PSALM 45 TALK: A ROYAL WEDDING SONG (HERE COMES THE BRIDGROOM)

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 PSALM 45 TALK

A ROYAL WEDDING SONG

(HERE COMES THE BRIDGROOM)

 INTRODUCTION

If you were to ask me what was the most significant moment of your life so far I would find it difficult to choose between two great events in my life. The first would be the night in my thirteenth year when I responded to the call to follow Christ. This was my most significant moment because this was when I went from death to life through the grace of Christ.

The second most significant moment in my life was in my twenty eighth year when I married my beautiful wife, Christine. This was a significant moment in my life because through the mystical union of marriage I became a new and different person through the grace of Christ bringing my wife and I together to serve him.

These two great events come together for me in Psalm 45 and the words of Paul in Ephesians 5: 25 – 33,

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband”.

My first introductory comment of Psalm 45 is that it has been called by many a “Royal Wedding Song” and there are two main ways of understanding this Psalm. The first is simply that the Psalm is a song written for the wedding of a king probably Solomon when he married his first wife Pharaoh’s daughter in 1 Kings 3: 1.

The second way of understanding this Psalm is that it is about the Messiah and his relationship with his people, for the Jews, the Nation of Israel and for the Christian, the Church.

I think there is a way of harmonising these two ways of understanding this Psalm. My theory is that a Son of Korah wrote a wedding song for King Solomon. We have seen that the Psalms in this second book of Psalms feature Psalms by the Sons of Korah who wrote their Psalms from the second half of David’s reign to the end of Solomon’s reign. Once the wedding Psalm was composed the author got further inspiration from God to re-write his Royal wedding song with a view to a greater King to come, which was of course the promised Messiah. This is how I make sense of the first verse of this Psalm, which reads,

“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”.

 In this study we will see that when we come to Christ we are united to him like a husband is to his wife. Therefore when we get married or attend the wedding of a Christian we should be reminded of our special union with Christ and that special union should remind us as husbands of our special union with our wives and how we should love our wives, which Paul expresses in the words of Ephesians 5: 25,

“just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy”.

 My second introductory comment is that this Royal wedding song is focussed on the bridegroom and not the bride. At the weddings I have attended the focus seems to be on the bride not the bridegroom. We usually hear the famous Richard Wagner wedding theme played which has become known as, “Here Comes the Bride”. Once that music starts everyone stands up and looks to the back of the church where the bride and her bridal party enters dressed in glorious spender.

However this Royal wedding song could also be called, “Here comes the bridegroom” because it’s focus is on the glories of the bridegroom. Even when the bride is spoken to in the second half of the Psalm she is advised on how she should now relate to her bridegroom the great king who she is about to marry.

We will also learn in this study the glorious nature of our great bridegroom, The Lord Jesus Christ and how he wants us to relate to him as his bride the church. We know that this Psalm relates to Jesus as the great promised bridegroom because the writer to the Hebrews quotes from it referring the Christ and his supremacy over all things in Hebrews 1: 8 – 9.

I have broken this Psalm into four parts:

  1. INTRODUCTION (vs. 1)
  1. HERE COMES THE BRIDEGROOM (vs’s 2 – 9)
  1. HERE COMES THE BRIDE (vs’s 10 – 16)
  1. CONCLUSION (vs. 17)
  1. INTRODUCTION (vs. 1)

 I would like to now comment on this Psalms heading as well and its opening verse.

The heading reads:

“For the director of music. To the tune of “Lilies,” Of the Sons of Korah. A maskil. A wedding song”

 This heading tells us four things:

1.    It was written to a well-known tune of the day called “ Lillies”, not known anymore.

2.   It is a “maskil” or enlightenment and generally means this Psalm teaches us

special things about God and life.

3. It was written by “the sons of Korah” who were Temple singers and musicians

who we know operated during the reins of King David and King Solomon.

4. It was written as a wedding song, probably for King Solomon when he married his first wife, the daughter of Pharaoh as recorded in 1 Kings 3: 1.

So this heading sets up the general context of this Psalm but then the writer opens his song with a private comment that seems totally out of place. Verse 1 reads,

“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”.

As I said in my introduction to this Psalm I believe these words indicate that after this Son of Korah wrote his Royal Wedding song for Solomon he got a special inspired insight of the promise of a greater king to come known to the Jews as the Messiah. The verse seems to suggest this inspiration came to him as he recited or maybe sang his original composition to the King. Maybe led by God’s Holy Spirit the writer changed his original work to speak of the promise of the Messiah. This would explain the words,

“My tongue is the pen of a skilful writer”

 So we will now look at the rest of this Psalm in two ways:

  1. What it is saying to King Solomon and his bride on their wedding day
  1. What it is saying about the coming Messiah King, we know as Jesus Christ.

2.   HERE COMES THE BRIDEGROOM (vs’s 2 – 9)

This section could easily be speaking of Solomon on his wedding day except for verse 6, which reads,

“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom”

 The writer has jumped from the earthly throne of King Solomon to the eternal heavenly throne of God himself. This means that all the words of this section not only speak of King Solomon but of God’s special King to come from heaven.

I think we can learn eight things about this Messiah King from these verses. I believe the writer is giving us a description of the coming bridegroom.

The eight things are:

  1. HE SPEAKS WORDS OF GRACE (verse 2)
  2. HE IS MIGHTY (verse 3)
  3. HE ACHIEVES AWESOME DEEDS (verse 4)
  4. HE OVERCOMES HIS ENEMIES (verse 5)
  5. HE REIGNS ETERNALLY (verse 6)
  6. HE LOVES RIGHTEOUSNESS (verse 7)
  7. HE IS GLORIOUS (verse 8)
  8. HE HAS A BRIDE STANDING BY HIS SIDE (verse 9)
  1. HE SPEAKS WORDS OF GRACE (vs. 2)

 The first part of verse 2 could easily fit Solomon at the start of his reign,

“You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace”

 In 1 Kings 3: 5 – 15, Solomon meets God in a dream and God offers to give him anything he wants and Solomon asks for wisdom to rule, verse 9,

“Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong”.

 In verse 12 and 14 God replies to Solomon’s request with these words,

“I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that their will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”

 So God anointed Solomon’s lips with grace in the form of great wisdom. However Solomon does not stay faithful to God throughout his reign and came under continual pressure to compromise his faith in God by his many foreign wives. As 1 kings 11: 4 records,

“As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been”.

 So the words of verse 2 of this Psalm do not relate to Solomon but a greater bridegroom to come,

“You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever”.

 In Luke 4 : 22 we read what people thought of the words that came from the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ,

“All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked”.

 Jesus spoke great words of wisdom, greater than Solomon in his day, words that Peter is recorded in John 6: 68 as

the words of eternal life”.

 Only Jesus is blessed and lives forever but through him he gives to those who believe in him the gift of eternal life.

As Jesus words promise us in John 11: 25- 26,

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die”.

  1. HE IS MIGHTY (vs. 3)

Verse 3 could also be applied to King Solomon on the day of his wedding to his Egyptian bride.

“Gird your sword upon your side, O mighty one; clothe yourself with splendour and majesty”

 As the king of God’s people on earth Solomon had a very high calling, as he was their chief protector and guide of God’s people. He like his father David had to lead his people into battle against their enemies. Enemies who as we saw from Psalm 2:2 ganged up on Israel and it’s God anointed king,

“The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his anointed One”.

 Like David, Solomon faced opposition and rebellion from within his own nation. We see this particularly in the person of Jeroboam who after Solomon’s death led the split of the Northern Kingdom.

Therefore the words of verse 3 describe better the attributes of the greater bridegroom to come, The Lord Jesus Christ.

He alone is the mighty one who is clothed in splendour. Some commentators say that this verse cannot relate to Jesus as he did not come girding a sword and in fact opposed the use of violence and the sword in his service as quoted in Matthew 26: 52,

“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword”.

 However Jesus in his second coming will come as a mighty glorious judge as Jesus taught in Matthew 24: 30 – 31,

“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other”.

Jesus spoke words of grace when offering us the gift of eternal life made possible by his act of grace in dying for our sins on the cross but as Jesus taught in John 3: 18,

“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son”.

  1. HE ACHIEVES AWESOME DEEDS (vs. 4)

Again the words of verse 4 could well apply to Solomon on the day of his wedding to his first wife, as they would have been a challenge to him in how he should reign over his people.

“In your majesty ride forth victoriously in the cause of truth, humility and justice; let your right hand achieve awesome deeds”.

 At the start of his reign Solomon did seek to govern his people with truth, humility and justice as his request for wisdom to rule would suggest. While he looked to God he certainly achieved some awesome deeds but as his reign went on he looked away from God and in the end the pagan influence of his many foreign wives led him to do evil and corrupted deeds as 1 Kings 11: 9 – 13 records,

The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”

So again this verse is best for filled in the great bridegroom to come, The Lord Jesus Christ who certainly achieved awesome deeds and was victorious in the cause of truth, humility and justice right to the end of his earthly life. It is in his death that the love and justice of God is seen in Jesus supremely as the writer to the Hebrews puts it, Hebrews 12: 2,

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.

The right hand spoken of here is the hand of power as most warriors wielded their swords with their right hand. Interestingly you can see from the Hebrews verse that Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God again signifying power and authority. However this power and authority came through the way of suffering on the cross of Golgotha. This again for fills the words of the Psalm about this coming Messiah when it speaks of victory through,

“truth, humility and justice”

  1. HE OVERCOMES HIS ENEMIES (vs. 5)

 The words of verse 5 would also sit well in the original “Royal Wedding Song” as it speaks of victory for the king over his many enemies.

“Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies; let the nations fall beneath your feet”.

Most wedding speeches would wish the bride and groom a long and successful life together. Success and long life for any ancient King would be continual victories over his enemies. As we saw from Psalm 2 Israel’s kings had many enemies and eventually both Northern and Southern Kingdoms fell to foreign enemies. This means these words could only be for filled in the greater bridegroom to come.

Jesus came the first time to make a way back to God as John 14: 6 says,

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”.

This first coming will be followed by a second coming when Jesus will return and judge the world and establish his kingdom with his bride the church forever. This is spoken about in the Book of Revelation and I love the great and glorious picture language of Jesus coming and meeting his bride the Church in Revelation 21: 9 -11,

“One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal”.

I love the concept of the second coming of Christ in the famous words of Paul in Philippians 2: 9 – 11

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.

 This is the ultimate victory of God over all his enemies.

  1. HE REIGNS ETERNALLY (vs. 6)

 This brings us to the verse that cannot be referring to any earthly king like Solomon as it speaks directly of God and his throne in heaven,

“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom”.

 Why this Son of Korah jumps from a wedding song for his king to a song about the great Bridegroom King to come called the Messiah is unknown. So far most of what he has been saying or singing about could relate to a King like Solomon in the early part of his reign but maybe even this caused him to think that even Solomon could not for fill this lofty description of the bridegroom and only the great king of heaven, God himself could match this exalted description.

For what ever reason this Son of Korah now jumps into heaven to describe the God who rules there.

He tells us two great things about God:

  1. God is eternal
  2. God rules with justice
  1. God is eternal

Unlike the kings of this world who live and reign for a finite time God lives and rules forever. The eternal nature of God is what makes God, God and this characteristic sets God apart from all things. Logically you can only believe in one of two things which is matter is eternal or God is eternal. No matter what modern atheistic scientists teach us order and complexity cannot come out of nothing. The atheist has no choice he must have faith in eternal matter and random chance changes producing the order and wonder of creation that came about over millions and millions of years.

However Christians have their faith in the God of the bible who is eternal and through him as he spoke order and creation came into being. Only God can create something out of nothing, which became the order and wonder of creation such is his power and majesty.

Not only did God create this world but also he rules over it forever and a day. God is not like a time clock God some people believe in. That is God created the world and then withdrew to let it tick away forever. No! The God of the bible is the God who sits on his throne in heaven and rules over all things in heaven and earth. As Pauls says in Ephesians 4: 6,

“One God and father of all, who is over all and through all and in all”

 The wonderful good news of the Gospel of Christ is that even though we deserve death because of our many sins God, through Christ’s death for our sins gives us eternal life as a gift. As Paul puts it in Romans 6: 23,

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life inChrist Jesus our Lord”.

  1. God rules with justice

I have already indicated that this eternal God of the bible rules directly from the throne of heaven but how does he rule?

The answer is found in the second half of verse 6,

“a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom”.

 The sceptre Gordon Churchyard says,

“is the special stick (often made from gold) that a king holds as he rules his people”

 He goes on to say,

“A righteous (or just) sceptre means that the king is good”.

