? For the gospel is said to be preached with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, 1 Peter 1:12 . And indeed are not all the Persons of the Godhead engaged in this great work? God the Father is the author and giver of it, and as such it is called the gospel of God, and the glorious gospel of the ever blessed God, Romans 1:1 , and 1 Timothy 1:11 . And Paul no less calls it, the gospel of Christ, of which be declared himself not ashamed, Romans 1:16 . And elsewhere, it is called the ministration of the Spirit, 2 Corinthians 3:8 . Hence the Prophet cries out, Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord, Isaiah 51:9 . But how beautiful is that part of the verse which calls upon Christ to rule in the midst of his enemies! Yes! his people, by nature, are enemies to him by wicked works; born in sin, and children of wrath, even as others. And when the Lord sends the word of his grace into the heart of sinners, what rebel lion is found there. Sweet thought! Jesus must have every knee bend before him. If we bow not to the sceptre of his grace, we shall certainly break under the iron rod of his justice.
Numberless beauties appear, in this verse, like the constellations of the heavenly borders, to call upon our notice. First, the promise made concerning the people of Christ. Here we find that Christ had a people, a church, a seed, an offspring, before his incarnation: and hence, not only at his birth, but even before his conception, his name was called Jesus, because he should save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21 ; Psalms 89:3-4 ; Isaiah 59:21; Isaiah 59:21 . Secondly, God the Father promiseth that this people shall be a willing people; a people of willingness, as it might be rendered; volunteers, listing under Christ's banner. When Jesus is set up as an ensign to the nations, the Gentiles shall seek to it, and his rest shall be glorious, Isaiah 11:10 . And the prophet introduceth Christ, by the spirit of prophecy as looking amazed at the accession of his people unto him, Isaiah 49:20 . Thirdly, God's promise is, that all these blessings shall take place in the day of Christ's power. The sovereignty of grace, and the influence of his Spirit, which accompanieth his word, shall make it effectual; so that it shall not return void, but like the rain and the snow, which cometh down from heaven, shall give gracious influences; Isaiah 55:10-11 . And it is beautiful to remark how variously this day of Christ's power is spoken of in scripture, so as to point out the blessed properties of it: A day of espousals of the soul to Christ, Song of Solomon 3:11 : A day of salvation, 2 Corinthians 6:2 ; hence when Christ made the publican Zaccheus willing in the day of his power, he said, This day is salvation come to this house; Luke 19:9 . and a day of the Lord's making and marvellous in our eyes, Psalms 118:24 . One sweet thought more is suggested by this verse, when it is said that these great events are to be accomplished in the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning; Christ hath the dew of his youth. It was an Old Testament promise to New Testament saints, that they should see the King in his beauty. For though to the carnal eye Christ's visage was marred more than any man's, and he had no comeliness to make him desired; yet to the spiritual, like the disciples, they saw his glory, and believed in him; Isaiah 33:17 ; John 2:11; John 2:11 . David, in his dying hours, under the spirit of prophecy, described Christ as the light of the morning when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds, 2 Samuel 23:4 ; and another prophet represented the remnant of Jacob begotten to Christ in the midst of many people, as the dew is from the Lord, Micah 5:7 . Probably to show that sovereign grace will give to Christ an abundance of souls like the dew drops, so numerous as to be perfectly incalculable. And they shall come, as the dew cometh, of heavenly extraction, being born of God, and not of the will of the flesh, John 1:13 . And unperceived, unnoticed, unknown, as the silent dew-drops of the morn; for the kingdom of God cometh not with observation, Luke 17:20 . And as they are begotten, like the dew, without the aid of man; so also shall they be preserved by the same predisposing cause, without man's deserts. Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts, Zechariah 4:6 .
