Summary: A look at the Love Song of the King as found in Psalm 45.
THE LOVE SONG OF THE KING
For the choir director; according to the Shoshannim. A Maskil of the sons of Korah. A Song of Love. My heart overflows with a good theme; I address my verses to the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. (Psalm 45:1).
This Psalm opens with a superscription. Before you even get to verse 1, there is something written here by way of an introduction. This was not added by the translators. These superscriptions appear in all of our earliest manuscripts.
It tells us that this is a love song. That is nice because nearly everyone loves a love song. Paula and I are going on our 30th year of marriage and we have a wonderfully romantic relationship. We still hold hands when we go for a walk. We still go on dates. We still whisper the sweet somethings. There are even times when, in our more romantic moments, I describe her to herself. I tell her about how I love her green eyes and the way they come alive and sparkle when she smiles. Or I tell her about the way her hair shimmers and shines. Or I tell her how a particular outfit she is wearing has that special look.
We are going to see that same sort of language in this Psalm. This is a love song. But is isn’t ONLY a love song. We read that it is a Maskil v a teaching Psalm. There is something here that will touch both your heart and your head.
IN PRAISE OF THE KING
Verses 1-9 are a description of the King. We are not told which king is being described. Tradition has it that it is Solomon who is in view. But as we read through this Psalm, we are going to see things said that go far beyond Solomon. The ultimate king in this Psalm is King Jesus.
1. THE BEAUTY OF THE KING.
Thou art fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Thy lips; Therefore God has blessed Thee forever. (45:2).
These words seem at first glance to be in contrast to the description of Isaiah: He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him (Isaiah 53:2). But that is a description of the Crucified Christ, the Messiah who hung upon a cross whose appearance was marred more than any man (Isaiah 52:14).
However as we look more closely at this Psalm, we note that the beauty of the King is seen most strikingly in the words that flow from His lips: Grace is poured upon Thy lips.
The one thing for which Jesus was known even among His enemies was the power and authority with which He spoke. When Jesus was teaching openly in the Temple, those in authority sent forth soldiers to arrest Him. They came back empty-handed.
The officers therefore came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, "Why did you not bring Him?"
The officers answered, "Never did a man speak the way this man speaks." (John 7:45-46).
There was something wonderful compelling about the words of Jesus. It was the way He spoke with authority and with truth, but there was also something more. It was also the way in which He spoke with GRACE. That is the particular quality that is mentioned in this Psalm.
Do you recall the incident in which Jesus went into the synagogue of His hometown in Nazareth and opened the scroll of Isaiah and read to the people? Then He rolled up the scroll and proceeded to tell the people how that very prophecy was being fulfilled in their hearing. Their initial response was that all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips" (Luke 4:22). There was something wonderfully winsome about the words of Jesus. At the same time, there was great strength in His words.
2. THE STRENGTH OF THE KING.
Gird Thy sword on Thy thigh, O Mighty One,
In Thy splendor and Thy majesty!
And in Thy majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Thy right hand teach Thee awesome things.
Thine arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under Thee;
Thine arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies. (Psalm 45:3-5).
The strength of the King is described in terms of military prowess. He is seen strapping on His sword and riding off to victory in the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness.
The book of Revelation presents this same picture of King Jesus. The only difference there is that the sword is no longer sheathed. Instead it is pictured as going out of His mouth as He rides a white horse into victory.