 In a sermon I heard recently the minister said that God knows nothing of injustice and impurity because he is totally holy and totally good.

Out of God’s Holiness flows God’s goodness and justice. This is both a good thing and bad thing for humanity. Good because we can rely on God to always do the right thing but bad because we are all sinful and must pay for our sins with death.

This was the dilemma that faced God once mankind went down the path of sinfulness. God’s answer is of course the cross for in the cross the love of God and the justice of God come perfectly together.

Justice demands from God that sin must be paid for and love led God to send his only son to this world to pay the penalty of our sins on the cross.

The God of the bible therefore is a great God of Love and Justice and we can all experience his love and goodness through faith in his Son and what he has done for us on the cross. As Paul puts it in Romans 5: 1 – 2,

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God”.

 The bridegroom of Heaven is Jesus Christ our Lord and we will see in the second half of Psalm 45 how one day he will be united with his bride, the church who are all the true believers in him connected to him by faith in what he has done for them.

  1. HE LOVES RIGHTEOUSNESS (vs. 7)

 Now we come to another difficult verse to interpret. I draw on the expertise of the great Psalm’s commentator H.C,Leupold to help me here. Leupold writes,

“This verse continues the same strain and gives a more subjective touch to the thought.”

 Leoupold is saying that this Son of Korah is still speaking of the heavenly bridegroom. What relevance this would have had to the original king this song was first written for is interesting to contemplate. Maybe like us the qualities and character of the heavenly bridegroom king acts as an inspiration for his actions as God’s king on earth.

Lets look at this verse then with this in mind,

“You love righteousness and hate wickedness, therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy”.

Leopold starts his explanation of this verse with the words,

“Not only does this champion uphold the cause of Righteousness and suppress wickedness, he also personally loves the one and hates the other”.

 This was the point I made in the previous section that God is totally Holy and righteous and has no hint of wickedness in him. We on the other hand are compromised beings and even our righteous acts are infected with sin as the prophet Isaiah aptly writes in Isaiah 64: 6,

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away”.

What God is like then should be our model and Solomon was one person who late in his reign lost sight of this as we saw in 1 kings 11: 4,

“As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been”.

 Then we come to the difficult words of this verse,

therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy”.

 Is this anointed one here Solomon who would have been ceremonially anointed with oil when he was made king or is the anointed one here the bridegroom of heaven who is to come?

I follow the line of H.C Leopold who indicated that verse 7 is a logical extension of verse 6. This then points to the baptism of Jesus as Acts 10: 37 – 38 indicates,

You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him”.

 Many commentators speak of how the anointing of people in the Old Testament did not always infer the conferring of inward gifts and power but was used to designate and inaugurate a person to some high dignity or employment. At Jesus baptism Jesus was being identified and commissioned for his ministry and also God was recognising him as his Son whom he loved and was most pleased with (Mark 1: 11).

Jesus was truly the man who was above all his companions or any man as the following passage in Colossians 1: 15 – 20 makes very clear,

“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross”.

 Finally this anointing of the Son of God is described in Psalm 45: 7 as,

“Anointing you with the oil of joy”

 This again reminds me of Hebrews 12: 2 and how it speaks of Jesus joy.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.

Jesus joy was the winning of our salvation and the ultimate destination of the way of suffering namely resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the throne of God.

  1. HE IS GLORIOUS (vs. 8)

 The Psalm then switches back to the original Royal wedding song when it speaks of the earthly bridegroom Kings wedding clothes. Even today most people wear the best of clothes on the day of their wedding and in Old Testament times this was certainly the case. The best of substances and materials was used to make King Solomon’s bridegroom clothes.

All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; from palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad.”

Just four of these special substances are mentioned, myrrh, aloes, cassia and ivory. Myrrh, aloes and cassia come from trees and plants and were used for medical purposes and of course to make things smell beautiful. Ivory from the tusks of animals was a precious and beautiful substance used to adorn buildings in ancient times.

Finally music is playing that pleases the king.

What would have been the author’s original intent for this verse?

I think he his painting a picture of the bridegroom’s coming to the wedding and the picture is of a elaborately sweet smelling figure who is full of joy and is now moving towards his bride who we will see is coming to him with her bridal party. I read up on ancient Hebrew wedding customs and discovered that the bridegroom and the bride met at the bride’s house for the start of the ceremony. This was the second part of a two part wedding process with the first part being the signing of a wedding contract called a “Ketubbah” being signed by the heads of the two families usually the two fathers. However if this was the marriage of Solomon and an Egyptian bride the custom of the second part could not have been followed. Interestingly we read of this marriage in 1 Kings 3: 1, which reads,

“Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he finished building his palace and the temple of the Lord, and the wall around Jerusalem”.

 The verse makes a point of telling us that the second part of this wedding did not take place unto the building of the palace, Temple and wall around Jerusalem. Verse 8 speaks of the bridegroom dressed in his sweet smelling robes coming out of palaces adorned with ivory where music is played. This suggests to me that a special style of wedding ceremony is taking place here in the palace of the king. The next verse and the final section describe further this special wedding that took place.

What then is the significance of this verse to the greater bridegroom to come?

Isaiah in Isaiah 61: 10 uses the image of a bridegroom and brides wedding clothes as an image of the garments of salvation to come in God,

“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels”.

 Jesus is of course the great promised bridegroom to come and he is clothed in righteousness and his special clothing of righteousness is his gift to us through faith in him as Romans 3: 21 – 24,

“But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith inJesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus”.

  1. HE HAS A BRIDE STANDING BY HIS SIDE (vs. 9)

The final descriptive verse about the bridegroom also introduces material relating to the bridesmaid as it speaks of the honoured women who surround the bridegroom at his wedding.

“Daughters of kings are among your honoured women; at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir”.

 Interestingly even when the bridegroom and bride meet together at this special marriage ceremony the bridegroom and not the bride is the centre of attention. This bridegroom is said to be surrounded by honourable women, “daughters of kings” maybe this is Solomon who ended up marrying many foreign wives who where daughters of kings. However here the focus is on his special bride who is significantly on his right hand side dressed in gold from a place called Ophir. Churchyard points out that,

“Ophir was a place probably on the east coast of the Red Sea, in what is now Saudi Arabia”.

 What would have been the significants of these words of the wedding song for Solomon in his day?

Simply I believe the writer is describing the marriage of a great king to a special bride and that this took place in the presence of many honourable guests.

What then does this have to say about the greater bridegroom to come?

The answer to this question introduces us the central application idea of the last section of this Psalm, namely the wedding of the great bridegroom Jesus Christ and his bride the church as spoken of twice in the book of Revelations. I will quote the first of these wedding verses here, namely Revelation 19: 6 – 9,

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting,

“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God”.

This is a picture of the special union of Christ and his church throughout the ages and at this special wedding ceremony to come in heaven will have many honoured guests, which will include all the hosts of Heaven and God sitting on his great throne in heaven. We will explore this great application of this Psalm in the final section.

  1. HERE COMES THE BRIDE (vs’s 10 – 16)

We now come to the part of the Psalm were the focus of the Royal wedding song turns to the bride. Although even here the words to the bride are mainly about how she can best serve her great bridegroom the king.

I have broken the words to and about the bride into five parts:

  1. THE BRIDES NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BRIDEGROOM (vs. 10)
  2. THE LOVE THE BRIDEGROOM HAS FOR HIS BRIDE (vs. 11)
  3. THE BLESSINGS OF BEING THE BRIDE (vs. 12)
  4. THE GLORIOUS CLOTHES OF THE BRIDE (vs’s 13 – 15)
  5. THE FRUITS OF BEING THE BRIDE (vs. 16)
  1. THE BRIDES NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BRIDEGROOM (vs. 10)

 Paul quotes God’s desire and design of human marriage in Ephesians 5: 31, which is laid down in Genesis 2: 24,

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

 In Psalm 45: 10 the emphasis is on the bride leaving her father and mother to be united in a new relationship with her bridegroom the king,

“Listen, daughter, and pay careful attention: Forget your people and your father’s house”.

 I will continue my stated practice of the previous section of relating this Psalm to the likely original setting of the Psalm and then to the application of the greater bridegroom to come.

This daughter of Pharaoh must forget her allegiances to her former family namely Egypt and its ruler Pharaoh. This is not a unreasonable request because down through the ages the history of Kings and Queens can refer to many similar arranged marriages where princesses or princes of different countries have married and how they have been willing to separate their allegiances from their old country has often determined their success or failure in the new Kingdom.

For Solomon this issue actually became the controlling fate of his success of his life and rule as we see again from 1 kings 11: 4,

“As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been”.

 These wives of Solomon did not forget their religious allegiances of the countries they came from and through this eventually dragged Solomon into adulterous false worship of other God’s.

This is a lesson in the danger of Christians marrying non-believers. I have seen personally how destructive this has been to many friends of mine who have married non-Christians and as a result compromised their faith in God.

So then how does this apply to the greater bridegroom to come in Jesus Christ?

Paul had a lot to say about our new relationship with Christ and how it impacts on how we now live our lives. A good example of this is the famous “New Creation” passage in 2 Corinthians 5: 16 – 21,

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”.

 Note how Paul teaches us that when we come to Christ things must change from the way we regard others to what our goals and prime driving forces must be. He goes further here to tell us we are now “Christ’s ambassadors”.

When we come to Christ we are like Solomon’s Egyptian bride. Like her we are to put our former lives of sin and self- centeredness behind us and live the way Jesus now wants us to live. I find this a very challenging thought and know that I often slip back to the my former allegiances which the writer of Psalm 45 called,

 “Your people and your father’s house”

  1. THE LOVE THE BRIDEGROOM HAS FOR HIS BRIDE (vs. 11)

 This verse makes it clear that even though Solomon’s marriage to the Egyptian princess was an arranged marriage he really did love her,

“The King is enthralled by your beauty, honour him, for he is your Lord”.

 Is this verse suggesting the king’s love is only skin deep, that he loves his bride just because of her beauty?

We are not told if the King saw in his bride her inner beauty but in the case of Solomon this beautiful young Egyptian first bride eventually becomes simply one of many.

The advice to the bride is,

“Honour him, for he is your Lord”

Coffman fleshes out the full Hebrew meaning with,

“Bow down before him”, Worship him”, “adore him”, “He is thy Lord”.

 This great king demands nothing more than his wife’s complete adoration and devotion of his bride and yet he eventually fails to give that to her as time goes on.

However when we look to the great bridegroom to come the meaning of this verse takes on a very different meaning.

Christ loves his bride even though she dose not deserve his love. Interestingly the concept of God being the loyal devoted husband and his people being the bride or wife also appears in the book of Hosea. Here, God’s people Israel are depicted as the unfaithful wife who becomes a prostitute and God is the faithful loving husband who continues to love his wife and go after her. I love the passage in Hosea 2: 18 – 23, where the grace or underserved love of God is offered to Israel,

In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle
 I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.

I will betroth you unfaithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.“In that day I will respond,” declares the Lord—
“I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth; and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, and they will respond to Jezebel.I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”

 This marvellous passage is only matched by another passage in the New Testament that is the fulfilment of Hosea’s prophecy, Romans 5: 6 – 11,

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation”.

Therefore the greater bridegroom to come, namely Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour loves us even though we are not beautiful like that faithless prostitute wife of Hosea but he wants to make us beautiful through his death and resurrection for us.

How then should we respond?

Just as the second half of verse 11 says,

“Honour him, for he is your Lord”

As Coffman fleshes out what that means,

“Bow down before him”, Worship him”, “adore him”, “He is thy Lord”.

  1. THE BLESSINGS OF BEING THE BRIDE (vs. 12)

 This Son of Korah goes on to spell out in his Royal Wedding song the material blessings this bride of Solomon will receive by being united to him,

“The Daughter of Tyre will come with a gift, men of wealth will seek your favour”.

 The bride’s devotion and submission to this great King will reap substantial material rewards just the Nation of Tyre is singled out bringing gifts to the wedding. Tyre is the ancient capital of the rich and successful Phoenician nation and their gift would have been substantial. Added to this is the word about wealthy men seeking her favor. They of course sought the favor of King Solomon but through her intimate connection with him she reaps his material blessings as well.

Solomon is famous for his wealth and fame attributed to his great wisdom. The fame and wealth of Solomon is beautifully captured in the story of the visit of the Queen of Sheba and her assessment of Solomon and his wealth is a good summary of how wealthy Solomon became, 1 Kings 10: 4- 7,

“When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed.

She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard”.

 As much as these material blessings are they cannot match the spiritual blessings we have in the greater bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul spells out something of this great spiritual blessings we have in Christ in Ephesians 1: 3 – 10,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to son ship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfilment to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ”.

