The Priest King
Matthew 22:41–46, Psalm 110:3–4
Matthew Lesson #141
October 23, 2016
“Father, we are thankful that we have Your Word, and as we study Your Word, we are amazed at its consistency and its accuracy and the fact that every time we study, every time we go back and read, new things are revealed to us through Your Word.
We come to understand new things, our thinking is illuminated and, through God the Holy Spirit, we see how that which You have revealed challenges our perception of You, of Your plan, of history, and it challenges us in the way we think and the way we live and the way we carry out our life on this earth.
Father, as we study this so important passage, give us a greater insight into what the text is saying and a greater understanding and appreciation for Your plan and Your purpose through the Messiah, both at His first coming and when He returns.
And we pray this in Christ’s name, Amen.”
Open your Bibles with me to Psalm 110, and this morning we will get to the fourth verse dealing with the prediction and the promise that God is going to elevate this Messianic King also to a universal priesthood as well as the significance of that.
One of the things that I’ve pointed out as we’ve gone through Psalm 110—and pointed out other times—I want to point out again because we have several visitors here this morning: one of the things that we do as we study through Scripture is not only to come to understand what the text is saying, what Psalm 110 is saying, but how that fits within the overall context of Scripture.
Psalm 110 is within the 150 Psalms that are recorded in Scripture. It is under a certain classification of Psalm: it is a Messianic Psalm; and one that is referred to in Matthew 22 by the Lord Jesus Christ.
We studied this because on Sunday morning we’re going through a study of Matthew. Jesus uses this prophecy of the Messiah to confound His enemies—the Pharisees and Sadducees—who were attacking Him, especially His claims to be Messiah.
He raises the question with them, Matthew 22:42, “Who is the Messiah? Who is He the Son of?” Their reply was that He is the Son of David.
In Matthew 22:43, the Lord asked them the second question, in typical rabbinic fashion of question and answer—He uses their own methodology against them. He says, “How then does David in the Spirit or by the Spirit—in terms of revelation—call Him Lord?” How can David, who is a Middle Eastern potentate, refer to this descendent of his as his superior?
He quotes from Psalm 110:1, “The Lord said to My Lord, sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” Then the Lord asked the question, “If David then calls Him Lord, how is He his Son?”
Matthew 22:46, “And no one was able to answer Him, nor from that day on did anyone ask Him any more questions.”
This is a conclusion of what probably took place in one day possibly two days where He is under a barrage of assaults by the religious leaders of Israel, and this is the final interchange before Jesus will announce judgment upon the religious leaders in the next chapter.
We’re taking time to look at Psalm 110 because when Jesus brings this up, it is understood by the scribes and Pharisees there that He’s not just referring to the first verse, He is referring to the whole Psalm.
In the ancient world, that first verse was the title—they didn’t have numbers. That was the title, so that entire Psalm would come to their mind. As such, it would be clear to them that He was making a claim to be the Messianic King, to be the fulfillment of the prophecy in Psalm 110 and that it was also a warning to the Pharisees that they would be defeated by the Messiah as His enemies as predicted in this particular psalm.
We are taking the time to look at the Psalm and there is so much here. I’ve gone through it in a more superficial fashion, but to really dig into this text, it is profound. What it tells us is about God’s plan because it reflects back on something that was determined in the plan of God in eternity past.
It tells us something about the fact that God, through the Holy Spirit, reveals Psalm 110 to David approximately 1,000 years before Jesus comes on the scene: knowing in the omniscience of God that this is going to be used by God the Son when He incarnates Himself on the earth.
Thus, there is a perfect plan here—that this is revealed to say specific things—which is then going to be used by Jesus the Messiah when He comes to confound and refute the Pharisees.
- In Psalm 110:1–3, we see two characters here: Yahweh is God the Father—the covenant God of Israel, the first Person of the Trinity—who is talking to God the Son—the Messianic King who is being exalted to His right hand—where He will await the defeat of His enemies, and the establishment of the Kingdom.
