Psalm 45 was initially written as a wedding song to honor the wedding of the king to his beautiful bride. We can only imagine the pageantry that accompanied such an event. Although the psalm was written for what happened then, the words of the psalm also point to another, future wedding “between a king and his bride”.
One of the beauties of the scriptures is that they often give two perspectives for what is written. The initial picture is of a King’s marriage but, for Christians, the words also show the loving relationship that exists between Jesus Christ and His bride – the Church.
In verses 4-7, the Psalmist wrote, “In your majesty ride forth victoriously in behalf of truth, humility, and righteousness; let your right hand display awesome deeds. Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies. Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of uprightness is the scepter 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.” Centuries later, another inspired writer would reveal the true message of that passage in Hebrews 1:8, “But of the Son He says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions.’”
For the Jews of the Old Testament, this was a real puzzle. Clearly God is one. He is the Creator and the Great “I Am”. Yet the Psalmist wrote, “Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You…” How could sinful mankind even approach the pure and perfect God? Today, we know that this is a clear description of the true king Jesus Christ. God, the Word, became flesh, lived as a man, and paid the price for the sins of mankind – death. As a man, that would have shown great bravery and love; but the final result would have been minimal. But as the Son of God, God come in the flesh, His sacrifice was felt throughout eternity.
In Psalm 45, the King was coming to be joined with the bride. Today, it is clear from the New Testament, that the bride represents the church. And the Church was described as being very beautiful. The church is the body of Christ. It is the assembly of all people that have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and have followed the New Testament teachings for becoming a Christian. Because of their commitment and obedience, those that have been added to the church by the Lord have their sins forgiven. Therefore, the king sees them as being beautiful and pure.
Often, our Lord used the idea of a wedding, or a wedding feast to demonstrate what the kingdom of heaven would be like. In addition, Paul and other New Testament writers used the picture of a wedding and marriage to show the importance of the covenant that exists between a Christian and the Lord.
The main emphasis of all the examples in the New Testament scriptures is the love that is always found in such events. When one hears the word “wedding”, almost immediately the words beauty, joy, and love come to mind. That is why the message of Jesus Christ is called “The Good News”, because it does contain a message of beauty, joy and love.
Verse 10 is an important passage for Christians today, “…Forget your people and your father’s house. The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your Lord.” This passage is not telling us to reject our physical family, but it is teaching that a new loyalty now exists that takes precedence over preceding relationships.
When we became a Christian a confession, a giving of allegiance, occurred. Anything that could disrupt that commitment must be discarded. “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God”. Too many Christians want the benefits of being joined with the Lord, but they also want to hold onto what they consider to be the good things of the world. There is no “fence sitting” for those of the kingdom. Either a person is part of Jesus Christ or not. The psalmists’ words were wise for the new bride of the king, and they serve as a warning for all Christians.
A final consideration of the psalm would have to include the condition of the bride before and after the marriage. Before the marriage, the beautiful woman was simply a person with very pleasing features. However, after the wedding, the woman became the Queen because she was married to the King. In the past, several American women became “royalty” simply because they married men of royal blood. One example was the actress Grace Kelly. In the same way, being joined to Christ, and being added to the church means that a person becomes part of the Royal family of God.
The writer of Hebrews wrote that Christians are holy and royal priests. The special position happens because the person is joined to the Lord. When we accept Jesus Christ and become a Christian in accordance with His word, then we take on a new and infinitely better relationship. No wonder that many of the Illustrations pictured a wedding! We are married to the eternal king through the grace of God and the Good News, the Gospel, of Jesus Christ!