“A Noble Theme” (Psalm 45)
(1 Peter 1:10-12) “Concerning this salvation, the prophets who foretold the grace to come to you searched and investigated carefully, trying to determine the time and setting to which the Spirit of the Messiah in them was pointing when He predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, when they foretold the things now announced by those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things”.
The Old Testament prophets prophesied for three time frames. Firstly for their own time, secondly for the first coming of the Messiah and thirdly for the Second Coming of the Messiah including His Millennial Messianic reign on earth. These three time frames will often appear in the one prophecy. The whole Bible itself is prophetic in nature, relating to the Messiah’s pre-existence, His incarnation, His earthly ministry, His suffering, His death, His resurrection and to His glorification and ascension to the right hand of God His Father in the courts of heaven. All of these aspects are covered in Psalm 45. This Psalm is defined as “A Wedding Song” because over half of this Psalm refers to the Lord Jesus and to His relationship with His bride corporately, being His Body, the faithful Church (Assembly). Now let’s look at this Psalm.
Psalm 45: Exposition
(Vs. 1-2) “My heart overflows with a noble theme; I address my verses to the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore God has blessed You forever.”
When the writer composed this wedding song as he was moved by the Holy Spirit, he was prophesying about the Messiah our Lord Jesus. Most of this Psalm is written in the present tense as if the psalmist was seeing it as a present and continuous reality. He was out of time as we know it here on earth and viewing eternity where time as we know it down here does not exist in that unseen spiritual realm where the past the present and the future all run together.
The psalmist realised, through the revelation of the Spirit, that he was addressing his Messiah even though this writer had not yet seen Him revealed to men. As it is written; “All these people died in faith, without having received the things they were promised. However, they saw them and welcomed them from afar” (Hebrews 11:1`3).
Stirred deeply within the writer could not but release in praise the revelation he was having about his king the Messiah who was to come in the future. Not only was he compelled to write down the revelation he was having, but his tongue was stirred to praise his king, the anointed Messiah who was to come. The psalmist also declared unashamedly and with an exclamation of wonder at the awesomeness of his king that the Messiah Himself was one who was greater than all other human beings. Even though the Lord Jesus was fully human He was also fully God in the one man. As we are told that “the Word Himself became flesh and tabernacled among us” (John 1:14). The psalmist was more than ready to write about and extoll the divine and perfect virtues of his Messiah our Lord Jesus.
The psalmist also writes that grace being God’s unmerited favour and the ability to exercise graciousness in word and deed would be the hallmark of this man fairer than the sons of men and one whom God had blessed forever, expressing through the Holy Spirit the eternal nature of the Messiah our Lord Jesus and the one who would descend to the lowest place in Sheol, but be physically resurrected gloriously to ascend into the heavens to sit at the right hand of God the Father in the heavenly courts of the kingdom of heaven.
It is little wonder that the psalmist was ready to speak out and to write down this revelation to his inner spirit man revealed to him by the Holy Spirit, the splendour and majesty and the awesomeness of his Messiah. He could not but speak about the things he was seeing and hearing! This is the experience of all to whom the Spirit of God reveals the nature and character of the Messiah our Lord Jesus. And then we read…
(Vs.3-5) “Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One, In Your splendour and Your majesty! And in Your majesty ride on victoriously, For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; Let Your right hand teach You awesome things. Your arrows are sharp; The peoples fall under You; Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.”
Here we see the picture change and the psalmist sees the Second Coming of the Messiah riding forth on His war horse and girded with a sword by which He will strike down His enemies, a theme we see directly connected to Isaiah 63: 1-6 and Revelation 19:11-16. In these two corresponding passages in Isaiah and Revelation we see three things mentioned. Firstly the king is riding on a white horse which all commanders in ancient times rode in victory. Secondly we see the Messiah’s robes stained with the blood of his enemies. Thirdly we see the wine press of the wrath of God. This winepress is also mention in Joel 3:12-13 and in Revelation 14:17-20.
The victorious cause for which He rides, accompanied by the armies of heaven and the raptured and resurrected saints, is for the cause of truth, meekness and righteousness. Truth will prevail in His kingdom where all falsehood will be extinguished. Meekness will be the hallmark of those in His kingdom and righteousness will be the only law enforced on the nations that have survived His Second Coming. As for His house, consisting of the resurrected and glorified assembly of New Covenant believers corporately, they will reign with Him on earth having been made partakers of His holiness and righteousness. As it is written; “Holiness adorns Your House O Lord!”