We see that which happened in eternity past, and then the prediction of this that will occur at the ascension of Christ after the crucifixion and resurrection.
Then He goes to the right hand of God the Father in Heaven, where He is awaiting the coming of the Kingdom. He is—as we’ve seen through comparing with other Scriptures, where He is actually—asking the Father for the Kingdom.
Until the right time comes, that Kingdom is held off: we see that the Kingdom is yet future. In this passage we’re going to see a little structure of the outline or panorama of history.
As part of this exaltation to the right hand of God in the heavens, we see a shift in topic in the fourth verse, which is the center point of the chapter.
- Yahweh—God the Father—vows to make the Messianic King a priest after the order of Melchizedek, Psalm 110:4.
The consequence of that, in Psalm 110:5–7:
- Yahweh will give the Messianic King a mighty and glorious victory over His enemies, followed by a time of refreshment and exaltation to a position of honor and dominion.
That’s the structure; we’ve gone through the first two verses. I hope that today we will make it through at least two verses.
The order of events that we see from this Psalm that will take place from the time of the ascension of Jesus to Heaven, which is 40 days after the crucifixion, to the establishment of His Kingdom, the future 1,000-year Messianic rule, we see summed up in eight points.
- The ascension of Messiah to Heaven
- Seated at the right hand of God “on My Father’s throne,” Revelation 3:21
Jesus is not on His throne; He’s not on David’s throne. He is on His Father’s throne.
- He asks for the Kingdom, Psalm 2:8
- He is granted the Kingdom, Daniel 7:14
A time will come at the end of this present Church Age, when He is granted the Kingdom by God the Father, who is described there as the Ancient of Days.
- Messiah returns a second time to the earth where He defeats the kings of the earth, Psalm 2:9; Revelation 19:19–21: to establish His own Kingdom.
When He returns His power base is extended by God the Father. We saw this last time—the first part of that verse.
- Yahweh extends the dominion of the Messianic King from Zion, Psalm 110:2a, Psalm 2:9, Revelation 2:27, Revelation 12:5, Revelation 19:15, and Daniel 7:27
Psalm 110:2a, “The Lord shall send the rod or the scepter,” and should be translated, “The Lord shall extend the scepter of Your strength or Your power out of Zion.”
- The Messianic Ruler will establish His righteous rule in the midst of His enemies. Psalm 110:2b where God the Father says to Him, “Rule in the midst of Your enemies.” Psalm 45:6–7 says that He will rule by His righteous scepter, which is quoted in Hebrews 1:8.
- The Messianic Ruler will judge the surviving Gentiles at the end of that seven-year period, which we usually refer to as The Tribulation. Joel 3:1–3 and Matthew 25:31–46
He judges the surviving Gentiles as well as the surviving Jews, but the point here is He is ruling over the surviving Gentiles.
His kingdom is established in fulfillment of 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”—that includes both Old Testament believers who were resurrected and returned with the Lord, as well as Church Age believers—who were raptured and resurrected at the end of the Church Age and spent the Tribulation period in Heaven, then returned with Him—as well as those Tribulation believers who were martyred during the Tribulation and will return in resurrection bodies with the Messiah.
“His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominion shall serve and obey Him.”
Philippians 2:10, “every knee shall bow in heaven and on the earth.”
We see that, when the King comes and as Yahweh extends His power, that He will come with His servants: He will come with the saints—as Daniel 27 hinted, they will be the saints of the Most High—that He will come with them.
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 earth.”
This is an interesting verse to try to understand; your translations may differ a little bit here and there because it’s somewhat difficult, and I’ll explain that when we get there, but the first thing to look at is this line, “Your people shall be volunteers in the day of Your power.”
“Day of Your power” refers to when Jesus returns to establish His Kingdom. “Your people” refer to those saints who will come with Him.
This is described in Revelation 19:11–13, “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.” That’s “extending His scepter;” that’s the “rule of iron” from Psalm 2:9.
“He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood”—that’s because He is come from concluding the campaign of Armageddon and defeating His enemies—“and His name is called The Word of God.”
