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Psalm 45 describes a mystical king, His bride and His marriage. The Bridegroom in Psalm 45 is the Messiah King. The main subject of the Psalm is the King, of course. There is a long-standing tradition in Judaism that this Psalm is prophetic in character and deals with the King Messiah.
The Psalmist is overflowing with a message to teach his recipients. It is a Maskil or a teaching psalm. The word "overflow" in verse 1 is a verb meaning to "bubble up," or "boil." It denotes excited emotion, or lively excitement. Let the tongue overflow with songs of praise. The heart of the poet gushes out with a "good word" from God. "My tongue is the pen of a ready writer" (v. 1). I can identify with the Psalmist in his enthusiasm because my heart overflows with emotion when I think of Jesus Christ. I can shout with excitement, "No Other Song have I to Sing but Jesus." I can illustrate this enthusiasm with this quote of C. H. Spurgeon on Christ. Listen to the pulse beat of this man of God.
I believe that whenever our religion if most vital, it is most full of Christ. . . . I can bear witness that whenever I am in deeps of sorrow, nothing will do for me but "Jesus only." . . . I retreat to the innermost citadel of our holy faith, namely, to the very heart of Christ, when my spirit is assailed by temptation, or besieged with sorrow and anguish. What is more, my witness is that whenever I have high spiritual enjoyments, enjoyments rich, rate, celestial, they are always connected with Jesus only. . . The sublimest, the most inebriating, the most divine of all joys, must be found in Jesus only. . . I find if I want to labor much, I must live on Jesus only; if I desire to suffer patiently, I must feed on Jesus only; if I wish to wrestle with God successfully, I must plead Jesus only; if I aspire to conquer sin, I must use the blood of Jesus only; if I pant to learn the mysteries of heaven, I must seek the teachings of Jesus only. I believe that anything which we add to Christ lowers our position, and that the more elevated our soul becomes, the more nearly like what it is to be when it shall enter into the region of the perfect, the more completely every thing else will sink, die out, and Jesus, Jesus, Jesus only, will be the first and the last. . . . (C. H. Spurgeon, Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon of London, Vol. 9 (N. Y.: Funk & Wagnalls Co., n. d.), pp. 433-434).
With his message bubbling up from an overflowing heart the Hebrew Psalmist wants us to see the King in all His beauty.
THE BEAUTY OF THE KING (45:1-5).
His person is beyond compare (v. 2). "Thou art fairer than the sons of men."
The song was composed out of love for the king and his bride (v. 1). However, someone greater than king Solomon is before our eyes. Every devout Israelite was forced to think of the ideal Person, the coming King who would be anointed by God, and who would shine through the shadowy form of the earthly king.
The features of the everlasting nature of His throne, and its realm, and the divine character of His being reaches beyond King David and his descendants. This king is called the "Mighty God." He is the child with the four names in Isaiah 9:6. "For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace."
The words of this psalm cannot be fulfilled in any person save in Jesus the Messiah. The Psalmist is struck by the superhuman excellencies. The King possesses sovereign beauty in fullest development. There is absolute purity in His character. There is no beauty among men comparable to the beauty of the Messiah. He is the fairest of ten thousand in wisdom, holiness and righteousness. He is the resplendence of His Father's glory which is unaffected by the power and deformity of sin.
The Psalmist writes in verse 2b, "Grace is poured upon Thy lips." The words of Jesus are music to the souls of men. Words of unmingled graciousness and courteousness flowed from His lips. They were words of wisdom, love, pity, grace, gentleness, pardon, forgiveness and assurance. It is the grace of a King. He and His words are altogether lovely and gracious. Luke 4:18-22 records the response to His reading from Isaiah's scroll.
The beauty of the King is more than skin deep. Leaders in Judaism said, "Never did a man speak the way this man speaks" (John 7:46). "We beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth" (1:14). John the Baptist said, "For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things unto His hand" (3:34-35).
In Christ we find no vulgar ambition or lust for conquest. He is no Napoleon or Alexander the Great or Joseph Stalin. There is no self-interest in Him. The enemies spoken of here are not flesh and blood. They are spiritual.
His weapons are "truth, meekness and righteousness" (v. 4). He teaches "awesome things." His method is humility. It is a spiritual kingdom, not political. He conquers Satan with truth. Ephesians 6:12 reads, "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." The Apostle Paul is talking about powers destroyed by Christ.
Christ rode into Jerusalem in a triumph of humility. However, this prophecy is not exhausted with Christ's first coming. There will arrive a day when He comes as King of Kings and Lord of Lords Discover this truth for yourself in Revelation chapter 19. He will return as victorious King and we shall shout, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns" (Revelation 19:6).
Not only does the Psalmist' heart bubble forth with this good theme of the beauty of the King, but he declares
"Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever. . . "
The Messiah's kingdom is an everlasting kingdom (2 Samuel 7:12ff). The Psalmist declares the deity of His person and the eternity of His kingdom. He shall reign as King of kings for all eternity. His throne is everlasting because He is everlasting.
He is characterized as the "Mighty God" (Isa. 9:6).
Hebrews 1:8, 9 gives us the traditional Jewish interpretation of this Psalm. The New Testament writer is quoting Psalm 45:6, 7 and applying the words to Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
But of the Son He says, "THY THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER, AND THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER IS THE SCEPTER OF HIS KINGDOM.”THOU HAST LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS; THEREFORE GOD, THY GOD, HATH ANOINTED THEE WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS ABOVE THY COMPANIONS."
