Psalm 45

"This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church."
Ephesians 5:32

Preliminary Reading: Ephesians 5:25-32; Hebrews 1; Revelation 5; Revelation 19.

  1. Introduction:
    1. We studied last week our Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of David, and here David prophesies of Him.
    2. David in his own right was quite a prince, but the Prince and King he describes here is far superior.
    3. God has chosen to communicate truth and reveal His Son to us by words, and attentive listeners will create the mental picture that comes from reading, hearing, comprehension, and consideration.
    4. We dare not try to find specific applications to every word or phrase, as in the case of parables, for some words and phrases are mainly decorative to the overall theme presented, for this is a love song.
    5. If you adore the Lord Jesus Christ and delight in His love for you, this psalm should be precious.
    6. If you glory in the victorious majesty of the Christ and his salvation of our souls, revel in this psalm.
    7. If you love drama, romance, knights, ladies, kings, queens, and beautiful metaphors, it is all here.
    8. Paul determined not to know anything but Jesus crucified (I Cor 2:2), and we should do the same.
    9. Paul found his greatest glory and theme in the cross of Christ (Gal 6:14), and I desire to do the same.
    10. Do you meditate on the psalms? Do you meditate on the Messianic psalms? Do you sing the psalms?
    11. The psalm has introduction (1), a conclusion (17), a conquering prince (2-7), and royal lover (8-16).
    12. This psalm is a Messianic psalm about the Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore a precious psalm indeed.
      1. Its good matter is far too much for Solomon or any other earthly king, even figuratively intended.
      2. Its first words of description of the king can only apply to our Jesus Christ of Nazareth (45:2).
      3. Solomon was a child of man, not known for exceptional grace of speech, and not blessed forever!
      4. This psalm is not of Solomon, for he was not a powerful conqueror at all (45:3-5; I Kgs 4:20-25).
      5. Paul quoted this psalm as describing the glorified Lord Jesus Christ as king (45:6-7; Hebrews 1:8-9), which words cannot even be applied to angels, let alone mere sons of Adam, as was Solomon.
      6. The psalm's prince is declared to be Lord and to be worshipped (45:11). This is not Solomon.
      7. The large posterity, expansive dominion, and perpetual praise belong to our Jesus Christ alone.
      8. The Hebrew scribes marked this psalm as, "A Song of Loves," in the superscription, which reads, To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, for the sons of Korah, Maschil, A Song of loves.
      9. It corresponds very well with the whole Song of Solomon, and particularly that section 5:9 - 7:10.
      10. This is my favorite psalm – it gloriously describes the great love between Jesus and His church.
      11. We know another king is prophesied in the book of psalms and throughout the O.T., Jesus Christ.
    13. As is common in the Psalms, the person of the pronouns changes frequently, so be attentive to them.
      1. It is told from David's perspective, the inspired writer or narrator, in the first person (45:1,17).
      2. It is addressed to the King Himself in the second person (45:2-9).
      3. It is addressed to the bride herself in the second person (45:10-12).
      4. It is written about the bride in the third person (45:13-15).
      5. It is addressed to the bride herself in the second person (45:16).
    14. Use this psalm as a gauge of your soul, a sample of honeycomb, a provoking of your heart, etc.
    15. I cannot exhaust each verse of its sweetness, but I hope to give you reason for comfort, joy, and glory.
    16. How do you measure a fat soul? Right here. This is good matter. This is marrow. Delight in it.

1 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

  1. My heart is inditing a good matter.
    1. Indite. To utter, suggest, or inspire words to be repeated or written down; = Dictate.
    2. This verse describes the doctrine of inspiration – God gave us His words through men.
    3. The psalmist repeated in writing the things which the Holy Spirit dictated to his heart.
    4. David knew inspiration well, for he wrote scripture from the Lord (II Samuel 23:1-5).
    5. The matter, or subject material of his heart, and the theme of this psalm, was good.
  2. I speak of the things which I have made concerning the king.
    1. God inspired David to write this glorious psalm, this love song, about Jesus our Lord.
    2. The things were of a King, noble and majestic, and therefore of most excellent content.
    3. It was the poetic and figurative picture of a glorious Prince, victorious over all His enemies, Who was rewarded with many gifts and the beautiful woman of His choice.
    4. It was delightful thoughts of Christ, for a mere record of Solomon is not nearly so good.
    5. It was the good matter of our glorious Saviour and our complete redemption by Him.
    6. This is no carnal love ballad of two sinners pretending to have love between themselves.
    7. We know another king is prophesied in the book of Psalms (Psalm 2:6; 89:27; 110:1-2).
    8. We know another king is prophesied throughout the O.T. (Gen 49:8-12; Num 24:16-19).
  3. My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
    1. David had words in his tongue – not thoughts necessarily – he could speak or write them.
    2. Let every reader be as eager and submissive to hearing God's words as he was to write.