 I have come across many in my life who seem to indicate they feel they would have to give up so much if they where to become a Christian but I have found I have take up far more than I had to give up when I became a follower of Christ.

I cannot promise material blessing if you choose to follow Christ although I know many Christians who have much material blessings but I can promise what Paul calls blessing,

“in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ”. (Ephesians 1: 3)

  1. THE GLORIOUS CLOTHES OF THE BRIDE (vs’s 13 – 15)

 One of the things that always stand out in my mind when I think of weddings I have attended is the beauty of the bride and her bridal party. They say that a woman usually looks her best on the day of her wedding. Great expense and trouble goes into the wedding dress, the make up and hair of most brides and her bridesmaids.

The bride and her bridesmaids in the Royal wedding song is no different as we see from verses 13 – 15,

“All glorious is the princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold.

In embroidered garments she is led to the king; her virgin companions follow her—those brought to be with her. Led in with joy and gladness, they enter the palace of the king”.

 These verses in their original context described a beautiful bride and bridal party of young brides maids. Her clothing is dazzling and very exotic with gold thread and embroidery. The whole scene is one of great joy and rejoicing and this only emphasis the glorious occasion of this special wedding.

What has this to do with the greater bridegroom to come?

Revelation 19: 6 – 9 speaks of the great wedding to come of Christ – the bridegroom and his bride the church in heaven,

“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:” Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

In Revelation 7 we read of that all true believers will be dressed in clothes made pure and holy by the blood of the Lamb, the death of Jesus for our sins on the cross, Revelation 7: 13 – 14,

Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb”.

So the bridegrooms bride is dressed in glorious clothes made from the righteous acts of his people made pure and holy by his death on the cross for their sins.

The great joy and benefits of this union is spoken of in the verses that follow this,

Therefore, “they are before the throne of God
 and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne
 will shelter them with his presence. ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water.’‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’” (Revelation 7: 15 – 17)

  1. THE FRUITS OF BEING THE BRIDE (vs. 16)

 The writers final word to the bride speak of the great fruits or benefits that will come out of her union to the king, her bridegroom.

“Your sons will take the place of your fathers; you will make them princes throughout the land”.

 Marriage has always been the foundation of a family in the bible as we see in a verse like Malachi 2: 15,

“Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he is seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth”.

 The fruit of this brides union with her bridegroom is princely offspring, the next generation of the kingly rule of Israel. Of course we know that after Solomon died the country split and this is attributed to his falling away from devotion to the Lord influenced by his many pagan wives, 1 Kings 11: 9 – 13 records,

The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”

However in this Royal wedding song Solomon’s Egyptian wife is again instructed to leave behind her former Egyptian allegiances and see her new family as the replacement for them. Her great role is described then as producing royal offspring in her new homeland of Israel. J. Ligon Duncan pulls verse 16 and 17 that speaks of the perpetual nature of this union with theses words,

“You’re going to have descendants, heirs after you, generation upon generation. Your marriage is going to be fruitful, and sons are going to sit on the throne”.

How can we relate this to the great bridegroom to come?

God has called us through our relationship with the great bridegroom Jesus Christ to be his great offspring and Kingdom as Revelation 1: 6 says,

“And has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father”.

Our union with Christ will bear much fruit as Jesus predicted in John 15: 5,

“I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”.

I see this fruit in two ways:

  1. The fruit of the spirit
  2. The fruit of helping to make new Disciples of Christ.
  1. The fruit of the Spirit

Paul speaks of the good things our relationship in Christ will produce as fruits of the Spirit as he sets down in Galatians 5: 22 – 26,

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other”.

So the results of coming to Christ should and must be seen in clear and practical qualities that only God’s Spirit can produce.

  1. The fruit of helping to make new Disciples of Christ.

The second kind of fruit that union with Christ producers is helping to for fill the great commission, Matthew 28: 18 – 20,

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Through our active prayerful witness and ministries we can be used by God to win others for Christ. We then are used by the great bridegroom to help produce prince and princesses for him. Paul teaches us in 2 Timothy 2: 11 – 13, that if we are in Christ we will reign with Christ,

“Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself”.

It will be a great joy one day to meet others in heaven that we have helped in this life in one way or another to come to Christ opening up the way for them to enter glory as well.

One day many years ago I went to training session to be a counselor at the last Billy Graham crusade held in Sydney. At that meeting two young men, then in there early twenties came up to me and told me I had helped them come to Christ through a camp they had attended many years before. These two young men were primary school aged children who were in my little group at that camp and honestly all I could remember of them was that they gave me a very difficult time but praise God he used me to help these two young boys come to Christ.

4. CONCLUSION (vs. 17)

 This last verse could not be referring to the young Egyptian bride that the previous verses have been doing as it would not be her perpetual memory this verse is speaking about. It would not be also the perpetual memory of the bridegroom Solomon as he ended up a flawed and failed king. It must then be a conclusion of the inspired concept of this Royal Wedding Song namely the perpetual memory of the great bridegroom to come.

The verse reads,

“I will perpetuate your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever”.

I like the way John Calvin comments on this verse and his insightful words follow,

“The furious efforts of Satan and the whole world have not been able to extinguish the name of Christ, which, being transmitted from one generation to another, still retains its glory in every age, even as at this day we see it celebrated in every language”.

Calvin wrote these words somewhere in the middle of the 1500’s and they still are true today over 500 years later. He goes on to give us excellent application of this verse with these words,

“And although the greater part of the world tear it to pieces by their impious blasphemies, yet it is enough that God stirs up his servant every where to proclaim with fidelity and with unfeigned zeal the praises of Christ”.

I close with that wonderful doxology in Jude 1: 24 – 25 and my poem called, “The Heavenly Wedding Song”,

“To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen”.

THE HEAVENLY WEDDING SONG

 I see the groom and the bride

And my heart is stirred

To think of Christ the Lord above

And his loving word

That tells me that he waits for me

To join with him above

Like a bride joins with her groom

In a wonderful union of love.

 

Chorus:

 

Your throne Oh God is eternal

The place of justice and love

And there your Son waits for us

The Savoir up above.

 

As the groom waits for his bride

I think of Christ above

Who came from his father’s house

To reveal to us his love

He spoke with words of grace and truth

He cured the sick and lame

Like the groom who loves his bride

Forever praise his holy name.

 

 

The groom is dressed in splendored clothes

But Christ is dressed in light

For he is pure and knows no sin

Only his death could make us right

He rose from death to God above

And waits for his coming bride

The church is the bride of Christ

For which he surely died.

 

 

The groom would give his life for her

So great is his love for his bride

Jesus gave his life for us

On a cross he cruelly died

He is greater than anyone else

No one can match his love

For God anointed him to be

Our Savoir from above.

 

 

The bride now comes down the aisle

Her beauty is great to see

She makes me think of the day

When we’ll rise to God so free

Dressed in the righteousness of Christ

We will be united with our groom

Forever will we be with him

In his celestial room.

 

 

So now I long to serve my Lord

By helping others to learn

That God sent Jesus to this world

So that we might be re–born

Saved by faith in what Christ did

When he died to make us a way

To join the heavenly wedding feast

As the bride of the groom one day.

 

Chorus:

 

Your throne Oh God is eternal

The place of justice and love

And there your Son waits for us

The Savoir up above.

 

By: Jim Wenman

 

 

PRAYER:

Father in heaven I want to thank you for sending your son into this world to rescue me from the penalty of my sins. I thank you that you have called me into your wonderful world wide church, your family which will one day be united with your Son in heaven like a bride is united with her husband in marriage. I look forward to the great wedding feast in heaven but unto then help me to help others in this world come to know your great love so that they to might be able to join in your eternal celebrations in heaven. In The Name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savoir. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide”.

 

PSALM 45 TALK

A ROYAL WEDDING SONG

(HERE COMES THE BRIDEGROOM)

 

INTRODUCTION

 

If you were to ask me what was the most significant moment of your life so far I would find it difficult to choose between two great events in my life. The first would be the night in my thirteenth year when I responded to the call to follow Christ. This was my most significant moment because this was when I went from death to life through the grace of Christ.

 

The second most significant moment in my life was in my twenty eighth year when I married my beautiful wife, Christine. This was a significant moment in my life because through the mystical union of marriage I became a new and different person through the grace of Christ bringing my wife and I together to serve him.

 

These two great events come together for me in Psalm 45 and the words of Paul in Ephesians 5: 25 – 33,

 

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband”.

 

My first introductory comment of Psalm 45 is that it has been called by many a “Royal Wedding Song” and there are two main ways of understanding this Psalm. The first is simply that the Psalm is a song written for the wedding of a king probably Solomon when he married his first wife Pharaoh’s daughter in 1 Kings 3: 1.

 

The second way of understanding this Psalm is that it is about the Messiah and his relationship with his people, for the Jews, the Nation of Israel and for the Christian, the Church.

 

I think there is a way of harmonizing these two ways of understanding this Psalm. My theory is that a Son of Korah wrote a wedding song for King Solomon. We have seen that the Psalms in this second boof of Psalms feature Psalms by the Sons of Korah who wrote their Psalms from the second half of David’s reign to the end of Solomon’s reign. Once the wedding Psalm was composed the author got further inspiration from God to re-write his Royal wedding song with a view to a greater King to come, which was of course the promised Messiah. This is how I make sense of the first verse of this Psalm, which reads,

 

 

“My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer”.

 

In this study we will see that when we come to Christ we are united to him like a husband is to his wife. Therefore when we get married or attend the wedding of a Christian we should be reminded of our special union with Christ and that special union should remind us as husbands of our special union with our wives and how we should love our wives, which Paul expresses in the words of Ephesians 5: 25,

 

“just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy”.

 

My second introductory comment is that this Royal wedding song is focussed on the bridegroom and not the bride. At the weddings I have attended the focus seems to be on the bride not the bridegroom. We usually hear the famous Richard Wagner wedding theme played which has become known as, “Here Comes the Bride”. Once that music starts everyone stands up and looks to the back of the church where the bride and her bridal party enters dressed in glorious spender.

 

However this Royal wedding song could also be called, “Here comes the bridegroom” because it’s focus is on the glories of the bridegroom. Even when the bride is spoken to in the second half of the Psalm she is advised on how she should now relate to her bridegroom the great king who she is about to marry.

 

We will also learn in this study the glorious nature of our great bridegroom, The Lord Jesus Christ and how he wants us to relate to him as his bride the church. We know that this Psalm relates to Jesus as the great promised bridegroom because the writer to the Hebrews quotes from it referring the Christ and his supremacy over all things in Hebrews 1: 8 – 9.

 

I have broken this Psalm into four parts:

 

  1. INTRODUCTION (vs. 1)

 

  1. HERE COMES THE BRIDEGRROM (vs’s 2 – 9)

 

  1. HERE COMES THE BRIDE (vs’s 10 – 16)

 

  1. CONCLUSION (vs. 17)

 

  1. INTRODUCTION (vs. 1)

 

I would like to now comment on this Psalms heading as well and its opening verse.

 

The heading reads:

 

“For the director of music. To the tune of “Lilies,” Of the Sons of Korah. A maskil. A wedding song”

 

This heading tells us four things:

 

  1. It was written to a well-known tune of the day called “Lillies”, not known anymore.

 

2.   It is a “maskil” or enlightenment and generally means this Psalm teaches us

special things about God and life.

 

3. It was written by “the sons of Korah” who were Temple singers and musicians

who we know operated during the reins of King David and King Solomon.

  1. It was written as a wedding song, probably for King Solomon when he married his first wife, the daughter of Pharaoh as recorded in 1 Kings 3: 1.

 

So this heading sets up the general context of this Psalm but then the writer opens his song with a private comment that seems totally out of place. Verse 1 reads,

 

“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”.

 

As I said in my introduction to this Psalm I believe these words indicate that after this Son of Korah wrote his Royal Wedding song for Solomon he got a special inspired insight of the promise of a greater king to come known to the Jews as the Messiah. The verse seems to suggest this inspiration came to him as he recited or maybe sang his original composition to the King. Maybe led by God’s Holy Spirit the writer changed his original work to speak of the promise of the Messiah. This would explain the words,

 

“My tongue is the pen of a skilful writer”

 

So we will now look at the rest of this Psalm in two ways:

 

  1. What it is saying to King Solomon and his bride on their wedding day

 

  1. What it is saying about the coming Messiah King, we know as Jesus Christ.

 

2.   HERE COMES THE BRIDEGRROM (vs’s 2 – 9)

 

This section could easily be speaking of Solomon on his wedding day except for verse 6, which reads,

 

“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom”

 

The writer has jumped from the earthly throne of King Solomon to the eternal heavenly throne of God himself. This means that all the words of this section not only speak of King Solomon but of God’s special King to come from heaven.