Revelation 19:14 goes on to say, “And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.” That’s us: we will be the Church Age believers in those armies that have been raptured and resurrected and taken to Heaven. These are the volunteers who are serving of free will that come with Him in Psalm 110:3.
Revelation 19:15, “Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations.” That’s a strong word having to do with defeating the nations or the Gentiles—which is probably a better translation there: ETHNOS meaning individuals, the Gentiles—and the enemies of Israel that have risen during the end of the Tribulation.
“And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron—Psalm 2:9—“He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and the wrath of God.” That language speaks of the judgment of God upon the earth dwellers, the unbelievers, those who have rejected God and rejected Jesus as Messiah.
Psalm 110:3, when we start looking at the language here, the first line reads, “Your people shall be volunteers.”
The Hebrew word there for “volunteers” is nedavah, which describes a free-will offering. A free-will offering was an offering the people brought out of their own desire, their own will, their own volition, to give a gift to God in the Old Testament. It is a term that also is used to refer to doing something voluntarily or volunteering to do something. In this context, it has to do with His people who are serving God voluntarily.
That relates back to the fact that every person comes to salvation of their own free will. Every person has a decision to make at some point in their life. First of all, are they going to believe God, and if they are going to believe that there is a God, then the next step is to find out how to have a relationship with that God, how to be with that God, how to serve that God.
Scripture says that the problem that keeps all human beings away from God is the problem of sin, Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Sin is a word that we often need to describe and define for people today because in the popular culture, they think of sin as only some horrible egregious kind of action or activity: murder, some sort of betrayal.
Often it’s defined in terms of politically incorrect actions or sins or things of that nature today. But sin in the Bible is talking about anything that violates the character of God: it is an act of thought, it can be an act of speech, and it can be physical actions such as murder or theft.
But any action, no matter how small or insignificant it would be, like eating a piece of fruit—which Eve and Adam did in the Garden of Eden. Eating a piece of fruit can violate the character of God because it disobeys Him. They were told not to eat of that fruit.
Sin in the Bible is defined through many, many different ways. It can involve slander, gossip, maligning. It can be mental attitude sins such as jealousy, envy, arrogance, pride. It can be overt actions.
Anything that we think, say, or do that violates the character of God separates us from God and His righteousness. He cannot have a relationship with us and because of that His justice must condemn us.
But since we are all sinners, we are all born sinners. Isaiah 53:6 says that “all we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way.” We’ve gone our own path, “but the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all,” which means that our sin was laid on this Servant of Yahweh that’s described in Isaiah 53—the Messiah who takes on the sin of the world—so that He pays the penalty, we don’t.
He is judged for our sin. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:21. “He who knew no sin was made sin for us that the righteousness of God might be found in us.” We’re saved not because of our own good works or righteousness, but the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
We come to Him on the basis of our own volition. If you reject God, if you reject the gospel, then you were not one of those volunteers. You are in the other classification, one of the enemies of God. That’s where the Pharisees and Sadducees were as those who rejected Jesus.
Those who come with the Messiah in the day of His power are those who have, on the basis of their own volition, trusted in Him, and they are serving Him “in the day of Your power.”
This is another interesting word: the Hebrew word here is chayil, which is not simply a word for power, but it has to do with strength. Sometimes it refers to military strength, sometimes it refers to economic or political strength.
Here it’s the coming of Messiah to establish His political, economic, military authority over the kings of the earth and to establish His Kingdom and dominion.
“In the day of Your power,” that is, when He returns, and He defeats the kings of the earth militarily, we see the parallelism between the volunteers in the first line and the military strength in the second line. It tells us this is talking about those saints who come with the Lord Jesus Christ when He returns, as I read in Revelation 19.
The next three lines go together in the original text, Psalm 110:3, “In the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning.” We can come to a fairly good understanding of that in English as it’s translated, but the next line says, “You have the dew of Your youth.”
I have put the question there, “Huh?” What does that mean? That’s a very important line to understand, but first we have to understand the flow of thought here.
