Victorious King, Priest
Eternal God, on this Your day, I seek refreshment from You; to acknowledge You, to think Your thoughts, to know Your joy.
Consider: Imagine you are in the Temple, singing this psalm with the king before you. What thoughts and feelings would you have?
Let us resist for a moment the temptation to jump into the New Testament fulfillment of this wonderful psalm, even though it is referred to more than any other by and about Jesus, and points so tellingly to his victory over sin and death and his enthronement at the right hand of the Father in heaven (Acts 2:24; 1 Cor. 15:25; Heb. 1:14). Here we see a double prophetic utterance about the king as both military leader and priest.
Sitting at the right hand, the place of influence and prestige, the king is in the presence of God himself, assured of his blessing and protection. His present rule and future triumph are guaranteed (1-3). His priestly role, in the order of Melchizedek (Gen.14:17-20), shows the religious as well as political and military responsibility of the Davidic king, as a means of blessing and intercessory mediation for his people. David's successors become a divinely appointed line of priest-kings, despite their own human failings. As military leaders they are promised provision, support and victory in their battles.
Israel's history shows this psalm as an idealized prayer. Apart from a short period of 100 years, the Davidic monarchy often suffered at the hands of more powerful enemies. Defeat and exile are reflected in the many psalms of lament, and this royal psalm conveys expectations and future hopes which went against much of Israel's experience. However, the power of the prophecy rings out, and, despite failures on Israel's part, God's promises of a Priest and King who would enjoy God's blessing and protection forever have been met in Jesus, the Messiah. Both Jesus and Jewish tradition saw this psalm as a Messianic prophecy, pointing to the Messiah's victory. Jesus looked beyond earthly life to death, resurrection and the eternal glory of the Son sitting beside the Father. Today we need to sing songs of victory to our risen Savior.
How can we sing songs that express the fulfillment of such promises today?
Victorious Lord, all praise to You. You fought the battle, the victory is won. Hallelujah, what a Savior!