Bible Studies on the Messianic Psalms
Psalm 110 Part 3: Jesus - The Judge of All
by I Gordon
We have been in Psalm 110 for the last two studies where we have
examined different roles of our Lord Jesus. We saw Him first as Lord
and King. We looked last time at His role as Priest in the order of the
mysterious man Melchizedek. In this study we see Him as Judge. The last
part of the Psalm speaks of the judgment coming in the last days - in
the day of His wrath. It tells us that God and mankind are on a
Let's start with some general thoughts about judgment and the
Psalms 110:5-7 The Lord is at Your right hand; He will shatter kings in
the day of His wrath. (6) He will judge among the nations, He will fill
them with corpses, He will shatter the chief men over a broad country.
(7) He will drink from the brook by the wayside; Therefore He will lift
up His head.
The last part of this Psalm speaks of Jesus as the Judge - He will
Judge the nations. This thought of God as a judge is not very popular
today. In this day, one of the great sins according to the world is to
'judge' something or someone. No one wants to be judged - not by man or
God. Tolerance is very much in. Judgment is very much out. Way out. If
John 3:16 is the Christian's favourite scripture, Matt 7:1 ('Judge not
lest you be judged') is the world's favourite verse. It's possibly the
only one they know. The world hates the thought of judgement because
they do not want to be honest in the assessment that they stand guilty
before a holy God. Jesus said the main reason that men don't come and
open their lives to God is not because of a scientific complaint. It is
not because there is a lack of evidence for God. No. The ultimate
issue, according to Jesus, is a moral one.
The Lord Jesus, who fully understood the heart of man, said it like
John 3:19-21 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world,
but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were
evil. (20) Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not
come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. (21)
But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may
be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."
In other words, men love the darkness. They love being able to do
whatever they want, when they want, without being accountable to a
higher being. But the light exposes what they are. And, excuse the
analogy, but like cockroaches they run when the light comes on. They
prefer the darkness.
A doggy illustration
I saw a really interesting experiment on TV a couple of weeks back that
illustrated this. It was not actually to do with humans as such but
with man's best friend. It was with God's canine creation, an
experiment done with man's four legged buddy. Here was the experiment:
They had several owners with their dogs and they placed a piece of
tasty delicious sausage in front of their salivating dog who was then
told, quite clearly, 'No! Wait!' In each case, the dog obeyed its
master and refrained from taking the sausage until given the 'a-ok!'
Maybe you have mastered this with your dog. They then repeated the
experiment, but this time, after being told 'no, wait' they turned off
all the lights so it was pitch black. And yet they had a special camera
that still tracked the dog. Little Rover knew he had been told to wait,
but he also knew he couldn't be seen by his owner. In each case the dog
moved slowly forward, gave it a few sniffs and quietly cleaned the
floor of its tasty treat. And, like a nimble cat burglar (ah, dog
burglar in this case) quietly moved back into their original position
so that when the lights came back on, and with the tasty morsel
missing, they could say 'What? What? Don't look at me... I've been here
all the time... haven't moved a muscle!' Finally, they did a third
test. Like experiment two, they placed the sausage in front of the dog,
removed all the lights so that it was pitch black, but this time they
shone one light on the sausage alone. So the dog knew that the owner
couldn't see him but he also knew that he, and his doggy burglar deeds,
would be exposed if he came into the light to take the sausage. On each
occasion, the dog remained where he was and didn't take the sausage. He
was happy to polish off the sausage when the lights were off and no one
could see him, but didn't want who he really is (in his little fallen
doggy nature) to be exposed by coming into the light. When I saw that I
immediately said that is not just the nature of dogs... That is the human
heart as well! The world doesn't want to come into the light either,
because it exposes what we are to the Judge of all mankind. Yet if they
did they would find, in the miracle of miracles, that the Judge of
mankind stands with nail pierced hands stretched out in grace and
mercy, having taken the judgment already upon Himself! But if they
don't and remain in their sins and darkness, they will find that only
judgment remains for they have rejected the only means of salvation
that the Judge offers. Our passage before us today shows the end result
for those that won't come into the light and seek His forgiveness.
