4 The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind,
“You are a priest forever
after the order of Melchizedek.”
5 The Lord is at your right hand;
he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
6 He will execute judgment among the nations,
filling them with corpses;
he will shatter chiefs
over the wide earth.
7 He will drink from the brook by the way;
therefore he will lift up his head.
The biggest question for readers of this second half of Psalm 110 today may well be, “Who is Melchizedek?” As we saw in the earlier verses, this is a Messianic psalm, teaching us something about the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. It is the Messiah to come that the Lord appears to be addressing when He compares Him to Melchizedek, so the more we know about Melchizedek, the more we know about Jesus Christ.
Melchizedek first appears in Genesis. After a great battle with five kings, Abraham rescued his nephew, Lot, and many others who had been taken captive. Melchizedek, king of Salem (later, Jerusalem), and priest of God Most High, brought Abraham bread and wine and blessed him:
All we know about Melchizedek at this point is that his name means, “King of Righteousness,” and he is king of the city called, “Peace” (Hebrews 7). But how can he be the priest of God Most High centuries before God instructed Moses on Mt. Sinai about proper worship for God’s people? The writer to the book of Hebrews list additional mysteries about Melchizedek: “He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life (Hebrews 7:3).”
Earlier in Hebrews, however, this explanation is given of Christ’s relationship to Melchizedek:
7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. . . . 9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,10 being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:7, 9-10).”
So, David wrote a Psalm about the Messiah that would be his descendant, and although the Jews of Jesus’ day were looking for a king like David, the Messiah is a priest, as well as a king. As a priest, He offers effective prayers for us (Hebrews 5:7), and is the source of eternal salvation for us (Hebrews 5:9), by His perfect sacrifice for sin--Himself. We may not understand entirely the relationship between them, but we can praise God that Jesus, our Messiah, is also our high priest, after the order of Melchizedek, and not just now, but Forever.