Psalm 45

Psalm 45
Christ as King in His Kingdom and Royal Beauty
Psalm 45. The inscription of Psalm 45 shows that it also is a Psalm of the “sons of Korah”, and like the previous Psalms it is “an instruction”. This Psalm is also styled “Upon Shoshannim” or “lillies”; which may refer to a melody or music to which that Psalm was set. It is also titled “a song of the Beloved”, and as the Psalm progresses, “Beloved” is “the king” and “God”, leaving no doubt that it refers to Messiah Himself! Therefore, Psalm 45 is a messianic psalm. It anticipates the King in His kingdom, but specifically with His people, restored Israel, who is pictured as a queen! It parallels the Song of Solomon very closely; “a song of loves”. Psalm 45 is the answer to the prayer of the remnant in Psalm 44. The “king” (vv.1-8) is Christ in His kingdom glory, and the “queen” (vv.9-17) is Israel in restoration, perhaps Jerusalem more specifically. The union of Christ and His earthly people (pictured as a bride) will take place at the appearing of Christ. Royal judgments precede the wedding. Compare with Revelation 19, which described the marriage of the Lamb, which precedes the appearing of Christ. The wedding on earth is a metaphor for the union of Christ and His earthly people.
To the chief Musician. Upon Shoshannim. Of the sons of Korah. An instruction; — a song of the Beloved.
1 My heart is welling forth with a good matter: I say what I have composed touching the king. My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
v.1 Overflowing hearts. The Psalmist takes the place of the faithful Jewish remnant, now that Christ has appeared and is taking the throne. All that they prayed for has been answered! Christ is here, what more could we ask? Israel’s king is so much greater than they ever could have imagined. Their hearts are not only full, they are overflowing with a good matter. The overflowing heart must give a vent to composition of poetry, and the tongue of the Psalmist is willing like “the pen ready writer”.
2 Thou art fairer than the sons of men; grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.
v.2 Personal Beauty. The first thing Israel has to say about their Messiah is regarding His personal beauty; “Thou art fairer than the sons of men”. His whole being is so characterized by grace that it comes out of His speech. Grace was poured into His lips. But above all, He is one that God has blessed forever. This speaks of Christ’s moral glory.
3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O mighty one, in thy majesty and thy splendour;
4 And in thy splendour ride prosperously, because of truth and meekness and righteousness: and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.
5 Thine arrows are sharp — peoples fall under thee — in the heart of the king’s enemies.
vv.3-5 Victory Over Enemies. To personal beauty is added majesty and the glory of a conqueror; i.e. Christ’s official glory. The faithful encourage their Messiah to take a sword and in His splendor ride through his enemies to a victorious conquest. They speak of the victory that His right hand will accomplish; i.e. terrible things. But there is a moral basis for His victory; “because of truth and meekness and righteousness”. The victory is sure, His arrows are sharp, and nations fall under Him. This is prophetic of the warrior judgments of Christ when He appears i.e. very similar to the description in Revelation 19. Notably, the revived Roman empire and the king of the north will fall under Christ at this time.
6 “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of thy kingdom:
7 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness; therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy companions.” [quoted Hebrews 1:8-9]
vv.6-7 The Character of His Throne and Kingdom. The victory being anticipated, the faithful now muse on the character of Messiah’s throne and scepter. The throne is forever and ever. The kingdoms of men come and go, but the kingdom of Christ is an everlasting dominion (Daniel 7). The kingdoms of men are characterized by corruption, but the scepter of Christ’s kingdom is a “scepter of uprightness”. Notice that He is referred to as “O God”, denoting that He is a Divine Person! This is Christ’s Divine glory. But then in v.7 we find that He is also a man who has a God. This Psalm beautifully brings forth both the deity and the humanity of Christ. We find that God has lifted up this one Man, and anointed Him – hence the title “Messiah”, or Anointed One – to a place above His companions; i.e. the faithful Jews in association with Himself. Notice also it is “the oil of gladness”; it speaks of happiness and joy of Christ coming into that which rightfully belongs to Him. Again notice that there is a moral foundation for this anointing; it is because of the personal holiness of Christ. In fact v.7 gives us a beautiful expansion of the principle of holiness itself; to love righteousness and hate wickedness. All of this is seen beautifully in Christ, and quoted in Hebrews 1.