Let's read the passage again which shows how things end.
Psalm 110 - Some sobering verses
Psalms 110:5-7 NIV The Lord is at your right hand; he will crush kings
on the day of his wrath. (6) He will judge the nations, heaping up the
dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth. (7) He will drink from
a brook beside the way; therefore he will lift up his head.
Now I don't know about you, but I'm thinking that these are some pretty
full-on verses. Outside of what the Bible teaches concerning Hell, the
end time wrath and judgment upon the world is one of most difficult for
some to take. It is a very sobering topic. Our incredibly P.C world
likes its 'God' to be kind, loving, all inclusive and non-judgemental.
Kind of like an old benign granddad who just sits in his rocking chair,
slightly deaf and blind, oblivious to what's going on and just lets
everyone be. But that's not what we have here. Whether we would click
the 'Like' button on this topic or not isn't the point. The Bible is
very clear on this topic and in no way tries to hide it. It is
important. Like brussel sprouts and spirulina, some things are
difficult to take but they are still good for you!
So in case you were just dozing or thinking about lunch, these three
verses describe Jesus, the Messiah, judging the nations, crushing kings
and rulers and heaping up the dead. Those rulers that the world crowds
the streets to see and almost worships in some cases, do not have the
same standing in the sight of God (unless their heart is right with
Him) and are given a specific mention concerning those that the Lord
will crush in the end times. And the Lord, having put down the rulers
and opposition in the world, is then seen as the conquering King,
refreshed by the water (which speaks of the living water of God's
Spirit) and His head will be lifted up. He will be exalted and His name
will be the only name in all the earth (Zech 14:9). And on that day, as
verse 3 of this Psalm says, God's people will volunteer freely. So if
you struggle with this thought now, I can guarantee you that on that
day, when you know even as you are known, you will see that Jesus is
perfect in all His ways and His judgements are true and just.
So... questions, questions, questions.
So as I approached these verses, I started asking myself questions. It
is always good to ask questions of the text you are studying. In fact
it is essential. So I had a few questions that came to mind as I read
What is this day of wrath that this verse speaks about?
How do we get from where we are today to this day spoken of here?
Will we or the world know it is coming?
What does this thought of judgement mean for the believers future?
How should it affect our lives today?
1. What is this day of wrath spoke of here?
The text says 'He will crush kings on the day of his wrath.'
The New Testament speaks of different 'days' (which are not literal 24
hour days but periods of time):
Day of salvation
: We could also call this the day of grace. It is a time when, as Jesus
said, God gives rain to the good and the bad. He is incredibly patient
with man not wanting any to perish, and (as a general statement) not
currently judging them for their sins.
2 Corinthians 6:2 For He says: "In an acceptable time I have heard
you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you."Behold, now is
the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.'
Day of Christ
: This is the return of Jesus for His people, His bride.
Philippians 1:6,9-10 'For I am confident of this very thing, that
He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus... And this is my prayer:
that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of
insight, (10) so that you may be able to discern what is best and
may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ
It is also called the day of redemption:
Ephesians 4:30 'Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you
were sealed for the day of redemption.'
Day of judgment
: This day speaks of the Great White Throne of Judgment that the
unrighteous are being kept under guard for that day to come.
2 Peter 2:9 'The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from
temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment...'
Day of eternity
: This speaks of the eternal order when we are with the Lord.
2 Peter 3:18 'Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.'
But the Bible also speaks of a day at the end of this age called the
day of the Lord or the day of wrath and this is what this passage in
Psalm 110 speaks of.
