“The Lord says to my Lord:
‘Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.’”
Psalms 110:1 NIVUK
Psalm 110 is another Davidic Psalm, full of prophetic and apocryphal language. The verse I’ve chosen today was quoted by Jesus during one of His conversations with the Pharisees; He used it to ask a difficult question of the religious leaders of His day, one that they couldn’t answer. The details of the conversation were recorded in Matthew 22.
I read this Psalm, and find myself at a loss to understand at first how it will help the modern day pilgrim, in his or her journey through this life. There is obviously a time coming, prophetically laid out, of when Jesus, the Son of God, will rule and reign one day in the future. It will be a time of judgement, of battle, of triumph, of defeat of the forces that will be arraigned against Him. It’s encouraging to know the contents of a future chapter in the book of this world’s history. As I scan the verses in this Psalm, some nuggets of truth emerge. About God’s unchanging promise that His enemies will one day be defeated, by His Son Jesus ruling at the head of an army of His troops. About His priestly role, leading the spiritual future of His people. About judgement bringing about the justice God’s people can only dream of today. It is these thoughts that will sustain us when our lives are difficult and challenging.
The Bible contains difficult questions, like the one Jesus asked of the Pharisees when He quoted this Psalm. And in some places the Biblical records and accounts can be interpreted in different ways. So how do we handle challenging Biblical and theological questions when asked by those around us? I’m sure some people lay awake at night trying to dream up traps to undermine us. A genuine seeker after truth should be answered and carefully helped to understand the answer to their difficulties; if necessary we must go away and research the answer with the help of the Holy Spirit; if we don’t know the answer we should say so. And we thank God for the apologists who interface the Bible truths to everyday life, and provide light in dark corners; such people we can refer our questioners to if necessary.
In our everyday lives, we too can have questions about difficult-to-understand passages in the Bible. At such times, we keep close to our Heavenly Father, trusting Him to provide all the answers we need for our journeys. And we need to take our life-steps, with the faith that God knows what is best for us. Perhaps Proverbs 3:6 is a good go-to place today: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Sometimes we don’t need answers to difficult questions – we just need God.