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Bible Commentaries

Sermon Bible Commentary
Psalms 110



Verse 2

Psalms 110:2

We have here the very heart of the Christian character set forth as being willing consecration; then we have the work which Christian men have to do, and the spirit in which they are to do it, expressed in that metaphor of their priestly attire; and then we have their refreshing and quickening influence upon the world.

I. The subjects of the Priest-King are willing soldiers. In accordance with the warlike tone of the whole Psalm, our text describes the subjects as an army. The King is going forth to conquest. But He goes not alone. Behind him come His faithful followers, all pressing on with willing hearts and high courage. Then (1) the warfare which He wages is one not confined to Him. (2) That warfare is shared in by all the subjects. It is a levy en masse—an armed nation. (3) There are no mercenaries in these ranks, no pressed men. The soldiers are all volunteers. "Thy people shall be willing." (4) The soldiers are not only marked by glad obedience, but that obedience rests upon the sacrifice of themselves. This glad submission has come from self-consecration and surrender. (5) By a natural transition, the word "willing" comes to mean "free," and also "noble." The willing service which rests upon glad consecration raises him who renders it to true freedom and dominion. The Prince's servants are every other person's masters.

II. The soldiers are priests. "The beauties of holiness" is a frequent phrase for the sacerdotal garments, the holy, festal attire of the priests of the Lord. The conquering King whom the Psalm hymns is a Priest for ever; and He is followed by an army of priests. (1) Mark now the warfare which we have to wage is the same as the priestly service which we have to render. The conflict is with our own sin and evil; the sacrifice we have to offer is ourselves. (2) The great power which we Christian men are to wield in our loving warfare is character. (3) The image suggests the spirit in which our priestly warfare is to be waged. We are to be soldier-priests, strong and gentle, like the ideal of those knights of old, who were both, and bore the cross on shield, and helmet, and sword-hilt.

III. The soldier-priests are as dew upon the earth. We have here: (1) A picture of the army as a band of youthful warriors. He who has fellowship with God and lives in the constant reception of the supernatural life and grace which comes from Jesus Christ possesses the secret of perpetual youth. (2) The lovely emblem of the dew as applied to Christ's servants. It is as a symbol of the refreshing which a weary world will receive from the conquests and presence of the King and His host that they are likened to the glittering morning dew.

A. Maclaren, Sermons Preached in Manchester, 3rd series, p. 321.

I. Consider what is meant by the expression that Christ's people are a willing people. (1) This indicates that a vast change has been made upon them, for there is no man naturally inclined to follow and to obey the Saviour. (2) The willingness which is here spoken of is not to be regarded as a mere point of doctrinal theology, but as a great practical reality. A willing people is a people willing for whatever is Christ's will, because they love Him and trust Him.

II. Notice the decorations of Christ's people. "They appear in the beauties of holiness." Holiness is the peculiar and indispensable mark of Christ's people, and that which distinguishes them as His. The holy man, besides having all the distinguishing qualities of the good man, is one who loathes all impurity in thought, or speech, or conduct. When Christ's people are said to be clothed with the beauties of holiness, this implies that they are not only characterised by their outward conformity to the law of God, but that they seek to have the whole frame of the heart—every thought, every feeling, every breathing of the soul—regulated by God's holy will.

III. Notice what is here said respecting the number of Christ's followers. "They are as the dewdrops from the womb of the morning." This Psalm describes Messiah's triumphs over all His enemies. These shall not be completed until the morning of the Resurrection. Then it will be that this beautiful prophecy shall have its full accomplishment.

IV. Notice the way and time in which sinners are made Christ's willing followers. It is in the day of His power. (1) As to the way of it. Not by the power of eloquence of man, but by the Spirit of the Lord, are the rebels subdued, and the unholy sanctified. Christ administers His government not so much by terror as by love. (2) As to the time at which Christ makes His people willing. It is the day of His power. Christ, indeed, has always the same power; but there are special seasons for the special exercise of it.

V. Observe how all these things redound to the glory of Christ.

A. D. Davidson, Lectures and Sermons, p. 66.

References: Psalms 110:3.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ii., No. 74; Clergyman's Magazine, vol. v., p. 104; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. iv., p. 130; G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 397; J. Vaughan, Children's Sermons, 1875, p. 132; A. Pope, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. xvi., p. 37.

Verse 3

Psalms 110:3

I. Everything young and fresh, everything bright and smiling, everything buoyant and happy, may be traced to the perpetual youth of Godhead, which streams forth for ever and ever, impregnating all receptive souls and substances with its own quality. Every babe, and every spring, and every new morning are world-types of the everlasting youth of our God. "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever." The eternal yesterday saw Him young; He is young today; His energies will abide unimpaired and young for ever. The late children of time still call Him "the holy Child Jesus."

II. Through His youth heaven abides young. The eternity of heaven will but perfect the youth of its first morning. Every heir of heaven, on being born from death into blessed primitive eternity, finds it morning.

III. Though Jesus appeared in our nature expressly to bear our sins and sorrows, yet both friends and enemies were impressed with the energy and originality of His character, two unquestionable signs of youth. He spake as One who saw the old creation with young eyes, and as One who felt the poetic relation between all things and man. His last discourse was the freshest, the sweetest, and the youngest.

IV. All who love Him shall shine forth in His kingdom in the glory of perpetual youth, "as the sun for ever and ever." Trust Him, love Him, abide in Him, and the energy and freshness of His life shall spring up in the heart of your heart. Embrace Jesus, and you will find all the beauties of holiness; they abide in Him, in the Divinity of their youth, for ever.

J. Pulsford, Quiet Hours, p. 270.

References: Psalm 110— E. Bickersteth, Homiletic Quarterly, vol. v., p. 84; W. H. Simcox, Expositor, 3rd series, vol. i.; Good Words, 1877, p. 274. Psalms 111:9.— Spurgeon, Morning by Morning, p. 239. Psalms 111:10.— Preacher's Lantern, vol. iv., p. 506.

Verse 4

Psalms 110:4

Set apart from before all worlds for His priestly work, Christ in due time occupied His office. Consider Him in His wonderful exercise of its functions, which are threefold: to sacrifice, to intercede, to bless.

I. What a sacrifice was that when the sacrificer and the victim met in one and the same Person! His amazing endurance cast into the scales of Divine justice an equivalent, a more than equivalent, for the punishment of every sin of every sinner of every generation. That one vast sacrifice outweighed it all.

II. But great as was the sacrifice, the Apostle St. Paul leads us to the thought that the intercession was greater still: "For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life," etc.; that is, by His intercession which He lives to make.

III. Christ in His priestly office is appointed to bless. Our better Melchizedek is gone in, in His human form, "into the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man;" a little space He tarries for His Church's sake within the veil; and presently we shall behold Him coming forth in His perfect beauty: and standing on the clouds of heaven, at the portals of glory, He will pronounce benediction on His Church.

J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 2nd series, p. 29.

References: Psalms 110:4.—Homiletic Magazine, vol. ix., p. 75; G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 398.


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Bibliography Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Psalms 110:4". "Sermon Bible Commentary".

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Thursday, December 3rd, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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