Summary: PART OF A BIBLE STUDY ON THE PSALMS
THE ROYAL BRIDEGROOM
PSALM 45 IS ANOTHER OF WHAT ARE CALLED MESSIANIC PSALMS. MESSIANIC PSALMS CAN REFER TO THE OLD TESTAMENT KING IN DAVID’S LINE, AND TO THE NEW TESTAMENT FULFILLMENT OF THE PROMISE OF AN ETERNAL KING IN JESUS CHRIST.
PSALM 22 SPEAKS ABOUT JESUS DEATH. PSALM 45 IS AN ANCIENT WEDDING SONG OF A SON OF DAVID. IT CELEBRATES THE NOBLE QUALITIES OF THE GROOM (VV.2-9) AND THE BEAUTY OF THE BRIDE (VV.10-15), AND CONCLUDES WITH THE PROMISE OF HEIRS TO THE THRONE (VV.16-17). AT THE SAME TIME, THE PSALM ALSO REFERS TO JESUS CHRIST’S FUTURE REIGN IN GLORY. THE WRITER TO THE HEBREWS QUOTES V.6-7 IN REFERENCE TO JESUS CHRIST.
But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”
THE CONCLUDING VERSE OF THE PSALM CAN ONLY BE UNDERSTOOD TO HAVE ITS FULFILLMENT IN JESUS CHRIST THE SON OF DAVID.
PSALM 45 HAS PROVEN DIFFICULT TO CLASSIFY, BUT MODERN SCHOLARS SEE IT AS A ROYAL PSALM, CELEBRATING THE MARRYING OF A KING IN THE ROYAL LIVE OF DAVID.
WHAT IS THE OVERALL EFFECT OF THE PSALM?
LIKE ANY WEDDING, THE MARRIAGE CELEBRATED IN PSALM 45 EVOKES AWE AND MAJESTY. THIS IS THE WEDDING OF THE KINGS SON, THE HEIR TO THE THRONE.
IN ANCIENT ISRAEL, THE WEDDING TO THE KING’S SON WOULD BE A NATIONAL OCCASION, BRINGING THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE TO JERUSALEM TO CELEBRATE. PSALM 45 IS AT THE SAME TIME AN EXHUBERANT CELEBRATION OF ONE OF THE HAPPIEST EVENTS IN ISRAELITE LIFE AND THE MOST BLESSED EVENT OF JESUS CHRIST’S UNION WITH HIS CHURCH. COMPARE THESE VERSES:
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
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. 7 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. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) 9 Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
WE WILL HAVE A SMALL IDEA OF THE SPLENDOR AND REJOICING INVOLVED IN THE PSALM.
WHAT IS THE STRUCTURE OF THE PSALM?
TYPICAL OF ROYAL AND MESSIANIC PSALMS, PSALM 45 DEVELOPS IT’S OWN STRUCTURE. THE PSALM BEGINS WITH THE SPEAKER’S ANNOUNCEMENT OF HOW MUCH HE DELIGHTS IN CELEBRATING THE MARRIAGE OF THE KING. HE IS MOVED TO AWE AND PRAISE FOLLOWING THIS THE PSALM FALLS INTO THREE SECTIONS:
1. VERSES 2-9: THE MAJESTY AND SPLENDOR OF THE KING
2. VERSES 10-15: THE BEAUTY OF THE BRIDE AND HER ATTENDANTS
3. VERSES 16-17: THE PROMISE OF PROSPERITY.
PSALM 45 CELEBRATE THE KING/MESSIAH. IT BEGINS BY PRESENTING THE KING IN TWO PRIMARY IMAGES: AS A BRAVE WARRIOR (VV.3-5) AND AS THE BRIDEGROOM (VV. 8-9). THESE TWO IMAGES DOMINATE THE PSALM AND, IN CONTRAST TO MODERN WEDDINGS, FOCUS OUR ATTENTION ON THE KING/BRIDEGROOM MORE THAN THE BRIDE.
WHAT ARE THE FIGURES OF SPEECH AND WHAT EFFECTS DO THEY HAVE IN THE PSALM?
VERSE 1-3: THE MOST NERVOUS MOMENTS OF ANY WEDDING HAVE TO BE JUST BEFORE THE BRIDE ENTERS. THE ANTICIPATION OF HER ARRIVAL CREATES A GREAT DEAL OF NERVOUS EXCITEMENT.