8 Myrrh and aloes, cassia, are all thy garments; out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made thee glad.
9 Kings’ daughters are among thine honourable women; upon thy right hand doth stand the queen in gold of Ophir.
10 Hearken, daughter, and see, and incline thine ear; and forget thine own people and thy father’s house:
11 And the king will desire thy beauty; for he is thy Lord, and worship thou him.
12 And the daughter of Tyre with a gift, the rich ones among the people, shall court thy favour.
13 All glorious is the king’s daughter within; her clothing is of wrought gold:
14 She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of embroidery; the virgins behind her, her companions, shall be brought in unto thee:
15 With joy and gladness shall they be brought; they shall enter into the king’s palace.
vv.8-15 The Wedding. Now we have a description of the wedding of the King; that which is for His own heart. Prophetically this would speak of the public restoration of Israel to her Messiah; not the mourning of repentance, but the joy of being publicly owned as belonging to Him! First we have His garments in v.8. The last mention of Christ’s clothing was that the soldiers parted His garments among them, and cast lots for His coat. But when Christ comes forth in His royal beauty, He will be closed so majestically that it will be like incense – “myrrh and aloes, cassia” – types of His varied glories. Myrrh or frankincense is an incense that releases its aroma through being crushed, and it is a type of the glory that comes from suffering; i.e. the fruits of redemption. Aloes is a healing agent, and cassia is a cleansing agent. Even His palace is of the richest ivory, and He is surrounded by beautiful music! We find that there are honorable women at this wedding, perhaps representing various nations who turn to Jehovah, or else prominent cities in Israel. Most notably at the right hand of the king stands the queen herself. The queen is a type of Jerusalem, the capital of restored Israel as the earthly bride of Christ. The faithful remnant is admonished in vv.10-11 to behold this sight and “forget thine own people and thy father’s house”; i.e. to forget themselves, and previous associations, and focus on the Lord. In this state, the king will desire her beauty (v.11). In v.12 we have the wedding guests; other nations who rejoice to see Israel’s blessing. In v.13 we find that the queen, who herself is “the king’s daughter”,1 is glorious within and without; gold being a picture of divine righteousness. The companions of the bride, the “virgins” represent the cities of Judah surrounding Jerusalem.2 The atmosphere of this wonderful union will be “joy and gladness”.
16 Instead of thy fathers shall be thy sons; princes shalt thou make them in all the earth.
17 I will make thy name to be remembered throughout all generations; therefore shall the peoples praise thee for ever and ever.
vv.16-17 Christ the Glory of His People Israel. In conclusion, we find that Israel’s glory will no longer be her fathers; i.e. Moses, Abraham, etc. No one will look back on history and say, “Those were the days”, or “If only we could have the days of Joshua, etc.” Christ Himself will be the glory of Israel, and so great will be that day that the children born to the queen (Israel) are greater than the most celebrated ancestors! Old associations are forgotten, completely eclipsed by the coming of Messiah, whose name will be “remembered throughout all generations”, and whom all nations will praise “for ever and ever”.34
  1. Thus, she is both daughter and bride at the same time. For she has been born again by His sovereign grace and power, and is Thus, His daughter; but she has also been betrothed to Him as his bride (the earthly bride). – Grant, L.M. Psalms.
  2. The virgins her companions are, I suppose, the cities of Judah. – Darby, J.N. Synopsis of the Books of the Bible.
  3. So, as to blessing, instead of fathers she shall have children. This “generation” will also be attributed to Christ (Psa. 22:31). Association with Christ breaks off previous associations which nature has had, and forms wholly new ones. This is, of course and evidently, a principle which is of an absolute and decisive character. – Darby, J.N. Practical Reflections on the Psalms.
  4. Instead of fathers, they have children to be made princes in all lands. The coming in of Messiah in glory and judgment, brings in the full triumph and glory, amongst the nations, of Jerusalem and the Jewish people. – Darby, J.N. Synopsis of the Books of the Bible.
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