His right hand teaches Him awesome things that are beyond human understanding known only to Him but through which He administers perfect righteousness and justice for all people’s at that time remaining on earth. His arrows are sharp we are told that pierce the armour of those who are arrayed against Him. In the battle to end all battles in this present age He shoots His arrows of righteousness and justice into the very hearts of His enemies who fall under His war banner flapping in the wind of His Spirit and the armies of heaven and the glorified saints riding behind Him also on horses. And then we read…
(Vs.6-7) “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of joy above Your fellows.”
Here by revelation of the blessed Holy Spirit the psalmist declares the eternal nature of the Messiah Himself. He, who as God the Son, has always pre-existed with God the Father and with God the Holy Spirit, being One in three and three in one, separate yet one God, not three gods, but a God who is Triune and eternal in nature and who has revealed Himself to man in the person of His Son our Lord Jesus and as the Messiah and king of Israel! This theme is directly mentioned in the New Testament clearly referring to this king the psalmist is writing about (Hebrews 1: 8-9).
When The Messiah our Lord Jesus comes back men of every walk of life will seek to hide from Him because the sharp arrows of his awesome power will penetrate their hearts, expose their wicked deeds, and cause them to seek to hide their faces from Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb because they will know that the day of His wrath against all wickedness and rebellion has come! (Revelation 6:15-17) (Joel 3:1-3, 9-16).
His sceptre of righteousness will be the final authority throughout all the surviving nations of the world without exception. His law will be the only law and His righteousness the standard by which all of His laws will stand. Everything defiled spiritually and wicked and sinful will have been weeded out by His angels and thrown into the flames of Hades where we are told concerning those who are there that in conscious torment “where their worm never dies out, and where the fire is not quenched”.
Despite being tempted in every way the same as we are tempted He, through the power of the Holy Spirit, never gave into temptation as fierce and relentless as it must have been for Him, having been tempted in every way as we are tempted, yet without sin, because He chose to love and maintain righteousness and to hate all wickedness. Consequently He experienced the joy of being one with the Father, a joy He had being one with His Father in heaven even before anything was created, and a joy that transcended any human joy, and one that can only be experienced by those whom He has redeemed with His atoning blood. In them, as His redeemed brethren, He has placed His joy unspeakable and full of glory! It is a deep seated joy that resides in the regenerated spirit man of every New Covenant believer. Even in the midst of suffering or adversity we will not lose this joy deep within even though we are afflicted emotionally, mentally and even physically. The oil of joy is the Holy Spirit Himself and His joy a fruit of the Holy Spirit. The oil of joy was given to the Lord Jesus without measure because He was sinless and had direct access to His Father in heaven (John 3:34).
Even in the Lord Jesus’ intense suffering and agony mentally, emotionally and physically, we are encouraged in the Word of God by the author of Hebrews who writes; “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:1-3). Now lets continue…
(Vs.8-9) “All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad. Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies; At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.
Once again the scene changes for the psalmist and he starts to describe the splendour of the Messiah’s royal court. The fact that His garments were fragrant with the aroma of rich spices being myrrh, aloes and cassia speak of the surpassing fragrance of His person and redeeming work. Myrrh was also used in His burial after He was taken down from the cross. Myrrh was used when embalming a dead person. The fragrance that is the most precious and rich in aroma is the atoning death of the Messiah and his glorious resurrection. His life offered up sacrificially on the altar of the cross far surpassed any fragrance offered up to God in the Temple worship.
His palaces and mansions are crafted from Ivory and out of these structures come the heavenly stringed instruments with the divine music that is perfect in its worship of Him. He is at the centre of the heavens. As John tells us in the Book of Revelation that the Lamb is at the centre of the throne and everyone and every creature in His kingdom bows down in homage to worship Him as God (Revelation Chapters 4 & 5). The queen standing at His right hand clothed in gold from Ophir is royalty and clothed with the garments of salvation and with the robes of the Messiah’s righteousness. She is a beautiful bride adorned and dressed in her wedding garments because she had made herself ready. This queen represents the faithful Body of the Messiah corporately. And then we read…
(Vs.10 -12) “Listen, O daughter, gives attention and incline your ear: Forget your people and your father’s house; Then the King will desire your beauty. Because He is your Lord, bow down to Him. The daughter of Tyre will come with a gift; The rich among the people will seek your favour.”