 

I think we can learn eight things about this Messiah King from these verses. I believe the writer is giving us a description of the coming bridegroom.

 

The eight things are:

 

  1. HE SPEAKS WORDS OF GRACE (verse 2)
  2. HE IS MIGHTY (verse 3)
  3. HE ACHIEVES AWESOME DEEDS (verse 4)
  4. HE OVERCOMES HIS ENENEMIES (verse 5)
  5. HE REIGNS ETERNALLY (verse 6)
  6. HE LOVES RIGHTEOUSNESS (verse 7)
  7. HE IS GLORIOUS (verse 8)
  8. HE HAS A BRIDE STANDING BY HIS SIDE (verse 9)

 

  1. HE SPEAKS WORDS OF GRACE (vs. 2)

 

The first part of verse 2 could easily fit Solomon at the start of his reign,

 

“You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace”

 

In 1 Kings 3: 5 – 15, Solomon meets God in a dream and God offers to give him anything he wants and Solomon asks for wisdom to rule, verse 9,

 

“Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong”.

 

In verse 12 and 14 God replies to Solomon’s request with these words,

 

“I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that their will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”

 

So God anointed Solomon’s lips with grace in the form of great wisdom. However Solomon does not stay faithful to God throughout his reign and came under continual pressure to compromise his faith in God by his many foreign wives. As 1 kings 11: 4 records,

 

“As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been”.

 

So the words of verse 2 of this Psalm do not relate to Solomon but a greater bridegroom to come,

 

“You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever”.

 

In Luke 4 : 22 we read what people thought of the words that came from the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ,

 

“All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked”.

 

Jesus spoke great words of wisdom, greater than Solomon in his day, words that Peter is recorded in John 6: 68 as

 

the words of eternal life”.

 

Only Jesus is blessed and lives forever but through him he gives to those who believe in him the gift of eternal life.

 

As Jesus words promise us in John 11: 25- 26,

 

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die”.

 

 

 

  1. HE IS MIGHTY (vs. 3)

 

Verse 3 could also be applied to King Solomon on the day of his wedding to his Egyptian bride.

 

“Gird your sword upon your side, O mighty one; clothe yourself with splendour and majesty”

 

As the king of God’s people on earth Solomon had a very high calling, as he was their chief protector and guide of God’s people. He like his father David had to lead his people into battle against their enemies. Enemies who as we saw from Psalm 2:2 ganged up on Israel and it’s God anointed king,

 

“The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his anointed One”.

 

Like David, Solomon faced opposition and rebellion from within his own nation. We see this particularly in the person of Jeroboam who after Solomon’s death led the split of the Northern Kingdom.

 

Therefore the words of verse 3 describe better the attributes of the greater bridegroom to come, The Lord Jesus Christ.

 

He alone is the mighty one who is clothed in splendour. Some commentators say that this verse cannot relate to Jesus as he did not come girding a sword and in fact opposed the use of violence and the sword in his service as quoted in Matthew 26: 52,

 

“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword”.

 

However Jesus in his second coming will come as a mighty glorious judge as Jesus taught in Matthew 24: 30 – 31,

 

“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earthwill mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other”.

Jesus spoke words of grace when offering us the gift of eternal life made possible by his act of grace in dying for our sins on the cross but as Jesus taught in John 3: 18,

“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son”.

  1. HE ACHIEVES AWESOME DEEDS (vs. 4)

 

Again the words of verse 4 could well apply to Solomon on the day of his wedding to his first wife, as they would have been a challenge to him in how he should reign over his people.

 

“In your majesty ride forth victoriously in the cause of truth, humility and justice; let your right hand achieve awesome deeds”.

 

At the start of his reign Solomon did seek to govern his people with truth, humility and justice as his request for wisdom to rule would suggest. While he looked to God he certainly achieved some awesome deeds but as his reign went on he looked away from God and in the end the pagan influence of his many foreign wives led him to do evil and corrupted deeds as 1 Kings 11: 9 – 13 records,

 

The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”

So again this verse is best for filled in the great bridegroom to come, The Lord Jesus Christ who certainly achieved awesome deeds and was victorious in the cause of truth, humility and justice right to the end of his earthly life. It is in his death that the love and justice of God is seen in Jesus supremely as the writer to the Hebrews puts it, Hebrews 12: 2,

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.

The right hand spoken of here is the hand of power as most warriors wielded their swords with their right hand. Interestingly you can see from the Hebrews verse that Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God again signifying power and authority. However this power and authority came through the way of suffering on the cross of Golgotha. This again for fills the words of the Psalm about this coming Messiah when it speaks of victory through,

“truth, humility and justice”

  1. HE OVERCOMES HIS ENENEMIES (vs. 5)

 

The words of verse 5 would also sit well in the original “Royal Wedding Song” as it speaks of victory for the king over his many enemies.

“Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies; let the nations fall beneath your feet”.

Most wedding speeches would wish the bride and groom a long and successful life together. Success and long life for any ancient King would be continual victories over his enemies. As we saw from Psalm 2 Israel’s kings had many enemies and eventually both Northern and Southern Kingdoms fell to foreign enemies. This means these words could only be for filled in the greater bridegroom to come.

 

Jesus came the first time to make a way back to God as John 14: 6 says,

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”.

This first coming will be followed by a second coming when Jesus will return and judge the world and establish his kingdom with his bride the church forever. This is spoken about in the Book of Revelation and I love the great and glorious picture language of Jesus coming and meeting his bride the Church in Revelation 21: 9 -11,

“One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal”.

I love the concept of the second coming of Christ in the famous words of Paul in Philippians 2: 9 – 11

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.

 

This is the ultimate victory of God over all his enemies.

 

 

  1. HE REIGNS ETERNALLY (vs. 6)

 

This brings us to the verse that cannot be referring to any earthly king like Solomon as it speaks directly of God and his throne in heaven,

 

“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom”.

 

Why this Son of Korah jumps from a wedding song for his king to a song about the great Bridegroom King to come called the Messiah is unknown. So far most of what he has been saying or singing about could relate to a King like Solomon in the early part of his reign but maybe even this caused him to think that even Solomon could not for fill this lofty description of the bridegroom and only the great king of heaven, God himself could match this exalted description.

 

For what ever reason this Son of Korah now jumps into heaven to describe the God who rules there.

 

He tells us two great things about God:

 

  1. God is eternal
  2. God rules with justice

 

  1. God is eternal

 

Unlike the kings of this world who live and reign for a finite time God lives and rules forever. The eternal nature of God is what makes God, God and this characteristic sets God apart from all things. Logically you can only believe in one of two things which is matter is eternal or God is eternal. No matter what modern atheistic scientists teach us order and complexity cannot come out of nothing. The atheist has no choice he must have faith in eternal matter and random chance changes producing the order and wonder of creation that came about over millions and millions of years.

 

However Christians have their faith in the God of the bible who is eternal and through him as he spoke order and creation came into being. Only God can create something out of nothing, which became the order and wonder of creation such is his power and majesty.

 

Not only did God create this world but also he rules over it forever and a day. God is not like a time clock God some people believe in. That is God created the world and then withdrew to let it tick away forever. No! The God of the bible is the God who sits on his throne in heaven and rules over all things in heaven and earth. As Pauls says in Ephesians 4: 6,

 

“One God and father of all, who is over all and through all and in all”

 

The wonderful good news of the Gospel of Christ is that even though we deserve death because of our many sins God, through Christ’s death for our sins gives us eternal life as a gift. As Paul puts it in Romans 6: 23,

 

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life inChrist Jesus our Lord”.

  1. God rules with justice

I have already indicated that this eternal God of the bible rules directly from the throne of heaven but how does he rule?

The answer is found in the second half of verse 6,

“a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom”.

 

The sceptre Gordon Churchyard says,

 

“is the special stick (often made from gold) that a king holds as he rules his people”

 

He goes on to say,

 

“A righteous (or just) sceptre means that the king is good”.

 

In a sermon I heard recently the minister said that God knows nothing of injustice and impurity because he is totally holy and totally good.

 

Out of God’s Holiness flows God’s goodness and justice. This is both a good thing and bad thing for humanity. Good because we can rely on God to always do the right thing but bad because we are all sinful and must pay for our sins with death.

 

This was the dilemma that faced God once mankind went down the path of sinfulness. God’s answer is of course the cross for in the cross the love of God and the justice of God come perfectly together.

 

Justice demands from God that sin must be paid for and love led God to send his only son to this world to pay the penalty of our sins on the cross.

 

The God of the bible therefore is a great God of Love and Justice and we can all experience his love and goodness through faith in his Son and what he has done for us on the cross. As Paul puts it in Romans 5: 1 – 2,

 

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And weboast in the hope of the glory of God”.

 

The bridegroom of Heaven is Jesus Christ our Lord and we will see in the second half of Psalm 45 how one day he will be united with his bride, the church who are all the true believers in him connected to him by faith in what he has done for them.

 

  1. HE LOVES RIGHTEOUSNESS (vs. 7)

 

Now we come to another difficult verse to interpret. I draw on the expertise of the great Psalm’s commentator H.C,Leupold to help me here. Leupold writes,

 

“This verse continues the same strain and gives a more subjective touch to the thought.”

 

Leoupold is saying that this Son of Korah is still speaking of the heavenly bridegroom. What relevance this would have had to the original king this song was first written for is interesting to contemplate. Maybe like us the qualities and character of the heavenly bridegroom king acts as an inspiration for his actions as God’s king on earth.

 

Lets look at this verse then with this in mind,

 

“You love righteousness and hate wickedness, therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy”.

 

Leopold starts his explanation of this verse with the words,

 

“Not only does this champion uphold the cause of Righteousness and suppress wickedness, he also personally loves the one and hates the other”.

 

This was the point I made in the previous section that God is totally Holy and righteous and has no hint of wickedness in him. We on the other hand are compromised beings and even our righteous acts are infected with sin as the prophet Isaiah aptly writes in Isaiah 64: 6,

 

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away”.

 

What God is like then should be our model and Solomon was one person who late in his reign lost sight of this as we saw in 1 kings 11: 4,

 

 

“As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been”.

 

Then we come to the difficult words of this verse,

 

therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy”.

 

Is this anointed one here Solomon who would have been ceremonially anointed with oil when he was made king or is the anointed one here the bridegroom of heaven who is to come?

 

I follow the line of H.C Leopold who indicated that verse 7 is a logical extension of verse 6. This then points to the baptism of Jesus as Acts 10: 37 – 38 indicates,

 

 “You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him”.

 

Many commentators speak of how the anointing of people in the Old Testament did not always infer the conferring of inward gifts and power but was used to designate and inaugurate a person to some high dignity or employment. At Jesus baptism Jesus was being identified and commissioned for his ministry and also God was recognizing him as his Son whom he loved and was most pleased with (Mark 1: 11).

 

Jesus was truly the man who was above all his companions or any man as the following passage in Colossians 1: 15 – 20 makes very clear,

 

“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross”.

 

Finally this anointing of the Son of God is described in Psalm 45: 7 as,

 

“Anointing you with the oil of joy”

 

This again reminds me of Hebrews 12: 2 and how it speaks of Jesus joy.

 

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.

Jesus joy was the winning of our salvation and the ultimate destination of the way of suffering namely resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the throne of God.

 

 

  1. HE IS GLORIOUS (vs. 8)

 

The Psalm then switches back to the original Royal wedding song when it speaks of the earthly bridegroom Kings wedding clothes. Even today most people wear the best of clothes on the day of their wedding and in Old Testament times this was certainly the case. The best of substances and materials was used to make King Solomon’s bridegroom clothes.

 

All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; from palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad.”

 

Just four of these special substances are mentioned, myrrh, aloes, cassia and ivory. Myrrh, aloes and cassia come from trees and plants and were used for medical purposes and of course to make things smell beautiful. Ivory from the tusks of animals was a precious and beautiful substance used to adorn buildings in ancient times.

 

Finally music is playing that pleases the king.

 

What would have been the author’s original intent for this verse?

 

I think he his painting a picture of the bridegroom’s coming to the wedding and the picture is of a elaborately sweet smelling figure who is full of joy and is now moving towards his bride who we will see is coming to him with her bridal party. I read up on ancient Hebrew wedding customs and discovered that the bridegroom and the bride met at the bride’s house for the start of the ceremony. This was the second part of a two part wedding process with the first part being the signing of a wedding contract called a “Ketubbah” being signed by the heads of the two families usually the two fathers. However if this was the marriage of Solomon and an Egyptian bride the custom of the second part could not have been followed. Interestingly we read of this marriage in 1 Kings 3: 1, which reads,

 

“Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he finished building his palace and the temple of the Lord, and the wall around Jerusalem”.

