Weds 17 March - Psalm 45
1 My heart is stirred by a noble theme
as I recite my verses for the king;
my tongue is the pen of a skilful writer.
2 You are the most excellent of men
and your lips have been anointed with grace,
since God has blessed you for ever.
3 Gird your sword on your side, you mighty one;
clothe yourself with splendour and majesty.
4 In your majesty ride forth victoriously
in the cause of truth, humility and justice;
let your right hand achieve awesome deeds.
5 Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies;
let the nations fall beneath your feet.
6 Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom.
7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.
8 All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
from palaces adorned with ivory
the music of the strings makes you glad.
9 Daughters of kings are among your honoured women;
at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir.
10 Listen, daughter, and pay careful attention:
Forget your people and your father’s house.
11 Let the king be enthralled by your beauty;
honour him, for he is your lord.
12 The city of Tyre will come with a gift,
people of wealth will seek your favour.
13 All glorious is the princess within her chamber;
her gown is interwoven with gold.
14 In embroidered garments she is led to the king;
her virgin companions follow her –
those brought to be with her.
15 Led in with joy and gladness,
they enter the palace of the king.
16 Your sons will take the place of your fathers;
you will make them princes throughout the land.
17 I will perpetuate your memory through all generations;
therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever.
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Meditation on Psalm 45
In the Night Prayer earlier this week, we were thinking about the lament for Saul and Jonathan – a eulogy that could be read out at the funeral services!
Now, in this Psalm, we are celebrating a wedding service. Who can say what comes next?
Some commentators see this Psalm as referring to King Solomon when he married the Egyptian princess (1 Kings 3:1). That may be so although there is no reference to that specific occasion.
All commentators look beyond the ‘here and now’ interpretation to the ‘then’, looking forward to the Messiah and His relationship to His bride, the Church, and looking even further forward to the great wedding feast of the Lamb who takes the Church, for whom He died, as His bride.
There is an excitement as the Psalmist opens his speech in v.1.
In verses 2-9 the Psalmist is addressing the bridegroom and in verses 10-16 he addresses the bride.
The characteristics of the bridegroom:
- ‘the most excellent of men.’ Here he is being praised for who he is and what he has done, not necessarily his outward appearances. Remember how Isaiah describes the Messiah: ‘He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.’ (Isaiah 53:2)
And yet there was an inner beauty that drew people to Him and still does today.
- ‘your lips have been anointed with grace.’ Luke records, ‘all spoke well of Him (Jesus) and were amazed at the gracious words that came from His lips.’ (Luke 4:22)
- a man who displayed an array of characteristics - ‘majesty’, ‘splendour’, ‘victorious’ but only used ‘in the cause of truth, humility and justice’, all of which are supremely seen in the Messiah.
- ultimately victorious over the nations, as will the Messiah be when He comes again.
- the eternal King – ‘your throne will last for ever and ever.’ See how these verses are used by the writer to the Hebrews to show us the supremacy of Christ. (Hebrews 1:8-9)
- the lover of ‘righteousness’, ‘the hater of wickedness.’ This is why the Messiah died, to deal with wickedness and bring in the reign of righteousness.
- full of joy and glorious in appearance
- ‘anointed with the oil of joy.’ These last two statements are reflected in Isaiah 61:1-3. This is why Jesus came. This is why the Spirit of the LORD was on Him. This was, and is, His ministry. Rejoice in those verses.
And as the bridegroom is being addressed his bride comes alongside him at his right hand.
Now the Psalmist turns his attention to her.
- ‘this is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife and they become one flesh.’ She is about to make a very important decision – she is leaving home to start a new life with her husband. Honour him. Let him be won over by your beauty. This was God’s intention for marriage from the very beginning and Jesus backed it up in His teaching.
- you are going to receive gifts
- you are going to receive visitors.
- you are going to bless them.
- you are going into the king’s palace.
- generations to come will be blessed as a result of this marriage.
Space doesn’t permit more other than to rejoice that the bride here is a picture of the Church – the Bride of Christ - and we are invited to the greatest wedding of all when we get to the King’s palace.
Lord, help us to respond in ‘praise and worship to you for ever and ever.’
Thursday 18 March - Psalm 46
Friday 19 March - Psalm 47
Saturday 20 March - Psalm 48
Sunday 21 March - Psalm 49
Monday 22 March - Psalm 50
Tuesday 23 March - Psalm 51