"A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Thy kingdom." Everything He does is right in the sight of a holy God. He is no Ahab or Amon or Manasseh. Here is a righteous ruler to perfection. “"But with righteousness He will judge the poor, And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, And faithfulness the belt about His waist" (Isaiah 11:4-5). Absolute reigning power is safe in His hands.
He is both God and man. Emanuel––God with us. Think of the wonder of this Person, who was the mighty God––yet He became flesh. "Great is the mystery of our faith: God was manifested in flesh!" wrote the Apostle Paul.
“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Thy God, has anointed Thee With the oil of joy above Thy fellows.”
“All Thy garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made Thee glad. Kings' daughters are among Thy noble ladies; At Thy right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.”
The relationship between God and Israel is constantly represented in the Old Testament under the emblem of a marriage relationship. In the New Testament the church is compared to the queen. She is the bride of Christ. Every true believer in Jesus Christ down through the ages is His bride. He counts this universal, invisible Body as His spouse. The spiritual communion between Christ and His church are compared to a marriage relationship.
He has come for His bride. Ephesians 5:25 reminds us "Christ loved His church and gave His life for her" so He might present to Himself a glorious church, a beautiful bride, without spot and without blemish. He has clothed us in His righteousness. Since we are heirs and coheirs with Him all that belongs to Him belongs to us. "We are made partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4).
He has prepared a place for His Bride (verse 8b). "Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made Thee glad." Jesus tells us in John 14:2–3 that He has gone to prepare a very special place for us. When the time in God's sovereign grace is right He will return for us.
What a powerful message the Psalmist wants to teach his people. Your King is beautiful, and He comes with blessings for His bride. Moreover, he has words for the
To be an excellent bride of this King she must take to heart some wisdom of the palmist.
Verse 10 admonishes her to forget her own father's house, and her own people. "Listen, O daughter, give attention and incline your ear; Forget your people and your father's house." There must be entire surrender of herself to Christ. "Count all things loss for the excellencies of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord." Forsake all to follow Him. Forget worldly associations and attachments.
In verse 11 she must be in subordination to her husband. She must be absorbed in the presence of a purer affection. "Then the King will desire your beauty; Because He is your Lord, bow down to Him." He becomes the master of our hearts. Jesus said, "If you love me you will keep my commandments." I think it is sad but true that many times He is no longer King of our hearts. Christianity in our day has become shallow because He is not Lord and Master of our lives. When you desire His beauty you worship Him! You crown Him Lord of your life. Moreover, He will respond in the wonder of His love. "We love Him because He first loved us." That love just keeps on growing.
She must be in complete union and in complete dependence upon her husband.
"The King's daughter is all glorious within; Her clothing is interwoven with gold."
The Bride of Christ is dressed in white robes of His righteousness. She is spotless now. We stand before Him in fine linen clothes, clean and white. They are embroidered with Christlike graces. Our self–righteous rags are stripped away and the best robe of heaven is placed on us. Ephesians 5:26, 27 reads, "so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless" (Ephesians 5:26-27).
The bride is clothed with adoption, justification, sanctification, righteousness, etc. The clothing is bought without money and without cost. How can that be? The King provides it!
The queen must have been someone radiant in beauty.
“She will be led to the King in embroidered work; The virgins, her companions who follow her, Will be brought to Thee. They will be led forth with gladness and rejoicing; They will enter into the King's palace.”
It reminds us of another wedding that will take place when the King comes for His bride. Are you ready for the marriage of the Lamb? Revelation 19:7-9 describes that wedding. "Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready." And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. And he said to me, "Write, 'Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'" And he said to me, "These are true words of God."
Remember the parable of the Ten Virgins. "They that were ready went in with Him unto the marriage, and the door was shut." Which side of the door are you on? Are you ready for His coming in glory? He came in grace to save at His first coming. He returns in glory to judge at His Second Coming.
Today if you will believe on Jesus Christ as your personal Savior He will give you a place in His kingdom. Romans 10:9-13 says. “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him; for ‘WHOEVER WILL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.’"
The whole church will be together at the King's Second Coming (1 Thess. 4:13-18). What a day of rejoicing that will be. There will be
“In place of your fathers will be your sons; You shall make them princes in all the earth. I will cause Thy name to be remembered in all generations; Therefore the peoples will give Thee thanks forever and ever.”
The regal glory of the house of David has reached its climax in Jesus Christ. The Messiah, the Anointed of God, has come in all His beauty. Revelation 5:10-14 declares the worship He is receiving right now and will through all eternity.
"'And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.’ And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.’ And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.’ And the four living creatures kept saying, ‘Amen.’ And the elders fell down and worshiped.”
The Apostle Paul resounded with eternal praise to the Son of God when he wrote Philippians 2:9-11: "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Psalm 72:17-19 breaks forth with same in the same manner. "May his name endure forever; May his name increase as long as the sun shines; And let men bless themselves by him; Let all nations call him blessed. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, Who alone works wonders. And blessed be His glorious name forever; And may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen" (Psalm 72:17-19).
Come worship the King of all glory. Have you bowed your knees before Him and confessed Him as your Lord and Savior? “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”
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Title: Psalm 45:1-17 Worship the King in all His Beauty
Series: Christ in the Old Testament
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2008. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.
Unless otherwise noted “Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.
Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries for ten years. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Honduras.
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