 

The verse makes a point of telling us that the second part of this wedding did not take place unto the building of the palace, Temple and wall around Jerusalem. Verse 8 speaks of the bridegroom dressed in his sweet smelling robes coming out of palaces adorned with ivory where music is played. This suggests to me that a special style of wedding ceremony is taking place here in the palace of the king. The next verse and the final section describe further this special wedding that took place.

 

What then is the significance of this verse to the greater bridegroom to come?

 

Isaiah in Isaiah 61: 10 uses the image of a bridegroom and brides wedding clothes as an image of the garments of salvation to come in God,

 

“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels”.

 

Jesus is of course the great promised bridegroom to come and he is clothed in righteousness and his special clothing of righteousness is his gift to us through faith in him as Romans 3: 21 – 24,

 

“But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith inJesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus”.

  1. HE HAS A BRIDE STANDING BY HIS SIDE (vs. 9)

 

The final descriptive verse about the bridegroom also introduces material relating to the bridesmaid as it speaks of the honoured women who surround the bridegroom at his wedding.

 

“Daughters of kings are among your honoured women; at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir”.

 

Interestingly even when the bridegroom and bride meet together at this special marriage ceremony the bridegroom and not the bride is the centre of attention. This bridegroom is said to be surrounded by honourable women, “daughters of kings” maybe this is Solomon who ended up marrying many foreign wives who where daughters of kings. However here the focus is on his special bride who is significantly on his right hand side dressed in gold from a place called Ophir. Churchyard points out that,

 

“Ophir was a place probably on the east coast of the Red Sea, in what is now Saudi Arabia”.

 

What would have been the significants of these words of the wedding song for Solomon in his day?

 

Simply I believe the writer is describing the marriage of a great king to a special bride and that this took place in the presence of many honourable guests.

 

What then does this have to say about the greater bridegroom to come?

 

The answer to this question introduces us the central application idea of the last section of this Psalm, namely the wedding of the great bridegroom Jesus Christ and his bride the church as spoken of twice in the book of Revelations. I will quote the first of these wedding verses here, namely Revelation 19: 6 – 9,

 

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting,

“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God”.

This is a picture of the special union of Christ and his church throughout the ages and at this special wedding ceremony to come in heaven will have many honoured guests, which will include all the hosts of Heaven and God sitting on his great throne in heaven. We will explore this great application of this Psalm in the final section.

 

 

  1. HERE COMES THE BRIDE (vs’s 10 – 16)

 

We now come to the part of the Psalm were the focus of the Royal wedding song turns to the bride. Although even here the words to the bride are mainly about how she can best serve her great bridegroom the king.

 

I have broken the words to and about the bride into five parts:

 

  1. THE BRIDES NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BRIDEGROOM (vs. 10)
  2. THE LOVE THE BRIDEGROOM HAS FOR HIS BRIDE (vs. 11)
  3. THE BLESSINGS OF BEING THE BRIDE (vs. 12)
  4. THE GLORIOUS CLOTHES OF THE BRIDE (vs’s 13 – 15)
  5. THE FRUITS OF BEING THE BRIDE (vs. 16)

 

  1. THE BRIDES NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BRIDEGROOM (vs. 10)

 

Paul quotes God’s desire and design of human marriage in Ephesians 5: 31, which is laid down in Genesis 2: 24,

 

 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

 

In Psalm 45: 10 the emphasis is on the bride leaving her father and mother to be united in a new relationship with her bridegroom the king,

 

“Listen, daughter, and pay careful attention: Forget your people and your father’s house”.

 

I will continue my stated practice of the previous section of relating this Psalm to the likely original setting of the Psalm and then to the application of the greater bridegroom to come.

 

This daughter of Pharaoh must forget her allegiances to her former family namely Egypt and its ruler Pharaoh. This is not a unreasonable request because down through the ages the history of Kings and Queens can refer to many similar arranged marriages where princesses or princes of different countries have married and how they have been willing to separate their allegiances from their old country has often determined their success or failure in the new Kingdom.

 

For Solomon this issue actually became the controlling fate of his success of his life and rule as we see again from 1 kings 11: 4,

 

“As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been”.

 

These wives of Solomon did not forget their religious allegiances of the countries they came from and through this eventually dragged Solomon into adulterous false worship of other God’s.

This is a lesson in the danger of Christians marrying non-believers. I have seen personally how destructive this has been to many friends of mine who have married non-Christians and as a result compromised their faith in God.

 

So then how does this apply to the greater bridegroom to come in Jesus Christ?

 

Paul had a lot to say about our new relationship with Christ and how it impacts on how we now live our lives. A good example of this is the famous “New Creation” passage in 2 Corinthians 5: 16 – 21,

 

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sinfor us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”.

 

Note how Paul teaches us that when we come to Christ things must change from the way we regard others to what our goals and prime driving forces must be. He goes further here to tell us we are now “Christ’s ambassadors”.

 

When we come to Christ we are like Solomon’s Egyptian bride. Like her we are to put our former lives of sin and self- centeredness behind us and live the way Jesus now wants us to live. I find this a very challenging thought and know that I often slip back to the my former allegiances which the writer of Psalm 45 called,

 

“Your people and your father’s house”

 

  1. THE LOVE THE BRIDEGROOM HAS FOR HIS BRIDE (vs. 11)

 

This verse makes it clear that even though Solomon’s marriage to the Egyptian princess was an arranged marriage he really did love her,

 

“The King is enthralled by your beauty, honour him, for he is your Lord”.

 

Is this verse suggesting the king’s love is only skin deep, that he loves his bride just because of her beauty?

 

We are not told if the King saw in his bride her inner beauty but in the case of Solomon this beautiful young Egyptian first bride eventually becomes simply one of many.

 

The advice to the bride is,

 

“Honour him, for he is your Lord”

 

Coffman fleshes out the full Hebrew meaning with,

 

“Bow down before him”, Worship him”, “adore him”, “He is thy Lord”.

 

This great king demands nothing more than his wife’s complete adoration and devotion of his bride and yet he eventually fails to give that to her as time goes on.

However when we look to the great bridegroom to come the meaning of this verse takes on a very different meaning.

 

Christ loves his bride even though she dose not deserve his love. Interestingly the concept of God being the loyal devoted husband and his people being the bride or wife also appears in the book of Hosea. Here, God’s people Israel are depicted as the unfaithful wife who becomes a prostitute and God is the faithful loving husband who continues to love his wife and go after her. I love the passage in Hosea 2: 18 – 23, where the grace or underserved love of God is offered to Israel,

 

In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle
 I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you inrighteousness and justice, in love and compassion.

I will betroth you infaithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.“In that day I will respond,” declares the Lord—
“I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth; and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, and they will respond to Jezebel.I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”

 

This marvelous passage is only matched by another passage in the New Testament that is the fulfillment of Hosea’s prophecy, Romans 5: 6 – 11,

 

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation”.

Therefore the greater bridegroom to come, namely Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior loves us even though we are not beautiful like that faithless prostitute wife of Hosea but he wants to make us beautiful through his death and resurrection for us.

How then should we respond?

Just as the second half of verse 11 says,

“Honour him, for he is your Lord”

 

As Coffman fleshes out what that means,

 

“Bow down before him”, Worship him”, “adore him”, “He is thy Lord”.

 

 

 

 

  1. THE BLESSINGS OF BEING THE BRIDE (vs. 12)

 

This Son of Korah goes on to spell out in his Royal Wedding song the material blessings this bride of Solomon will receive by being united to him,

 

“The Daughter of Tyre will come with a gift, men of wealth will seek your favour”.

 

The bride’s devotion and submission to this great King will reap substantial material rewards just the Nation of Tyre is singled out bringing gifts to the wedding. Tyre is the ancient capital of the rich and successful Phoenician nation and their gift would have been substantial. Added to this is the word about wealthy men seeking her favor. They of course sought the favor of King Solomon but through her intimate connection with him she reaps his material blessings as well.

 

Solomon is famous for his wealth and fame attributed to his great wisdom. The fame and wealth of Solomon is beautifully captured in the story of the visit of the Queen of Sheba and her assessment of Solomon and his wealth is a good summary of how wealthy Solomon became, 1 Kings 10: 4- 7,

 

“When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made atthe temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed.

She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard”.

 

As much as these material blessings are they cannot match the spiritual blessings we have in the greater bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul spells out something of this great spiritual blessings we have in Christ in Ephesians 1: 3 – 10,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love hepredestined us for adoption to son shipthrough Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, hemade known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ”.

 

I have come across many in my life who seem to indicate they feel they would have to give up so much if they where to become a Christian but I have found I have take up far more than I had to give up when I became a follower of Christ.

 

I cannot promise material blessing if you choose to follow Christ although I know many Christians who have much material blessings but I can promise what Paul calls blessing,

 

“in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ”. (Ephesians 1: 3)

  1. THE GLORIOUS CLOTHES OF THE BRIDE (vs’s 13 – 15)

 

One of the things that always stand out in my mind when I think of weddings I have attended is the beauty of the bride and her bridal party. They say that a woman usually looks her best on the day of her wedding. Great expense and trouble goes into the wedding dress, the make up and hair of most brides and her bridesmaids.

 

The bride and her bridesmaids in the Royal wedding song is no different as we see from verses 13 – 15,

 

“All glorious is the princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold.

In embroidered garments she is led to the king; her virgin companions follow her—those brought to be with her. Led in with joy and gladness, they enter the palace of the king”.

 

These verses in their original context described a beautiful bride and bridal party of young brides maids. Her clothing is dazzling and very exotic with gold thread and embroidery. The whole scene is one of great joy and rejoicing and this only emphasis the glorious occasion of this special wedding.

 

What has this to do with the greater bridegroom to come?

 

Revelation 19: 6 – 9 speaks of the great wedding to come of Christ – the bridegroom and his bride the church in heaven,

“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:” Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

In Revelation 7 we read of that all true believers will be dressed in clothes made pure and holy by the blood of the Lamb, the death of Jesus for our sins on the cross, Revelation 7: 13 – 14,

Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb”.

So the bridegrooms bride is dressed in glorious clothes made from the righteous acts of his people made pure and holy by his death on the cross for their sins.

The great joy and benefits of this union is spoken of in the verses that follow this,

Therefore, “they are before the throne of God
 and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne
 will shelter them with his presence. ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water.’‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’” (Revelation 7: 15 – 17)

  1. THE FRUITS OF BEING THE BRIDE (vs. 16)

 

The writers final word to the bride speak of the great fruits or benefits that will come out of her union to the king, her bridegroom.

 

“Your sons will take the place of your fathers; you will make them princes throughout the land”.

 

Marriage has always been the foundation of a family in the bible as we see in a verse like Malachi 2: 15,

 

“Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he is seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth”.

 

The fruit of this brides union with her bridegroom is princely offspring, the next generation of the kingly rule of Israel. Of course we know that after Solomon died the country split and this is attributed to his falling away from devotion to the Lord influenced by his many pagan wives, 1 Kings 11: 9 – 13 records,

 

The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”

However in this Royal wedding song Solomon’s Egyptian wife is again instructed to leave behind her former Egyptian allegiances and see her new family as the replacement for them. Her great role is described then as producing royal offspring in her new homeland of Israel. J. Ligon Duncan pulls verse 16 and 17 that speaks of the perpetual nature of this union with theses words,

“You’re going to have descendants, heirs after you, generation upon generation. Your marriage is going to be fruitful, and sons are going to sit on the throne”.

How can we relate this to the great bridegroom to come?

God has called us through our relationship with the great bridegroom Jesus Christ to be his great offspring and Kingdom as Revelation 1: 6 says,

“And has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father”.

Our union with Christ will bear much fruit as Jesus predicted in John 15: 5,

“I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”.

I see this fruit in two ways:

  1. The fruit of the spirit
  2. The fruit of helping to make new Disciples of Christ.

 

  1. The fruit of the Spirit

Paul speaks of the good things our relationship in Christ will produce as fruits of the Spirit as he sets down in Galatians 5: 22 – 26,

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other”.

So the results of coming to Christ should and must be seen in clear and practical qualities that only God’s Spirit can produce.

  1. The fruit of helping to make new Disciples of Christ.

The second kind of fruit that union with Christ producers is helping to for fill the great commission, Matthew 28: 18 – 20,

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Through our active prayerful witness and ministries we can be used by God to win others for Christ. We then are used by the great bridegroom to help produce prince and princesses for him. Paul teaches us in 2 Timothy 2: 11 – 13, that if we are in Christ we will reign with Christ,

“Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself”.