Day of wrath:
Revelation 6:15-17 Then the kings of the earth and the great men
and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and
free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the
mountains; (16) and they said to the mountains and to the rocks,
"Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the
throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; (17) for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to
This day of wrath is a 7 year period, split into two halves of 3 â
years, which the Bible declares will be unlike any time either before
or after it - it will be totally unique and unprecedented. Jesus
Matthew 24:21 "For then there will be a great tribulation, such as
has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor
There are various names given to this period of time. Jesus called it
the Great Tribulation (Matt 24:21). The prophets often called it the
day of the Lord. Daniel called it 'the time of distress' (Dan 12:1) and
'the indignation' (Dan 11:36). John, in Revelation, called in the 'hour
of trial' (Rev 3:10). For the nation of Israel, it is called 'the day
of Jacob's trouble' (Jer 30:7).
How do we get from where we are today to this time of wrath and
Having asked the question, my second thought is that maybe it is not
such a tremendous leap. If we are honest we would have to say that the
world is becoming all the more ripe for judgment. But let's be clear:
God takes no pleasure in this. God is amazingly gracious and patient
with all of mankind. It was His love for the world that caused Him to
send His only Son to die for it. God said to Ezekiel
'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no
pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from
their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways!' (Ezekiel
God's judgement is His last resort. But there does come a time when He
says enough! He said 'enough' during the times of Noah when His Spirit
was grieved that He had made man. He said 'enough' during the times of
Sodom and Gomorrah when it says He came down to really see how bad it
was! He said 'enough' during the days the days of Israel's bondage in
Egypt when He judged the nation of Egypt. He said 'enough' during the
days of Jeremiah and Ezekiel where the sins of Judah were such that He
wouldn't even allow Jeremiah to intercede for the nation anymore! They
had past the point of no return. Think about that... Three times God
tells Jeremiah not to pray for his nation. In fact God says even if
Jeremiah does pray, He won't listen!
Jeremiah 7:16-17 "As for you, do not pray for this people, and do
not lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with Me;
for I do not hear you. (17) "Do you not see what they are doing in
the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
They were past the point of no return. In the language of the Bible,
'their wound was incurable' (Jer 30:12) Judgement would come.
So what are the signs that a nation or even the world, is heading down
this track? The book of Romans tells us that in this current age, it is
seen by a different type of judgement - the wrath of abandonment.
Romans chapter 1 speaks of a crazy downward spiral that occurs once a
nation gives up the thought of God. I won't go into this in detail but
it is there in Romans 1:18-32. In short, this passage says that the
evidence of God is abundant all around us in creation so that mankind
is without excuse. But when men make an active choice to suppress this
truth and no longer glorify God or give Him thanks, a darkening of
their heart and mind occurs. The next step, Romans tells us, is that
they start to worship creation and not the creator. Ringing any bells?
Seen any of that in our age? At this point God steps back and gives
them over to the lust of their hearts and sexual immorality. This was
written 2000 years ago but it accurately describes Western society
If they carry on this course they are again given over the Bible says,
this time to homosexuality and a depraved mind leading to all types of
wickedness. The final stage given in Romans as a sign that a nation is
experiencing the wrath of abandonment is the outward approval of all
this wickedness even though inwardly they know it is wrong. In other
words, it is no longer that these things happen in secret or behind
closed doors. The last stage is that it is openly celebrated and
approved of by the masses. Gulp. We are there.
3. Will we or the world know the day of the Lord is coming?
I'll answer this quickly... For the world, the Bible says it will come
like a thief in the night. They are not going to know. Jesus said '
As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the
Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating
and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah
entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen
until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be
at the coming of the Son of Man.' (Matthew 24:37-39)
In a similar manner, the Apostle Paul wrote that
'While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come
on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will
not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day
should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and
sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.'
(1 Thessalonians 5:3-5)
The prophet Daniel was told "Go your way, Daniel, because the words
are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be
purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue
to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are
wise will understand.' (Daniel 12:9-10)
Yet it is different for believers: '
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who
promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one
another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting
together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage
one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.'
Now there are quite a few 'lettuces' there, but please take note of the
last 'lettuce' -
'Let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day
The believer can and should be able to see the day approaching. We
don't know the day nor the hour of when these end time events take
place, but we can see and read the signs so there should be a general
knowledge that that day is approaching - if you are interested in the
Lord's return that is!