Remember, this is talking about what happens when the Messiah comes to establish His Kingdom. Next we read, “in the beauties of holiness.” The word there translated “beauties” is the Hebrew word hadar, which means majesty or honor or splendor. It’s talking about when He comes, when He establishes His power: it’s in the beauty, the glory, the splendor, the Majesty of holiness.
There is a little bit of a problem here in terms of the original text, and that is to question exactly how is the original text to be read, because there is what we refer to as a textual problem here. I know that we have at least two people in the congregation who are taking first year Hebrew now, and they’re trying to figure out this difference.
This is the word hadar. The last two letters are a “D” and then an “R”—a dalet and a reish. You can see that the difference between the two is just this very small tick on the right of the horizontal line at the top. You have to have good eyes to spot that: that is known as a tittle.
Remember, when Jesus said that no yod, not jot, but yod—it’s the Hebrew letter that looks like an apostrophe, it’s the letter for “Y”—no jot or tittle, no yod or tittle shall pass away until all the Law has been fulfilled.
Because that little tick there makes a difference between an “RR” and a “DR.” Hadar and harar are two different words. There are about 80 Masoretic manuscripts that have harar as opposed to hadar.
And it’s really easy, if you’re not looking clearly, to accidentally see an “R” instead of the “D.” Neither word would make a tremendous amount of difference in our understanding of the text.
If it is hadar, which is the predominant reading in most manuscripts, then it would be translated “in the splendor” or “in the majesty of holiness” or “in holy majesty,” or “in holy splendor.” If it is harar, then that is the word for mountain; that would be translated “on holy mountains.”
Either one can make sense in relation to the other prophecy: either it’s talking about those who come with the Lord, and they are arrayed in holy garments—and I think that’s probably true; Revelation 19, “They’re coming in white garments.”
They have been rewarded with these white garments, as we studied earlier in Revelation 2 and 3, and that’s most likely. But they also do battle on the mountains of Israel with the Lord against the armies of the antichrist at the end of the Tribulation.
So neither reading challenges a Messianic interpretation or changes any theology: both of them are true. But I am going to take the position that this should be translated “in holy majesty” or “holy splendor,” referring to the garments and the dress of those who come with the Lord.
Then we have the next line, “from the womb of the morning, You have the dew of Your youth.”
This again is somewhat of a challenge to correctly or properly interpret because of what is in the text. You have this line, “You have the dew of Your youth.” What does that mean?
I’ve read a number of commentaries, and they all come up with some really creative solutions for this. But the reality is that in the most ancient of translations that we have—the Septuagint, which was a translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek that was done about 200 BC—it has a very different reading.
It reads, “from the womb of the dawn, I have begotten You,” which is very different from “You have the dew of Your youth.” “From the dew of the dawn, I have begotten You.”
The point is that the Masoretic text—the official Hebrew text that underlies our Old Testament translations—was preserved, protected by the group of scribes called the Masoretes. After the defeat of the Jews by the Romans in AD 70, as the Jews regrouped, they had to figure out a way to preserve what they believe—their religion—as well as to preserve their Text. It was to this group of scribes known as the Masoretes who preserved, copied text.
As Hebrew was originally written, it was only written with consonants, no vowels. One of the things the Masoretes did was develop a vowel system called “pointing.” You can see under these letters these funny looking little dots and lines: those are the vowels. They developed this so that they could preserve the correct pronunciation for future generations.
But as time went by after Christianity began and after the destruction of Israel, more and more inroads were made among those in Judaism by Christians who were going to Old Testament Messianic prophecies to show that Jesus fulfilled all these prophecies.
There are over 100 prophecies in the Old Testament that were fulfilled by Jesus in His first coming. The chances of just 10 of these coming true at one time and one person is the same odds as filling the entire state of Texas knee-deep—about 2 to 3 feet high— with silver dollars, then taking some red fingernail polish and putting a dot on one of those silver dollars and stirring it into all of those.