The prophet having celebrated Christ in his kingly office, here extols him in his priestly character. Christ is indeed, and so the prophet described him ages before his advent, a Priest upon his throne, Zechariah 6:13 . And here he traces up the wonderful subject to the counsel of peace between them both, in Jehovah swearing Christ into his priestly office, even that of an everlasting priesthood, after the order of Melchisedeck. It would fill a volume to give merely the outlines of this most blessed and interesting subject of Jesus, as the High Priest of his church and people. But in a work of this kind, brevity must be observed. Of this Melchisedeck, after whose order Christ was made a priest, the scripture hath not given such clear information as to enable us to speak particularly. The apostle Paul, in Hebrews 7:0 , hath largely dwelt upon it. To this therefore I refer, together with the original account, Genesis 14:18 . But a Priest forever, as our Lord was sworn to be by Jehovah, takes up the subject yet higher, and proves that Christ was set up from everlasting. And as a priest with an oath implies the validity and certainty of his office, which nothing can alter, nothing can revoke; Reader! never lose sight of Jesus in this high office. He ever lives to plead for sinners, having an unchangeable priesthood, and therefore can and will save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him.
This is a most interesting verse; for as the Lord will make his people willing in the day of his power, and support his friends; so will he subdue his enemies. The year, which is the year of his redeemed, is also the day of vengeance to those that oppose his government. Isaiah 63:4 . Awful thought! Like the pillar of cloud on the tabernacle, the same which gave light to his people, was darkness to their foes.
Christ is the universal Judge. Probably the wounding the heads refers to the destruction of Satan, whose heart shall be bruised in every place, and in all countries throughout the earth. Jesus will himself do this; and he will do it also for his people; for, as the God of peace, he will bruise Satan under their feet shortly. Romans 16:20 .
I do not presume to decide the point, but I am very much inclined to think that Christ's drinking of the brook, was meant in allusion to the sufferings of Jesus. The brook Cedron, over which he passed in his way to the garden, the night of his dolorous agony, received all the filth of the temple, arising from the sacrifices. Hence, therefore, Christ drinking of it in his way, should seem to imply that all the guilt and iniquities of his people were emptied upon Jesus. He drank of it. The cup of trembling was put into his hand, and he drank it off, that his people might drink of the cup of salvation. Sweet thought! and corresponding to that blessed scripture: He was made sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 .
HAIL! thou glorious, gracious King in Zion! exalted as thou art at the right hand of thy Father and our Father, thy God and our God; it is thy lawful right to subdue everything to thyself; to govern, rule, bless, pardon, protect, reward, and make happy thy people. To thee it no less belongs to conquer and subdue thine enemies. Sit then, blessed Jesus, at the right hand of Jehovah, until all the nations submit to the sceptre of thy grace, and thy people are made willing, in the day of thy power! Hail! no less, thou sovereign Priest upon thy throne! Taken from among men, thou art ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that thou mayest offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. And blessed forever be thy name, thou canst have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for it is our happiness, and our joy, that we have not an High Priest that cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; for thou wast in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. And our souls rejoice in the validity of thine office. Yes, blessed Jesus! thou wast called to it of God, as was Aaron. And our Father hath confirmed thy authority and commission with an oath. Jehovah sware and will not repent. Hail then! thou great Melchisedeck! Thy divine nature is the golden altar; thy merits, and righteousness, and blood, the sure ground of acceptance; and thou thyself, the great High-Priest, offering in thine own name, to make the sacrifice sure of being accepted! Never shalt my soul despair of pardon and acceptance in his name, while Jesus liveth and weareth the vesture dipped in blood.
And hail, thou divine Prophet! to explain to thy people the laws of God, Oh! for grace to receive thee, to accept thee, to delight in thee, and to attend to all thy blessed instructions! For, sure I am, the soul that will not hear thee, nor regard thy great salvation, will be cut off from among the people.
Oh! thou glorious Adonai! from the womb of the morning thou hast the dew of thy youth. Make me, Lord, willing in the day of thy power! Make me all that thou wouldest have me to be. And while I view thee, and know thee to be Emmanuel, Jesus, The Lord Our Righteousness; be thou made of God to my soul, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, that he that glorieth, may glory in the Lord.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 110". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28