Psalm 45 (English Standard Version)
The excitement of a wedding day! Brides in beautiful gowns, an abundance of sweet-smelling flowers, nervous grooms and fathers waiting in the wings for the bride to make her entrance—and all are overflowing with a sense of expectancy that fills the air. The reason behind all of the extravagance, beyond the legal joining of two individuals together, is to celebrate a wonderful event and to capture it as something to remember for all time. This psalm is a celebration, both for the joy of the day and for the joy that is still to come.
A fitting psalm after having read The Song of Solomon!
Your Throne, O God, Is Forever
1My heart overflows with a pleasing theme;
I address my verses to the king;
my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
2You are the most handsome of the sons of men;
grace is poured upon your lips;
therefore God has blessed you forever.
3 Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one,
in your splendor and majesty!
4In your majesty ride out victoriously
for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
let your right hand teach you awesome deeds!
5Your arrows are sharp
in the heart of the king’s enemies;
the peoples fall under you.
6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;
7 you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
from Tozer on the Holy Spirit,
edited by Marilynne E. Foster
“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogancy and the evil way and the froward mouth, do I hate.
— Proverbs 8:13
Our attachment to the Person of Christ must exclude all that is contrary to Christ. These are the days when we are trying to be 100 percent positive. But the Scripture says of Jesus, “Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness” (Psalm 45:7) . . . If He had to hate in order to love, so do you and I.
To be 100 percent positive would be as fatal as to inhale steadily all your life without exhaling. You can’t do that.
When the Church inhales the Holy Spirit she must exhale everything that is contrary to Him.
I don’t believe any man can love until he’s able to hate. I don’t think he can love righteousness unless he hates sin; for the Scripture leaves us with the belief that in order to accept there are some things you must reject. In order to affirm there are things you have to deny; in order to say yes you have to be able to say no.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
8your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
9daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;
at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
Myrrh is a fragrant gum of an Arabian tree, generally used in perfumes. Aloes, a spice, may have come from sandalwood, a close-grained and fragrant wood often used for storage boxes or chests. Cassia was probably made from the flowers of the cinnamon tree. These expensive fragrances were appropriate for a king’s wedding. The location of Ophir is unknown, but believed to be in either Arabia or Africa. It was famous as a source of gold.
–from the notes on Psalm 45:8,9 in the Life Application Bible
Verses 8 and 9 describe a marriage service. Traced for us here is a remarkable series of preparations. First, the groom has prepared himself. The writer says,All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.These are burial spices. You remember that when the women went to the tomb on Easter Sunday morning, they carried with them a quantity of spices–myrrh and aloes–in order to wrap the body of the Lord and preserve it in its death. And yet here these same spices are present at the wedding. What does this mean? This marriage is made possible out of death; somehow out of death comes this fragrant incense that makes glorious the scene of the wedding. You can see how beautifully this fits with what the apostle Paul describes for us in Ephesians 5:25 when he says that Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. He died for it. He went into the bonds of death for us. Why? In order that He might present to Himself a glorious church, a beautiful bride, without spot or blemish or any such thing.
Then, he has prepared a place. We read of where this wedding is to take place:From palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad.It is a picture of a beautiful place, and it reminds us immediately of Jesus’ words to His disciples before the cross. He said to them,I am going there to prepare a place for you(John 14:2). That place is being prepared now. It is a place of beauty and glory beyond any possible description. These terms used here are simply a way of suggesting to us what it is like: ivory palaces filled with music and gladness with a rejoicing company around.
And finally the bride herself is prepared:At your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir.In Oriental custom, the bridegroom himself, who paid for the golden dress, always presented this golden dress to the queen. This is also a wonderful picture for us. Who is it that is preparing us for this day, for this sharing of life together? It is He who is preparing us. He has clothed us with His own righteous golden robe. Gold, in Scripture, is always the picture of deity, and this is a hint of what Peter speaks of:You may participate,he says,in the divine nature(2 Peter 1:4). Do you really grasp this? This is true! Jesus Christ is blending our lives with His and giving us all His position and all His privileges. All that belongs to Him belongs to us. One of the things that is most seriously wrong with the church today is that we are forgetting the privileges we have. We do not reckon on them, we do not think about how tremendous they are. Yet here stands the bride, ready to join Him, dressed in gold that He has provided.
10Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear:
forget your people and your father’s house,
11and the king will desire your beauty.
Since he is your lord, bow to him.
12The people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts,
the richest of the people.
13All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold.
14 In many-colored robes she is led to the king,
with her virgin companions following behind her.
15With joy and gladness they are led along
as they enter the palace of the king.
Revelation 19:6-9 (ESV)
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
(for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints).
And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
16In place of your fathers shall be your sons;
you will make them princes in all the earth.
17 I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations;
therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.
- We are Christ’s bride. What promises do you see for yourself in this passage?
- What kind of a response does seeing the majesty of Christ cause in your own life?
HERE is a beautiful hymn for our beautiful Lord: “Beautiful Savior,” arranged by F. Melius Christiansen. Conductor Emeritus Kenneth Jennings (1925-2015) leads over 900 choir alumni during the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the St. Olaf Choir in June of 2011.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.