Think of it: 900 miles from Beaumont to El Paso, and even more from Brownsville up to someplace like Dumas in North Texas. You have huge territory there, and the chances of one person blindfolded selecting that one silver dollar: it would be easier to do that than for one person to fulfill just 10 prophecies, much less 100 prophecies.
The Masoretes had a bit of a problem because they see all these prophecies and they’d say, “Wow that looks like it could be talking about that Jesus of Nazareth. We can’t have that, so let’s do something.”
So they would change the vowels in obvious Messianic prophecies which would change the meaning of the word. Once you did that, the word meant something else, and then the verse meant something else, and it no longer was Messianic, no longer pointed to Jesus.
That’s what this note down here is all about. The word that’s translated “your youth” here is the word yalduteyka. If you take the vowels out, it’s just yldtk.
The Septuagint looked at that—no vowel points in 200 BC—and said that that is from the verb yalad, yld, and it should be translated “begotten you,” because the verb yalad means to give birth or to begat.
In fact, it is the same word that is used in Psalm 2:7, where God the Father says to the Messiah, the Anointed One, “Today I have begotten you.” That is the exact same phrase.
If you look at Psalm 110:3, which, due to chapter numbering differences in the Septuagint, reads this way in the Septuagint, “From the womb, before the morning star, I brought You forth”—in other words, “I have begotten you.”
So the Septuagint and a number of ancient translations of the Hebrew text don’t translate it from the “dew of Your youth,” they translate it, “I have begotten,” which is extremely Messianic and connects that to Psalm 2:7.
The idea of “begottenness” is not the idea of being born: it is the idea of being set forth as one’s son. It is an official legal type of designation.
It’s the same word we find in John 3:16. “For God loved the world in this way that He gave His only begotten Son.” So this terminology of “begottenness” goes from the Old Testament to the New Testament describing this unique Individual who is referred to as the Messiah in Psalm 2 and as One who is begotten, who is elevated to a position of power.
Psalm 2:7, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You.”
There we have the word yelidtika. The consonants yldtk are the same consonants you have in the word that is translated “of Your youth” in Psalm 110:3.
This makes it clear that Psalm 110:3 is talking about when this Messiah comes who establishes His kingdom as the One who has been declared the begotten One of God.
Then the text shifts, the focus of the text shifts, as we finish that first section, talking about the fact that the Anointed One, the LORD “who says to My Lord, sit at My right hand” now is going to come in His Kingdom.
He receives the Kingdom from the Father, then the Father swears an oath in relationship to this Person’s future role. Psalm 110:4, “The LORD has sworn and will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.’ ”
For those of you who might be less biblically literate and maybe a little more worldly-wise: I’m not talking about a measurement of champagne. If you’re not familiar with it, there are a lot of different size bottles of champagne that you can get.
The smallest one way down here on the left is your normal bottle of champagne, which is 750 ml. But somewhere in the mists of time, it was decided to name these different sizes according to names of biblical leaders and ancient rulers.
For example, a Jeroboam—remember Jeroboam is the ruler in the Northern Kingdom of Israel after the division—a Jeroboam is equivalent to four bottles: 3 liters.
A “Rehoboam”—he was the king of the South, the king of Judah—that’s six bottles. He’s larger than Jeroboam: 4½ liters.
A “Methuselah”—the oldest man the Bible—is a designation for a 6-liter bottle, which is equivalent to eight normal bottles.
A “Salmanazar”, “Balthazar”, “Nebuchadnezzar”, and “Solomon.”
The largest at the far right end is a “Melchizedek:” a huge bottle that is equivalent to 40 regular bottles of champagne or 30 liters.
I just thought y’all would need to be educated a little bit, but this is not talking about an enormous container of champagne, it is talking about a specific order of priesthood.
This begins emphasizing the fact that it is so important that Yahweh has sworn. This is God the Father: He swears something concerning this Second Person, the Anointed One, the Messianic King. He swears and there’s nothing higher by which He can swear, so He swears by His own character: He swears by Who He is.