It will be a great joy one day to meet others in heaven that we have helped in this life in one way or another to come to Christ opening up the way for them to enter glory as well.

One day many years ago I went to training session to be a counselor at the last Billy Graham crusade held in Sydney. At that meeting two young men, then in there early twenties came up to me and told me I had helped them come to Christ through a camp they had attended many years before. These two young men were primary school aged children who were in my little group at that camp and honestly all I could remember of them was that they gave me a very difficult time but praise God he used me to help these two young boys come to Christ.

 

 

4. CONCLUSION (vs. 17)

 

This last verse could not be referring to the young Egyptian bride that the previous verses have been doing as it would not be her perpetual memory this verse is speaking about. It would not be also the perpetual memory of the bridegroom Solomon as he ended up a flawed and failed king. It must then be a conclusion of the inspired concept of this Royal Wedding Song namely the perpetual memory of the great bridegroom to come.

The verse reads,

“I will perpetuate your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever”.

I like the way John Calvin comments on this verse and his insightful words follow,

“The furious efforts of Satan and the whole world have not been able to extinguish the name of Christ, which, being transmitted from one generation to another, still retains its glory in every age, even as at this day we see it celebrated in every language”.

Calvin wrote these words somewhere in the middle of the 1500’s and they still are true today over 500 years later. He goes on to give us excellent application of this verse with these words,

“And although the greater part of the world tear it to pieces by their impious blasphemies, yet it is enough that God stirs up his servant every where to proclaim with fidelity and with unfeigned zeal the praises of Christ”.

I close with that wonderful doxology in Jude 1: 24 – 25 and my poem called, “The Heavenly Wedding Song”,

“To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen”.

THE HEAVENLY WEDDING SONG

 

 

I see the groom and the bride

And my heart is stirred

To think of Christ the Lord above

And his loving word

That tells me that he waits for me

To join with him above

Like a bride joins with her groom

In a wonderful union of love.

 

 

 

 

Chorus:

 

Your throne Oh God is eternal

The place of justice and love

And there your Son waits for us

The Savoir up above.

 

As the groom waits for his bride

I think of Christ above

Who came from his father’s house

To reveal to us his love

He spoke with words of grace and truth

He cured the sick and lame

Like the groom who loves his bride

Forever praise his holy name.

 

 

The groom is dressed in splendored clothes

But Christ is dressed in light

For he is pure and knows no sin

Only his death could make us right

He rose from death to God above

And waits for his coming bride

The church is the bride of Christ

For which he surely died.

 

 

The groom would give his life for her

So great is his love for his bride

Jesus gave his life for us

On a cross he cruelly died

He is greater than anyone else

No one can match his love

For God anointed him to be

Our Savoir from above.

 

 

The bride now comes down the aisle

Her beauty is great to see

She makes me think of the day

When we’ll rise to God so free

Dressed in the righteousness of Christ

We will be united with our groom

Forever will we be with him

In his celestial room.

 

 

So now I long to serve my Lord

By helping others to learn

That God sent Jesus to this world

So that we might be re–born

Saved by faith in what Christ did

When he died to make us a way

To join the heavenly wedding feast

As the bride of the groom one day.

 

Chorus:

 

Your throne Oh God is eternal

The place of justice and love

And there your Son waits for us

The Savoir up above.

 

By: Jim Wenman

 

 

PRAYER:

 

Father in heaven I want to thank you for sending your son into this world to rescue me from the penalty of my sins. I thank you that you have called me into your wonderful world wide church, your family which will one day be united with your Son in heaven like a bride is united with her husband in marriage. I look forward to the great wedding feast in heaven but unto then help me to help others in this world come to know your great love so that they to might be able to join in your eternal celebrations in heaven. In The Name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savoir. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

“THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide”.

 

PSALM 45 TALK

A ROYAL WEDDING SONG

(HERE COMES THE BRIDGROOM)

 

INTRODUCTION

 

If you were to ask me what was the most significant moment of your life so far I would find it difficult to choose between two great events in my life. The first would be the night in my thirteenth year when I responded to the call to follow Christ. This was my most significant moment because this was when I went from death to life through the grace of Christ.

 

The second most significant moment in my life was in my twenty eighth year when I married my beautiful wife, Christine. This was a significant moment in my life because through the mystical union of marriage I became a new and different person through the grace of Christ bringing my wife and I together to serve him.

 

These two great events come together for me in Psalm 45 and the words of Paul in Ephesians 5: 25 – 33,

 

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansingher by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband”.

 

My first introductory comment of Psalm 45 is that it has been called by many a “Royal Wedding Song” and there are two main ways of understanding this Psalm. The first is simply that the Psalm is a song written for the wedding of a king probably Solomon when he married his first wife Pharaoh’s daughter in 1 Kings 3: 1.

 

The second way of understanding this Psalm is that it is about the Messiah and his relationship with his people, for the Jews, the Nation of Israel and for the Christian, the Church.

 

I think there is a way of harmonizing these two ways of understanding this Psalm. My theory is that a Son of Korah wrote a wedding song for King Solomon. We have seen that the Psalms in this second boof of Psalms feature Psalms by the Sons of Korah who wrote their Psalms from the second half of David’s reign to the end of Solomon’s reign. Once the wedding Psalm was composed the author got further inspiration from God to re-write his Royal wedding song with a view to a greater King to come, which was of course the promised Messiah. This is how I make sense of the first verse of this Psalm, which reads,

 

 

“My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer”.

 

In this study we will see that when we come to Christ we are united to him like a husband is to his wife. Therefore when we get married or attend the wedding of a Christian we should be reminded of our special union with Christ and that special union should remind us as husbands of our special union with our wives and how we should love our wives, which Paul expresses in the words of Ephesians 5: 25,

 

“just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy”.

 

My second introductory comment is that this Royal wedding song is focussed on the bridegroom and not the bride. At the weddings I have attended the focus seems to be on the bride not the bridegroom. We usually hear the famous Richard Wagner wedding theme played which has become known as, “Here Comes the Bride”. Once that music starts everyone stands up and looks to the back of the church where the bride and her bridal party enters dressed in glorious spender.

 

However this Royal wedding song could also be called, “Here comes the bridegroom” because it’s focus is on the glories of the bridegroom. Even when the bride is spoken to in the second half of the Psalm she is advised on how she should now relate to her bridegroom the great king who she is about to marry.

 

We will also learn in this study the glorious nature of our great bridegroom, The Lord Jesus Christ and how he wants us to relate to him as his bride the church. We know that this Psalm relates to Jesus as the great promised bridegroom because the writer to the Hebrews quotes from it referring the Christ and his supremacy over all things in Hebrews 1: 8 – 9.

 

I have broken this Psalm into four parts:

 

  1. INTRODUCTION (vs. 1)

 

  1. HERE COMES THE BRIDEGRROM (vs’s 2 – 9)

 

  1. HERE COMES THE BRIDE (vs’s 10 – 16)

 

  1. CONCLUSION (vs. 17)

 

  1. INTRODUCTION (vs. 1)

 

I would like to now comment on this Psalms heading as well and its opening verse.

 

The heading reads:

 

“For the director of music. To the tune of “Lilies,” Of the Sons of Korah. A maskil. A wedding song”

 

This heading tells us four things:

 

  1. It was written to a well-known tune of the day called “Lillies”, not known anymore.

 

2.   It is a “maskil” or enlightenment and generally means this Psalm teaches us

special things about God and life.

 

3. It was written by “the sons of Korah” who were Temple singers and musicians

who we know operated during the reins of King David and King Solomon.

  1. It was written as a wedding song, probably for King Solomon when he married his first wife, the daughter of Pharaoh as recorded in 1 Kings 3: 1.

 

So this heading sets up the general context of this Psalm but then the writer opens his song with a private comment that seems totally out of place. Verse 1 reads,

 

“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”.

 

As I said in my introduction to this Psalm I believe these words indicate that after this Son of Korah wrote his Royal Wedding song for Solomon he got a special inspired insight of the promise of a greater king to come known to the Jews as the Messiah. The verse seems to suggest this inspiration came to him as he recited or maybe sang his original composition to the King. Maybe led by God’s Holy Spirit the writer changed his original work to speak of the promise of the Messiah. This would explain the words,

 

“My tongue is the pen of a skilful writer”

 

So we will now look at the rest of this Psalm in two ways:

 

  1. What it is saying to King Solomon and his bride on their wedding day

 

  1. What it is saying about the coming Messiah King, we know as Jesus Christ.

 

2.   HERE COMES THE BRIDEGRROM (vs’s 2 – 9)

 

This section could easily be speaking of Solomon on his wedding day except for verse 6, which reads,

 

“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom”

 

The writer has jumped from the earthly throne of King Solomon to the eternal heavenly throne of God himself. This means that all the words of this section not only speak of King Solomon but of God’s special King to come from heaven.

 

I think we can learn eight things about this Messiah King from these verses. I believe the writer is giving us a description of the coming bridegroom.

 

The eight things are:

 

  1. HE SPEAKS WORDS OF GRACE (verse 2)
  2. HE IS MIGHTY (verse 3)
  3. HE ACHIEVES AWESOME DEEDS (verse 4)
  4. HE OVERCOMES HIS ENENEMIES (verse 5)
  5. HE REIGNS ETERNALLY (verse 6)
  6. HE LOVES RIGHTEOUSNESS (verse 7)
  7. HE IS GLORIOUS (verse 8)
  8. HE HAS A BRIDE STANDING BY HIS SIDE (verse 9)

 

  1. HE SPEAKS WORDS OF GRACE (vs. 2)

 

The first part of verse 2 could easily fit Solomon at the start of his reign,

 

“You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace”

 

In 1 Kings 3: 5 – 15, Solomon meets God in a dream and God offers to give him anything he wants and Solomon asks for wisdom to rule, verse 9,

 

“Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong”.

 

In verse 12 and 14 God replies to Solomon’s request with these words,

 

“I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that their will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”

 

So God anointed Solomon’s lips with grace in the form of great wisdom. However Solomon does not stay faithful to God throughout his reign and came under continual pressure to compromise his faith in God by his many foreign wives. As 1 kings 11: 4 records,

 

“As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been”.

 

So the words of verse 2 of this Psalm do not relate to Solomon but a greater bridegroom to come,

 

“You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever”.

 

In Luke 4 : 22 we read what people thought of the words that came from the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ,

 

“All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked”.

 

Jesus spoke great words of wisdom, greater than Solomon in his day, words that Peter is recorded in John 6: 68 as

 

the words of eternal life”.

 

Only Jesus is blessed and lives forever but through him he gives to those who believe in him the gift of eternal life.

 

As Jesus words promise us in John 11: 25- 26,

 

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die”.

 

 

 

  1. HE IS MIGHTY (vs. 3)

 

Verse 3 could also be applied to King Solomon on the day of his wedding to his Egyptian bride.

 

“Gird your sword upon your side, O mighty one; clothe yourself with splendour and majesty”

 

As the king of God’s people on earth Solomon had a very high calling, as he was their chief protector and guide of God’s people. He like his father David had to lead his people into battle against their enemies. Enemies who as we saw from Psalm 2:2 ganged up on Israel and it’s God anointed king,

 

“The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his anointed One”.

 

Like David, Solomon faced opposition and rebellion from within his own nation. We see this particularly in the person of Jeroboam who after Solomon’s death led the split of the Northern Kingdom.

 

Therefore the words of verse 3 describe better the attributes of the greater bridegroom to come, The Lord Jesus Christ.

 

He alone is the mighty one who is clothed in splendour. Some commentators say that this verse cannot relate to Jesus as he did not come girding a sword and in fact opposed the use of violence and the sword in his service as quoted in Matthew 26: 52,

 

“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword”.

 

However Jesus in his second coming will come as a mighty glorious judge as Jesus taught in Matthew 24: 30 – 31,

 

“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earthwill mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other”.

Jesus spoke words of grace when offering us the gift of eternal life made possible by his act of grace in dying for our sins on the cross but as Jesus taught in John 3: 18,

“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son”.

  1. HE ACHIEVES AWESOME DEEDS (vs. 4)

 

Again the words of verse 4 could well apply to Solomon on the day of his wedding to his first wife, as they would have been a challenge to him in how he should reign over his people.

 

“In your majesty ride forth victoriously in the cause of truth, humility and justice; let your right hand achieve awesome deeds”.