Once again in the power of the Holy Spirit the psalmist speaks and addresses the daughter of the Lord, a reference to the faithful Body of the Messiah corporately, and the bride God has given to his Son our Lord Jesus to be with Him for all of eternity. The bride in her glorified immortal resurrection body is instructed to incline her ear and to forget her people and her fathers’ house. We are also told that the king will desire her beauty arrayed as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. It can also be rendered; “the king is enthralled by your beauty.” Did you realise that as one He has redeemed by his blood that you are as a beautiful bride to her husband because He is here rightful Lord to whom she bows in reverent submission calling Him Lord and master! This we see captured in the Song of Solomon.
The old life in the previous age has finished for the faithful believer and even the remembrance of earthly relationships will no longer be remembered because the Messiah will have made everything new in the New Jerusalem, which will descend from heaven after the Millennial reign of the Messiah closes and the heavens and the earth are made completely new!
As New Covenant believers this is our ultimate eternal destiny as “in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness” (Revelation 21:1-5) (2 Peter 3:13). The Millennium will be the harbinger of the final and perfect state to come (Isaiah 65:47-25). Now notice that the psalmist mentions the daughter of tyre will come with a gift and the rich people will come to seek the Messiah’s favour
When King Solomon was reigning in his royal court kings brought him gifts to seek Solomon’s favour and wisdom. In the Messianic kingdom the leaders of those nations that survived the Messiah’s second coming, will have to go up to Jerusalem every year to worship the Messiah on His throne in Jerusalem in the Millennial Temple located on the original Mount Zion where Solomon’s Temple once stood. Also they will have to keep the Feast of Tabernacles and if they refuse to go up to Jerusalem to worship the Messiah on his throne they will not have rain but aridness and famine and a lack of the necessities of life and that with plague which famine produces. The Messiah’s Righteous laws will be the standard by which the surviving nations will be judged and his law maintained (Zechariah 14:16-19).
As it is written; “In the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say: “Come; let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways so that we may walk in His paths.” For the law (Torah) will go forth from Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:2-3). And then we read…
(Vs.13-14) “The King’s daughter is all glorious within; Her clothing is interwoven with gold. She will be led to the King in embroidered work; The virgins, her companions who follow her, Will be brought to You. “
Once again we see a reference to the perfect holiness of heart of the Messiah’s redeemed bride clothed in gold, she is royalty and her garments woven with the finest of linen beautifully and meticulously woven by divine creativity which represents the imputed and perfected righteousness of His corporate bride (Revelation 19:7-8). The virgins, her companions that follow her, represents the aspect of this bride that is a pure and chaste virgin, untainted and unspotted by the world having been completely cleansed from the very presence of sin and having a pure heart. These will all be led to the bridegroom by God through the Holy Spirit just as God created Eve out of the side of Adam and brought her to Him to be one flesh with him as his bride and companion. These are the wise virgins who have entered the wedding feast. Now let’s continue…
(Vs.15-17) “They will be led forth with gladness and rejoicing; They will enter into the King’s palace. In place of your fathers will be your sons; You shall make them princes in all the earth. I will cause Your name to be remembered in all generations; Therefore the peoples will give You thanks forever and ever.”
The prophet Isaiah writes about the joy of the redeemed on earth, a joy that will be completely perfected in the Millennial kingdom after the bride has received her resurrection glorified immortal body, a joy that will go with them forever and ever into eternity and into the final and perfect state. And so Isaiah writes; “So the redeemed of the LORD will return and enter Zion with singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee” (Isaiah 51:11).
In their unbridled joy the bride will enter into the king’s palace. Then the psalmist addresses the king Messiah saying to Him that in place of His earthly lineage of human fathers who had faith when they lived on earth, the Messiah king will receive His spiritual sons, both saved Jews and Gentiles being one new man in the Messiah with the barrier separating Jew from Gentile broken down (Ephesians 2:11-22).
All those who have been redeemed through the sacrificial atoning work of the Messiah at the cross will be sons and daughters of the living God and the Messiah’s companions in His Millennial kingdom and after that age in the New Jerusalem to come after the close of the Millennium. These are sons and daughters of the living God. These the Messiah will make princes in all the earth, a reference to the saints in their glorified bodies co-reigning with their Messiah in His Messianic kingdom as a kingdom of priests (2 Timothy 2:12) (Revelation 5:9-10). Those who have been martyred because they refused to worship the beast empire by not taking the mark of ownership by its overlord, the Antichrist, will be richly rewarded in the millennial reign with their Messiah (Revelation 20:4).