Psalm 110:4, “I will not relent.” This is an interesting word: nacham in the Hebrew. Sometimes it’s translated “God repented Himself.” For example, in Genesis 6, when the text tells us that the thoughts of man’s heart was evil continually, God was going to judge the earth with the flood because He repented Himself.
It has connotations there of sorrow and regret, but this is a word that has a broad range of meaning, and in certain forms in the Hebrew and context, it emphasizes a change of mind. In some contexts it emphasizes sorrow.
1 Samuel 15:29, “And also the strength of Israel—that’s another title for God—will not lie nor relent”—or repent or change His mind. It’s not talking about sorrow there, it’s talking about God is not a deceiver. God is not one who changes His mind—“for He is not a man that He should—nacham—that He should relent”—or repent.
The idea here is a change of mind. It’s in anthropomorphism: when it appears to us that, “Well, God was going in this direction, now He’s gone to Plan B,” that God changed His mind. But God knows all things from eternity past.
He is omniscient. God doesn’t change His mind the way we do, but it just appears to us that He has changed His mind when He always knew that’s what He was going to do, because He knew what certain decisions would be in the human race.
He says He will not change His mind. This is the oath that He swears—speaking to the Second Person of the Trinity—“You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
This is really developed all through Hebrews 7, which is why I read that this morning in our Scripture reading. Melchizedek was a priest in the Old Testament.
We first run into him in Genesis 14, the only place he’s mentioned in all of the Old Testament. Genesis 14 tells the story of how four kings from the Mesopotamian River valley invade and conquer what at that time was known as the Jordan Valley or the Valley of the Salt Sea. Today we would call it the Valley of the Dead Sea, and it became known is that because of the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah.
This four-king alliance came down and defeated the five cities of the valley and made them vassal slaves.
After 12 years, in the 13th year, the Scripture says that they formed an alliance, and they revolted against these Mesopotamian kings, and then there’s another huge battle, and they are defeated.
Their cities are sacked, the people are taken as slaves, and off they go back to the north, headed back up to the Euphrates. They took a circular route going up and around to get back to the Mesopotamian River valley.
Avram—Abraham—in view of His mandate from God to be a blessing to those around him, gathers together his 318 servants, all trained for war, and they start chasing the armies of these five kings, because among those captives, are his nephew Lot and his family.
He meets up with them in the northern part of what we refer to as Israel today, near what became known as the city of Dan in the far north. There he defeated them soundly, recovered all the captives, and recovered all of the loot and the plunder that was taken.
On his way back, he stopped in this town called Salem, small village, and it is ruled over by a king who is a priest. It is the Gentile city that is populated by Jebusites, and he pays homage to the priest–king of Salem, whose name is Melchizedek.
They have a meal together, which speaks of fellowship, because the king of Salem is a Gentile who is worshiping the same God as Abraham.
We’re told that Melchizedek, the king of Salem “brought out bread and wine. He was the priest of God Most High—El Elyon. And he blessed him—that is Melchizedek blessed Abram—and said, ‘Blessed be Avram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.’ And he—that is Avram—gave Him—gave to Melchizedek—a tithe—10%—of all—of the plunder that He had recovered.”
This is a unique priesthood in the Old Testament. It is not a priesthood as the Jews developed that was from the tribe of Levi or high priestly line, descendants from Aaron. But it is a Gentile priesthood that predates Israel and the Levitical tribe.
So we have to make some observations here. First of all, as a descendent of the tribe of Judah, Jesus was not qualified to be a priest.
Second point: in Israel, the priesthood was distinct from the kingship. They had a separation, as it were, of church and state, but the state was always answerable to the priesthood because the priesthood represented God.
The prophets represented God, and they could bring judgment against the king if the king was violating the Mosaic Law. But there was always this distinction: Levi was the priestly tribe and Judah was the tribe of the king.
Third thing we should note is that the only way that a descendent of David, who was of the tribe of Judah, could become the official high priest, was for the order of Aaron, the high priest of Aaron, to come to an end, and that happened at the Cross.