 

At the start of his reign Solomon did seek to govern his people with truth, humility and justice as his request for wisdom to rule would suggest. While he looked to God he certainly achieved some awesome deeds but as his reign went on he looked away from God and in the end the pagan influence of his many foreign wives led him to do evil and corrupted deeds as 1 Kings 11: 9 – 13 records,

 

The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”

So again this verse is best for filled in the great bridegroom to come, The Lord Jesus Christ who certainly achieved awesome deeds and was victorious in the cause of truth, humility and justice right to the end of his earthly life. It is in his death that the love and justice of God is seen in Jesus supremely as the writer to the Hebrews puts it, Hebrews 12: 2,

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.

The right hand spoken of here is the hand of power as most warriors wielded their swords with their right hand. Interestingly you can see from the Hebrews verse that Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God again signifying power and authority. However this power and authority came through the way of suffering on the cross of Golgotha. This again for fills the words of the Psalm about this coming Messiah when it speaks of victory through,

“truth, humility and justice”

  1. HE OVERCOMES HIS ENENEMIES (vs. 5)

 

The words of verse 5 would also sit well in the original “Royal Wedding Song” as it speaks of victory for the king over his many enemies.

“Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies; let the nations fall beneath your feet”.

Most wedding speeches would wish the bride and groom a long and successful life together. Success and long life for any ancient King would be continual victories over his enemies. As we saw from Psalm 2 Israel’s kings had many enemies and eventually both Northern and Southern Kingdoms fell to foreign enemies. This means these words could only be for filled in the greater bridegroom to come.

 

Jesus came the first time to make a way back to God as John 14: 6 says,

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”.

This first coming will be followed by a second coming when Jesus will return and judge the world and establish his kingdom with his bride the church forever. This is spoken about in the Book of Revelation and I love the great and glorious picture language of Jesus coming and meeting his bride the Church in Revelation 21: 9 -11,

“One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal”.

I love the concept of the second coming of Christ in the famous words of Paul in Philippians 2: 9 – 11

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.

 

This is the ultimate victory of God over all his enemies.

 

 

  1. HE REIGNS ETERNALLY (vs. 6)

 

This brings us to the verse that cannot be referring to any earthly king like Solomon as it speaks directly of God and his throne in heaven,

 

“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom”.

 

Why this Son of Korah jumps from a wedding song for his king to a song about the great Bridegroom King to come called the Messiah is unknown. So far most of what he has been saying or singing about could relate to a King like Solomon in the early part of his reign but maybe even this caused him to think that even Solomon could not for fill this lofty description of the bridegroom and only the great king of heaven, God himself could match this exalted description.

 

For what ever reason this Son of Korah now jumps into heaven to describe the God who rules there.

 

He tells us two great things about God:

 

  1. God is eternal
  2. God rules with justice

 

  1. God is eternal

 

Unlike the kings of this world who live and reign for a finite time God lives and rules forever. The eternal nature of God is what makes God, God and this characteristic sets God apart from all things. Logically you can only believe in one of two things which is matter is eternal or God is eternal. No matter what modern atheistic scientists teach us order and complexity cannot come out of nothing. The atheist has no choice he must have faith in eternal matter and random chance changes producing the order and wonder of creation that came about over millions and millions of years.

 

However Christians have their faith in the God of the bible who is eternal and through him as he spoke order and creation came into being. Only God can create something out of nothing, which became the order and wonder of creation such is his power and majesty.

 

Not only did God create this world but also he rules over it forever and a day. God is not like a time clock God some people believe in. That is God created the world and then withdrew to let it tick away forever. No! The God of the bible is the God who sits on his throne in heaven and rules over all things in heaven and earth. As Pauls says in Ephesians 4: 6,

 

“One God and father of all, who is over all and through all and in all”

 

The wonderful good news of the Gospel of Christ is that even though we deserve death because of our many sins God, through Christ’s death for our sins gives us eternal life as a gift. As Paul puts it in Romans 6: 23,

 

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life inChrist Jesus our Lord”.

  1. God rules with justice

I have already indicated that this eternal God of the bible rules directly from the throne of heaven but how does he rule?

The answer is found in the second half of verse 6,

“a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom”.

 

The sceptre Gordon Churchyard says,

 

“is the special stick (often made from gold) that a king holds as he rules his people”

 

He goes on to say,

 

“A righteous (or just) sceptre means that the king is good”.

 

In a sermon I heard recently the minister said that God knows nothing of injustice and impurity because he is totally holy and totally good.

 

Out of God’s Holiness flows God’s goodness and justice. This is both a good thing and bad thing for humanity. Good because we can rely on God to always do the right thing but bad because we are all sinful and must pay for our sins with death.

 

This was the dilemma that faced God once mankind went down the path of sinfulness. God’s answer is of course the cross for in the cross the love of God and the justice of God come perfectly together.

 

Justice demands from God that sin must be paid for and love led God to send his only son to this world to pay the penalty of our sins on the cross.

 

The God of the bible therefore is a great God of Love and Justice and we can all experience his love and goodness through faith in his Son and what he has done for us on the cross. As Paul puts it in Romans 5: 1 – 2,

 

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And weboast in the hope of the glory of God”.

 

The bridegroom of Heaven is Jesus Christ our Lord and we will see in the second half of Psalm 45 how one day he will be united with his bride, the church who are all the true believers in him connected to him by faith in what he has done for them.

 

  1. HE LOVES RIGHTEOUSNESS (vs. 7)

 

Now we come to another difficult verse to interpret. I draw on the expertise of the great Psalm’s commentator H.C,Leupold to help me here. Leupold writes,

 

“This verse continues the same strain and gives a more subjective touch to the thought.”

 

Leoupold is saying that this Son of Korah is still speaking of the heavenly bridegroom. What relevance this would have had to the original king this song was first written for is interesting to contemplate. Maybe like us the qualities and character of the heavenly bridegroom king acts as an inspiration for his actions as God’s king on earth.

 

Lets look at this verse then with this in mind,

 

“You love righteousness and hate wickedness, therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy”.

 

Leopold starts his explanation of this verse with the words,

 

“Not only does this champion uphold the cause of Righteousness and suppress wickedness, he also personally loves the one and hates the other”.

 

This was the point I made in the previous section that God is totally Holy and righteous and has no hint of wickedness in him. We on the other hand are compromised beings and even our righteous acts are infected with sin as the prophet Isaiah aptly writes in Isaiah 64: 6,

 

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away”.

 

What God is like then should be our model and Solomon was one person who late in his reign lost sight of this as we saw in 1 kings 11: 4,

 

 

“As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been”.

 

Then we come to the difficult words of this verse,

 

therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy”.

 

Is this anointed one here Solomon who would have been ceremonially anointed with oil when he was made king or is the anointed one here the bridegroom of heaven who is to come?

 

I follow the line of H.C Leopold who indicated that verse 7 is a logical extension of verse 6. This then points to the baptism of Jesus as Acts 10: 37 – 38 indicates,

 

 “You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him”.

 

Many commentators speak of how the anointing of people in the Old Testament did not always infer the conferring of inward gifts and power but was used to designate and inaugurate a person to some high dignity or employment. At Jesus baptism Jesus was being identified and commissioned for his ministry and also God was recognizing him as his Son whom he loved and was most pleased with (Mark 1: 11).

 

Jesus was truly the man who was above all his companions or any man as the following passage in Colossians 1: 15 – 20 makes very clear,

 

“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross”.

 

Finally this anointing of the Son of God is described in Psalm 45: 7 as,

 

“Anointing you with the oil of joy”

 

This again reminds me of Hebrews 12: 2 and how it speaks of Jesus joy.

 

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.

Jesus joy was the winning of our salvation and the ultimate destination of the way of suffering namely resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the throne of God.

 

 

  1. HE IS GLORIOUS (vs. 8)

 

The Psalm then switches back to the original Royal wedding song when it speaks of the earthly bridegroom Kings wedding clothes. Even today most people wear the best of clothes on the day of their wedding and in Old Testament times this was certainly the case. The best of substances and materials was used to make King Solomon’s bridegroom clothes.

 

All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; from palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad.”

 

Just four of these special substances are mentioned, myrrh, aloes, cassia and ivory. Myrrh, aloes and cassia come from trees and plants and were used for medical purposes and of course to make things smell beautiful. Ivory from the tusks of animals was a precious and beautiful substance used to adorn buildings in ancient times.

 

Finally music is playing that pleases the king.

 

What would have been the author’s original intent for this verse?

 

I think he his painting a picture of the bridegroom’s coming to the wedding and the picture is of a elaborately sweet smelling figure who is full of joy and is now moving towards his bride who we will see is coming to him with her bridal party. I read up on ancient Hebrew wedding customs and discovered that the bridegroom and the bride met at the bride’s house for the start of the ceremony. This was the second part of a two part wedding process with the first part being the signing of a wedding contract called a “Ketubbah” being signed by the heads of the two families usually the two fathers. However if this was the marriage of Solomon and an Egyptian bride the custom of the second part could not have been followed. Interestingly we read of this marriage in 1 Kings 3: 1, which reads,

 

“Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he finished building his palace and the temple of the Lord, and the wall around Jerusalem”.

 

The verse makes a point of telling us that the second part of this wedding did not take place unto the building of the palace, Temple and wall around Jerusalem. Verse 8 speaks of the bridegroom dressed in his sweet smelling robes coming out of palaces adorned with ivory where music is played. This suggests to me that a special style of wedding ceremony is taking place here in the palace of the king. The next verse and the final section describe further this special wedding that took place.

 

What then is the significance of this verse to the greater bridegroom to come?

 

Isaiah in Isaiah 61: 10 uses the image of a bridegroom and brides wedding clothes as an image of the garments of salvation to come in God,

 

“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels”.

 

Jesus is of course the great promised bridegroom to come and he is clothed in righteousness and his special clothing of righteousness is his gift to us through faith in him as Romans 3: 21 – 24,

 

“But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith inJesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus”.

  1. HE HAS A BRIDE STANDING BY HIS SIDE (vs. 9)

 

The final descriptive verse about the bridegroom also introduces material relating to the bridesmaid as it speaks of the honoured women who surround the bridegroom at his wedding.

 

“Daughters of kings are among your honoured women; at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir”.

 

Interestingly even when the bridegroom and bride meet together at this special marriage ceremony the bridegroom and not the bride is the centre of attention. This bridegroom is said to be surrounded by honourable women, “daughters of kings” maybe this is Solomon who ended up marrying many foreign wives who where daughters of kings. However here the focus is on his special bride who is significantly on his right hand side dressed in gold from a place called Ophir. Churchyard points out that,

 

“Ophir was a place probably on the east coast of the Red Sea, in what is now Saudi Arabia”.

 

What would have been the significants of these words of the wedding song for Solomon in his day?

 

Simply I believe the writer is describing the marriage of a great king to a special bride and that this took place in the presence of many honourable guests.

 

What then does this have to say about the greater bridegroom to come?

 

The answer to this question introduces us the central application idea of the last section of this Psalm, namely the wedding of the great bridegroom Jesus Christ and his bride the church as spoken of twice in the book of Revelations. I will quote the first of these wedding verses here, namely Revelation 19: 6 – 9,

 

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting,

“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God”.

This is a picture of the special union of Christ and his church throughout the ages and at this special wedding ceremony to come in heaven will have many honoured guests, which will include all the hosts of Heaven and God sitting on his great throne in heaven. We will explore this great application of this Psalm in the final section.

 

 

  1. HERE COMES THE BRIDE (vs’s 10 – 16)

 

We now come to the part of the Psalm were the focus of the Royal wedding song turns to the bride. Although even here the words to the bride are mainly about how she can best serve her great bridegroom the king.

 

I have broken the words to and about the bride into five parts:

 

  1. THE BRIDES NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BRIDEGROOM (vs. 10)
  2. THE LOVE THE BRIDEGROOM HAS FOR HIS BRIDE (vs. 11)
  3. THE BLESSINGS OF BEING THE BRIDE (vs. 12)
  4. THE GLORIOUS CLOTHES OF THE BRIDE (vs’s 13 – 15)
  5. THE FRUITS OF BEING THE BRIDE (vs. 16)

 

  1. THE BRIDES NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BRIDEGROOM (vs. 10)

 

Paul quotes God’s desire and design of human marriage in Ephesians 5: 31, which is laid down in Genesis 2: 24,

 

 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

 

In Psalm 45: 10 the emphasis is on the bride leaving her father and mother to be united in a new relationship with her bridegroom the king,

 

“Listen, daughter, and pay careful attention: Forget your people and your father’s house”.

 

I will continue my stated practice of the previous section of relating this Psalm to the likely original setting of the Psalm and then to the application of the greater bridegroom to come.