In the New Jerusalem the past sorrows and experiences and even the sadness of loved ones that were not saved and who died will be remembered no more. As we read; “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying; “Now the dwelling (tabernacle) of God is with men, and He will live with them and be their God. He, the Messiah and the husband of His bride, will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying, or pain, for the old order of things will have passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4).
Finally we are told that the name of the Lord Jesus the Messiah king will be remembered in all generations which we have seen for over 2,000 years in every nation of the world. Human kings come and go but this king remains forever and ever and His kingdom will never end but continue into all eternity! The people’s He has redeemed, cleansed, justified and sanctified by His blood will praise and thank Him through the endless ages of eternity for the so great salvation He has bestowed upon them.
What a psalm! What a saviour! One who in His first coming was revealed as the suffering servant to redeem us from the power, from the penalty and from the very presence of sin, which we will experience at the rapture and resurrection of all the saints of all the ages! No wonder the heart and the tongue of the psalmist was skilful in the euphoria of the revelation of the Messiah our Lord Jesus. The psalmist starts with describing the all-conquering king Messiah whom He describes as a mighty one arming for battle and girding around His waist the belt with its scabbard and sword, and one who is clothed with splendour and majesty, and whose convicting arrows will strike down His enemies which will happen when He returns in great power and glory accompanied by the armies of heaven and with the glorified saints! (2 Thessalonians 1:7) (Jude 1:14-15) (Revelation 19:14).
The psalmist clearly states the death of the Messiah and also declares the divinity of the Messiah and His eternal existence, whose throne will last forever, and in whose Messianic kingdom justice will prevail because He loves righteousness and hates wickedness which marked His character when He was on earth. Then, in the Messianic kingdom in the age to come, His sceptre will be the sceptre of justice and that of His kingdom over which He will rule the surviving nations with a rod of iron!
In this present age the saints may be suffering and persecuted and oppressed and worn down by the spiritual forces of wickedness in the unseen spiritual realm, and persecuted by wicked and unprincipled men in high places, but when the Messiah returns He will set everything straight and turn everything upside down in this present evil age, right-side up, and that big time!!! This is our blessed hope as New Covenant believers and as the bride of the Messiah king in whose palaces and mansions we will dwell forever!
As the Lord Jesus said directly to His disciples and by extension applying it to us, as those who would believe the apostles doctrine in the centuries to come; “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe in Me as well. In My Father’s house are many mansions (rooms in the palace). If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am” (John 14:1-3).
We may look at ourselves now and grieve over our fallen condition as we struggle with the lust of the flesh, with the lust of the eyes and with the pride of life that constantly assails our sense gates every day. As yet we cannot see what we will be like after we have been raptured and resurrected, but we will know when we see Him coming back to earth, and we will be changed to be like him, having resurrected and indestructible bodies the same as He now has Himself (1 Corinthians 15:49) (1 John 3:2-3) (Philippians 3:21) (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
As for the bride of the Messiah king He is enthralled with her beauty in his sight and she is resplendent in gold apparel as her gown is interwoven with Gold. She is led to the king as a faithful virgin bride who has no other lovers or rivals for her affections but is totally submitted to her husband in everything. As royalty she is clothed with the finest of pure white linen garments of salvation, and wrapped around with the robe of the Messiah’s righteousness. The apostle John tells us that the fine linen in which the bride is wrapped represents the righteousness of the saints bestowed upon them and imputed to them being the very same righteousness the Messiah has himself (Philippians 3:7-11) (Revelation 19:7-8, 14).
As Isaiah also writes; “I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation and wrapped me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom wears a priestly headdress, as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10). It is with joy and gladness that the royal bride enters the very palace of the king Himself.
Finally, by the Holy Spirit the psalmist extolls His Messiah and speaks of His sons, representing all born again believers, whom He will make princes throughout the land in His Millennial kingdom on earth. The psalmist’s desire and goal in writing is to perpetuate the memory of his Messiah through all coming generations which will see the redeemed from every nation praising Him forever and ever! Indeed no wonder that the heart of the psalmist overflows with a noble theme!