4. What does this thought of judgement mean for the believers
We know it is going to be an unprecedented time for the world, but what
about the believer? We can't go into great detail here, but it needs to
be said that the early church wasn't specifically looking for the
coming wrath itself, nor were they looking of the coming world ruler,
the Antichrist. They were looking for the Lord and His return. In fact
Paul commended the Thessalonians because they turned from idols to God,
and were waiting for Jesus to come from heaven who would rescue them
from the wrath to come. (1 Thes 1:9-10) Later, but still in the context
of God's end time judgment upon the world, Paul wrote: '
God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation
through our Lord Jesus Christ.' (
1 Thessalonians 5:9) Now that's not to say that things won't
get difficult for the believer as we approach the last days... They
already are! Terrible persecution exists in many countries for
Christians and even in the West things are definitely changing for the
believer. But in terms of God's wrath and judgment, He does not, and
will not, judge the righteous with the wicked.
But let's look at this general thought of God's judgment and its
relationship to the believer. There we find an amazing thing stated by
the Lord Jesus:
John 5:24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and
believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into
judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
What an amazing verse! The only truly safe place in this entire world
is 'in Christ'.
But you may ask 'If the Christian does not come into judgment, why does
the Bible say that we all must appear before the Judgment seat of
Christ?' Is the Bible contradicting itself? No. We will not be judged
for our sin for another has already been judged for that on our behalf.
Don't ever get used to that truth! But our work and lives as Christians
will be brought into the light to be tested for the purpose of eternal
rewards or lack thereof. We will all step into the light and let the
fire of God test our works. Again, this is nothing to do with sin...
everything to do with eternal rewards. But it's still a thought that
should sober the believer up and get them living more for eternity that
the here and now!
5. Conclusion - How should this thought of judgement affect our
In the light of what we have been talking about, with the coming
judgment of God upon this world and also the thought of one day
standing before the judgment seat of Christ to have your life examined
by the light of God, how should it affect our lives today? What should
be our response? Many things could be said but one that stood out to me
recently was a passage I read in John 9:1-5:
John 9:1-5 As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. (2) And
His disciples asked Him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his
parents, that he would be born blind?" (3) Jesus answered, "It was
neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that
the works of God might be displayed in him. (4) "We must work the
works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when
no one can work. (5) "While I am in the world, I am the Light of
When I read this, it was verse 4 that stood out to me. Let's just
quickly break it down...
'We' must work
- Jesus was speaking to His disciples and by extension, to His
followers today. 'We' must work.
'The works of Him who sent me'
- They are the Fathers works for you. There are general and specific
works we are called to do. All of us are to tell others about the Lord,
where we can, and help them grow in Him. All of us are to show kindness
and mercy and the fruit of the Spirit. But there are specific things
also that the Father has just for you, prepared even before your life
began. Your works are not necessarily my works and what the Father is
asking of me is not necessarily what He is asking of you. What is
important is that you are enquiring of the Lord - 'What would you have
me to do?' There are a 1001 needs out there but you are called to that
which the Father is calling you to do.
'As long as it is day'
- While we have the opportunity make use of the time. Make use of the
day. It is still the day of salvation today. It is still the day of
grace. Work while it is day.
'Night is coming when no one can work'
- This is an interesting phrase. The Bible Knowledge Commentary says 'Night is
the limit set to do God's works. In Jesus' case it was His coming
But for the world in general it could also speak of that time of
darkness that has been prophesied to come at the end of this age. None
of us knows how long 'the day' is and when night is coming. Not for our
own lives or for this world. There is a night coming for us
individually and there is one coming for this world. The Bible is very
clear about that and we have looked into a small fraction of that
today. Work, Jesus said, while it is still day. Eternity is a long
time. Do you think that when you stand before the Lord to have your
life examined you will be disappointed for any of the time that you
spent doing His will during this life? Of course not. Judgment of this
world is coming as we have seen. Night is coming. Now is the day of
salvation. Work while it is still called the day.