All of the ceremonial ritual law ends when Jesus dies for sin, because all those ceremonial ritual laws pointed to the need for redemption, a Redeemer, a sacrifice greater than a lamb or a goat or a bull.
Fourth, God will in the future unite these two offices of priesthood. He performs the action. Therefore, no one can overturn it. He is the one who chose the priests in Israel, and He will choose the priest–king who will rule over Israel.
There are some who come along and say that, “Well, this idea that the kings didn’t function as priests is not actually true.” They go to an episode in 2 Samuel 6, where David is finally having the ark brought into Jerusalem, and he dresses himself in an ephod, a linen ephod, which was a priestly garment, and he is dancing and singing praises to God before the ark, as it is being taken into Jerusalem.
There are some who say that, “Well, he’s acting like a priest there,” and in some sense he is. However, as I taught some of that earlier, what I have discovered in researching this time is that while the linen ephod was priestly attire, it was not the clothing that was required by the priest to wear when they’re offering sacrifices.
So David is not assuming to himself a high priestly role by wearing the ephod. Also, David did not offer the sacrifices himself at that time, but the Levitical priest did.
Just as if you were an Old Testament believer, you came to the temple to worship, you would bring a lamb and you would have some participation in the sacrifice. You would put your hand on the lamb and confess your sins, you would be responsible for bringing the lamb.
The killing of the lamb, the ultimate sacrifice, that’s done by the priest, but that doesn’t mean you as a worshiper had nothing to do with it. So David is functioning within his rights as a king, but he doesn’t overstep his bounds.
This future king will also represent the people before God, and He will be a priest forever: we read that in Hebrews 7. When the Messianic priest–king inaugurates His rule, His subjects will become a kingdom of priests. This is what God said He was calling the Jews to be in Exodus 19:5–6.
Hebrews 7:1–3, “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated ‘king of righteousness,’ and then also king of Salem, meaning ‘King of Peace,’ without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God”—He’s used an analogy to understand something about Jesus’ future priesthood—“remains a priest continually.”
We see from looking at these two verses that the Messiah will return, He will return with an army of saints, who are arrayed in His majesty and splendor. He fulfills the role and receives that which is His as the Begotten One of God, the Messiah, and then He will take a role as the priest–king over the nation of Israel after the order of Melchizedek.
The impact of that for us is this is what we look forward to. This helps us to understand the glory, the majesty, the splendor of the Lord Jesus Christ, who He is and who He will be when He returns at the Second Coming.
“Father, thank You for this opportunity to understand even more about our Lord Jesus Christ, to recognize that the first He had to come to go to the Cross before He could assume the crown.
He had to die for our sins as our Savior before He would be able to establish His Kingdom. First, the problem of sin had to be dealt with before He could establish His Kingdom and establish and correct the consequences of sin in His Kingdom.
Father, we pray that this morning, if anyone is listening to this message that if they have never trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior, this is the only hope that we have in this world. Jesus died for our sins. He paid the penalty, and it’s not something we have to earn or merit on our own, but by simply trusting in Him.
The Scripture says again and again: believe, believe, believe—that’s the issue. “He who believes on Him is not condemned, but He who believes not is condemned already, because He has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
So if you’ve never trusted in Jesus as Savior, this is the challenge to you to waste no time, but to trust in Him. The instant the thoughts form in your mind that you believe Jesus is the promised Messiah who died for you, the instant you believe that, you become a child of God, you receive the righteousness of Christ, you are justified and you are regenerated and saved eternally.
For those of us who are, this Psalm encourages us, because we know that there will come a time when the current politics and the horrors of political systems of today will be vanquished under the power of the Lord Jesus Christ to establish His perfect reign, His righteous reign and rule over the earth; that is something that we anticipate.
But today, our role as representatives of the throne of God is to proclaim the gospel, communicate the gospel, and encourage other believers with the Word of God.
We pray that will be challenged by these things in Christ’s name, Amen.”