 

This daughter of Pharaoh must forget her allegiances to her former family namely Egypt and its ruler Pharaoh. This is not a unreasonable request because down through the ages the history of Kings and Queens can refer to many similar arranged marriages where princesses or princes of different countries have married and how they have been willing to separate their allegiances from their old country has often determined their success or failure in the new Kingdom.

 

For Solomon this issue actually became the controlling fate of his success of his life and rule as we see again from 1 kings 11: 4,

 

“As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been”.

 

These wives of Solomon did not forget their religious allegiances of the countries they came from and through this eventually dragged Solomon into adulterous false worship of other God’s.

This is a lesson in the danger of Christians marrying non-believers. I have seen personally how destructive this has been to many friends of mine who have married non-Christians and as a result compromised their faith in God.

 

So then how does this apply to the greater bridegroom to come in Jesus Christ?

 

Paul had a lot to say about our new relationship with Christ and how it impacts on how we now live our lives. A good example of this is the famous “New Creation” passage in 2 Corinthians 5: 16 – 21,

 

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sinfor us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”.

 

Note how Paul teaches us that when we come to Christ things must change from the way we regard others to what our goals and prime driving forces must be. He goes further here to tell us we are now “Christ’s ambassadors”.

 

When we come to Christ we are like Solomon’s Egyptian bride. Like her we are to put our former lives of sin and self- centeredness behind us and live the way Jesus now wants us to live. I find this a very challenging thought and know that I often slip back to the my former allegiances which the writer of Psalm 45 called,

 

“Your people and your father’s house”

 

  1. THE LOVE THE BRIDEGROOM HAS FOR HIS BRIDE (vs. 11)

 

This verse makes it clear that even though Solomon’s marriage to the Egyptian princess was an arranged marriage he really did love her,

 

“The King is enthralled by your beauty, honour him, for he is your Lord”.

 

Is this verse suggesting the king’s love is only skin deep, that he loves his bride just because of her beauty?

 

We are not told if the King saw in his bride her inner beauty but in the case of Solomon this beautiful young Egyptian first bride eventually becomes simply one of many.

 

The advice to the bride is,

 

“Honour him, for he is your Lord”

 

Coffman fleshes out the full Hebrew meaning with,

 

“Bow down before him”, Worship him”, “adore him”, “He is thy Lord”.

 

This great king demands nothing more than his wife’s complete adoration and devotion of his bride and yet he eventually fails to give that to her as time goes on.

However when we look to the great bridegroom to come the meaning of this verse takes on a very different meaning.

 

Christ loves his bride even though she dose not deserve his love. Interestingly the concept of God being the loyal devoted husband and his people being the bride or wife also appears in the book of Hosea. Here, God’s people Israel are depicted as the unfaithful wife who becomes a prostitute and God is the faithful loving husband who continues to love his wife and go after her. I love the passage in Hosea 2: 18 – 23, where the grace or underserved love of God is offered to Israel,

 

In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle
 I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you inrighteousness and justice, in love and compassion.

I will betroth you infaithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.“In that day I will respond,” declares the Lord—
“I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth; and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, and they will respond to Jezebel.I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”

 

This marvelous passage is only matched by another passage in the New Testament that is the fulfillment of Hosea’s prophecy, Romans 5: 6 – 11,

 

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation”.

Therefore the greater bridegroom to come, namely Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior loves us even though we are not beautiful like that faithless prostitute wife of Hosea but he wants to make us beautiful through his death and resurrection for us.

How then should we respond?

Just as the second half of verse 11 says,

“Honour him, for he is your Lord”

 

As Coffman fleshes out what that means,

 

“Bow down before him”, Worship him”, “adore him”, “He is thy Lord”.

 

 

 

 

  1. THE BLESSINGS OF BEING THE BRIDE (vs. 12)

 

This Son of Korah goes on to spell out in his Royal Wedding song the material blessings this bride of Solomon will receive by being united to him,

 

“The Daughter of Tyre will come with a gift, men of wealth will seek your favour”.

 

The bride’s devotion and submission to this great King will reap substantial material rewards just the Nation of Tyre is singled out bringing gifts to the wedding. Tyre is the ancient capital of the rich and successful Phoenician nation and their gift would have been substantial. Added to this is the word about wealthy men seeking her favor. They of course sought the favor of King Solomon but through her intimate connection with him she reaps his material blessings as well.

 

Solomon is famous for his wealth and fame attributed to his great wisdom. The fame and wealth of Solomon is beautifully captured in the story of the visit of the Queen of Sheba and her assessment of Solomon and his wealth is a good summary of how wealthy Solomon became, 1 Kings 10: 4- 7,

 

“When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made atthe temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed.

She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard”.

 

As much as these material blessings are they cannot match the spiritual blessings we have in the greater bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul spells out something of this great spiritual blessings we have in Christ in Ephesians 1: 3 – 10,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love hepredestined us for adoption to son shipthrough Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, hemade known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ”.

 

I have come across many in my life who seem to indicate they feel they would have to give up so much if they where to become a Christian but I have found I have take up far more than I had to give up when I became a follower of Christ.

 

I cannot promise material blessing if you choose to follow Christ although I know many Christians who have much material blessings but I can promise what Paul calls blessing,

 

“in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ”. (Ephesians 1: 3)

  1. THE GLORIOUS CLOTHES OF THE BRIDE (vs’s 13 – 15)

 

One of the things that always stand out in my mind when I think of weddings I have attended is the beauty of the bride and her bridal party. They say that a woman usually looks her best on the day of her wedding. Great expense and trouble goes into the wedding dress, the make up and hair of most brides and her bridesmaids.

 

The bride and her bridesmaids in the Royal wedding song is no different as we see from verses 13 – 15,

 

“All glorious is the princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold.

In embroidered garments she is led to the king; her virgin companions follow her—those brought to be with her. Led in with joy and gladness, they enter the palace of the king”.

 

These verses in their original context described a beautiful bride and bridal party of young brides maids. Her clothing is dazzling and very exotic with gold thread and embroidery. The whole scene is one of great joy and rejoicing and this only emphasis the glorious occasion of this special wedding.

 

What has this to do with the greater bridegroom to come?

 

Revelation 19: 6 – 9 speaks of the great wedding to come of Christ – the bridegroom and his bride the church in heaven,

“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:” Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

In Revelation 7 we read of that all true believers will be dressed in clothes made pure and holy by the blood of the Lamb, the death of Jesus for our sins on the cross, Revelation 7: 13 – 14,

Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb”.

So the bridegrooms bride is dressed in glorious clothes made from the righteous acts of his people made pure and holy by his death on the cross for their sins.

The great joy and benefits of this union is spoken of in the verses that follow this,

Therefore, “they are before the throne of God
 and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne
 will shelter them with his presence. ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water.’‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’” (Revelation 7: 15 – 17)

  1. THE FRUITS OF BEING THE BRIDE (vs. 16)

 

The writers final word to the bride speak of the great fruits or benefits that will come out of her union to the king, her bridegroom.

 

“Your sons will take the place of your fathers; you will make them princes throughout the land”.

 

Marriage has always been the foundation of a family in the bible as we see in a verse like Malachi 2: 15,

 

“Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he is seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth”.

 

The fruit of this brides union with her bridegroom is princely offspring, the next generation of the kingly rule of Israel. Of course we know that after Solomon died the country split and this is attributed to his falling away from devotion to the Lord influenced by his many pagan wives, 1 Kings 11: 9 – 13 records,

 

The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”

However in this Royal wedding song Solomon’s Egyptian wife is again instructed to leave behind her former Egyptian allegiances and see her new family as the replacement for them. Her great role is described then as producing royal offspring in her new homeland of Israel. J. Ligon Duncan pulls verse 16 and 17 that speaks of the perpetual nature of this union with theses words,

“You’re going to have descendants, heirs after you, generation upon generation. Your marriage is going to be fruitful, and sons are going to sit on the throne”.

How can we relate this to the great bridegroom to come?

God has called us through our relationship with the great bridegroom Jesus Christ to be his great offspring and Kingdom as Revelation 1: 6 says,

“And has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father”.

Our union with Christ will bear much fruit as Jesus predicted in John 15: 5,

“I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”.

I see this fruit in two ways:

  1. The fruit of the spirit
  2. The fruit of helping to make new Disciples of Christ.

 

  1. The fruit of the Spirit

Paul speaks of the good things our relationship in Christ will produce as fruits of the Spirit as he sets down in Galatians 5: 22 – 26,

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other”.

So the results of coming to Christ should and must be seen in clear and practical qualities that only God’s Spirit can produce.

  1. The fruit of helping to make new Disciples of Christ.

The second kind of fruit that union with Christ producers is helping to for fill the great commission, Matthew 28: 18 – 20,

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Through our active prayerful witness and ministries we can be used by God to win others for Christ. We then are used by the great bridegroom to help produce prince and princesses for him. Paul teaches us in 2 Timothy 2: 11 – 13, that if we are in Christ we will reign with Christ,

“Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself”.

It will be a great joy one day to meet others in heaven that we have helped in this life in one way or another to come to Christ opening up the way for them to enter glory as well.

One day many years ago I went to training session to be a counselor at the last Billy Graham crusade held in Sydney. At that meeting two young men, then in there early twenties came up to me and told me I had helped them come to Christ through a camp they had attended many years before. These two young men were primary school aged children who were in my little group at that camp and honestly all I could remember of them was that they gave me a very difficult time but praise God he used me to help these two young boys come to Christ.

 

 

4. CONCLUSION (vs. 17)

 

This last verse could not be referring to the young Egyptian bride that the previous verses have been doing as it would not be her perpetual memory this verse is speaking about. It would not be also the perpetual memory of the bridegroom Solomon as he ended up a flawed and failed king. It must then be a conclusion of the inspired concept of this Royal Wedding Song namely the perpetual memory of the great bridegroom to come.

The verse reads,

“I will perpetuate your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever”.

I like the way John Calvin comments on this verse and his insightful words follow,

“The furious efforts of Satan and the whole world have not been able to extinguish the name of Christ, which, being transmitted from one generation to another, still retains its glory in every age, even as at this day we see it celebrated in every language”.

Calvin wrote these words somewhere in the middle of the 1500’s and they still are true today over 500 years later. He goes on to give us excellent application of this verse with these words,

“And although the greater part of the world tear it to pieces by their impious blasphemies, yet it is enough that God stirs up his servant every where to proclaim with fidelity and with unfeigned zeal the praises of Christ”.

I close with that wonderful doxology in Jude 1: 24 – 25 and my poem called, “The Heavenly Wedding Song”,

“To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen”.

THE HEAVENLY WEDDING SONG

 

 

I see the groom and the bride

And my heart is stirred

To think of Christ the Lord above

And his loving word

That tells me that he waits for me

To join with him above

Like a bride joins with her groom

In a wonderful union of love.

 

 

 

 

Chorus:

 

Your throne Oh God is eternal

The place of justice and love

And there your Son waits for us

The Savoir up above.

 

As the groom waits for his bride

I think of Christ above

Who came from his father’s house

To reveal to us his love

He spoke with words of grace and truth

He cured the sick and lame

Like the groom who loves his bride

Forever praise his holy name.

 

 

The groom is dressed in splendored clothes

But Christ is dressed in light

For he is pure and knows no sin

Only his death could make us right

He rose from death to God above

And waits for his coming bride

The church is the bride of Christ

For which he surely died.

 

 

The groom would give his life for her

So great is his love for his bride

Jesus gave his life for us

On a cross he cruelly died

He is greater than anyone else

No one can match his love

For God anointed him to be

Our Savoir from above.

 

 

The bride now comes down the aisle

Her beauty is great to see

She makes me think of the day

When we’ll rise to God so free

Dressed in the righteousness of Christ

We will be united with our groom

Forever will we be with him

In his celestial room.

 

 

So now I long to serve my Lord

By helping others to learn

That God sent Jesus to this world

So that we might be re–born

Saved by faith in what Christ did

When he died to make us a way

To join the heavenly wedding feast

As the bride of the groom one day.

 

Chorus:

 

Your throne Oh God is eternal

The place of justice and love

And there your Son waits for us

The Savoir up above.

 

By: Jim Wenman

 

 

PRAYER:

 

Father in heaven I want to thank you for sending your son into this world to rescue me from the penalty of my sins. I thank you that you have called me into your wonderful world wide church, your family which will one day be united with your Son in heaven like a bride is united with her husband in marriage. I look forward to the great wedding feast in heaven but unto then help me to help others in this world come to know your great love so that they to might be able to join in your eternal celebrations in heaven. In The Name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savoir. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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