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Question

What does it mean that God will make our enemies a footstool (Psalm 110:1)?

make enemies footstool
Answer


Psalm 110:1 reads, “Of David. A psalm. The LORD says to my lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’” But who is this “lord” the LORD speaks to? Is this meant to pertain to us?

Verses must be read in their context. Psalm 110:1 tells us that this psalm was written by David. In it, David describes the actions of “the LORD,” which is how we render the Hebrew name of God, YHWH, into English. YHWH, or Yahweh, then speaks to “my lord” (Hebrew Adonai), telling this person, this Adonai, to sit at His right hand. This same person has a worldwide rule (Psalm 110:6) and is called “a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek” (verse 4).

David says that Yahweh tells this king and priest whom David calls “my lord” to sit at His right hand. It is important to note that the Lord does not tell David to sit at His right hand; this place is reserved for another.

This person, who isn’t David, is someone whom David as king still considers “Adonai,” an address of honor for someone more notable than the speaker. Who, besides Yahweh, would be more notable than the king?

Jesus claims this title for Himself. The New Testament records Jesus’ references to this passage in multiple places (Matthew 22:44; Mark 12:35–37; Luke 20:42–43). In each passage, Jesus proves that the Messiah, the Christ, is David’s Lord and the One who will sit at Yahweh’s right hand.

The Lord God Almighty, then, will put all of Jesus’ enemies under Jesus’ feet. Hebrews 1, while establishing Jesus’ superiority over the angels, says, “To which of the angels did God ever say, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’?” (Hebrews 1:13).

Psalm 110 predicts the victory of Jesus Christ over all His enemies and the glory He will receive. The apostle John caught a glimpse of this victory, and he wrote, “Then I saw heaven standing open, and there before me was a white horse. And its rider is called Faithful and True. With righteousness He judges and wages war. He has eyes like blazing fire, and many royal crowns on His head. . . . He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is The Word of God. . . . And from His mouth proceeds a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with an iron scepter. He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty” (Revelation 19:11–15). Any victory we attain and any glory we share will be the result of our being in Christ.

Since the promise of Psalm 110 is not for us, we must look at how we as believers are to relate to our enemies:

In Luke 6:27–28, Jesus says, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

Romans 12:19 adds, “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

We are promised to overcome, by faith (1 John 5:4). The punishment of our enemies will come in God’s time and in God’s way. Anyone who sins is ultimately sinning against God, and the enemies of God will be placed under the feet of Jesus.

The sons of Korah knew where their victory came from:

“You are my King and my God,
who decrees victories for Jacob.
Through you we push back our enemies;
through your name we trample our foes.
I put no trust in my bow,
my sword does not bring me victory;
but you give us victory over our enemies,
you put our adversaries to shame.
In God we make our boast all day long,
and we will praise your name forever” (Psalm 44:4–6).


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What does it mean that God will make our enemies a footstool (Psalm 110:1)?
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This page last updated: July 8, 2021