2 Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.

  1. Thou art fairer than the children of men.
    1. This cannot be Solomon: he was only a man without such noble virtues in the superlative.
    2. The Lord Jesus Christ is fairer than any natural man (compare Song of Solomon 5:9-16).
    3. Adam's sons are corrupt in all ways by sin and its vital effects (Ps 14:1-3; Rom 3:9-18).
    4. Adam's sons are corrupt in all ways by sin and its practical effects (Eph 2:1-3; Tit 3:3).
    5. Jesus is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate, and higher than the heavens (Hebrews 7:26).
    6. The glory of His countenance is as the sun shining in its strength (Rev 1:16). Hallelujah!
    7. He is fairer in nature; He is certainly fairer in character; but He is also fairer in glory!
    8. He is the Bright and Morning Star (Rev 22:16), the Blessed and Only Potentate (I Tim 6:15), and the Dayspring from on high (Luke 1:78), among many other descriptions.
  2. Grace is poured into thy lips.
    1. Graciousness, and gracious speech, is one of a man's most desirable virtues (Prov 22:11).
    2. Even Kings delight in righteous lips, and they love those that speak right (Prov 16:13).
    3. Jesus Christ had greater graciousness and grace in His lips than any man (Luke 4:22).
    4. Our speech should be always with grace, seasoned with salt, as was His (Colossians 4:6).
  3. Therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.
    1. Because of His glorious character, God blessed Jesus Christ forever above all creatures.
    2. We do not apply therefore in this place conditionally, but rather finally and formally.
    3. God blessed Jesus after His humiliation with an inherited glory far above the angels.

3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.

  1. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh.
    1. The glorious prince described in the previous verse is now declared to prepare for battle.
    2. The prince leaves his palace, puts on his weapons, and rides forth to conquer and destroy.
  2. O most mighty.
    1. Jesus is the Mighty God, even most mighty, except for God Himself (Is 9:6: I Cor 15:28).
    2. He is the Blessed and Only Potentate, ascribing to Him the greatest power (I Tim 6:15).
    3. There is nothing to hard for the Lord (Gen 18:14), and Jesus fully partakes of this nature.
    4. Those who saw Jesus command spirits, said of Him, "What a word is this!" (Luke 4:36).
    5. His own apostles were amazed at His verbal power over storms and sea (Matthew 8:27).
  3. With thy glory and thy majesty.
    1. Do you wish to see a New Testament picture of this glorious Prince (Rev 19:11-16)?
    2. Many leave Jesus in a manger, begging at a door, or on a crucifix; but when He ascended into heaven, He was crowned with honor and glory over all (Heb 2:5-9; Rev 5:1-14).

4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.

  1. And in thy majesty ride prosperously.
    1. This most fair and majestic prince is called to ride forth prosperously – to total victory.
    2. The prince rides into battle, requiring a horse in most cultures, as His office deserves.
    3. The New Testament shows our glorified Prince on a white horse destroying His enemies.
  2. Because of truth and meekness and righteousness.
    1. These are three great virtues and traits of Jesus Christ making Him impeccably great.
    2. He came in truth; He spoke truth; He is the Truth (John 1:14,17; 8:45; 14:6); He was a king with truth (John 18:47); He was the True and Faithful Witness (Rev 19:11). While earthly princes often obtain power by deceit, there was none in Him (Isaiah 53:9).
    3. He used His office with glorious meekness (Zech 9:9; Matthew 12:18-21; Phil 2:6-11).
    4. There have been none righteous as Jesus Christ (Heb 7:1-2; Rev 19:11; Matthew 3:15).
  3. And thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.
    1. Most men are right handed, so the right hand is used in scripture for skill and strength.
    2. The right hand, the hand of skill and power, represents ability to wage war victoriously.
    3. The sword, in the previous verse, is synecdoche for all military arms, even arrows (45:5).

5 Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.

  1. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies.
    1. The conquering prince is successful and victorious, bringing all enemies under his feet.
    2. Here is a picture of successful combat with our great Prince actually defeating enemies.
    3. The Lord Jesus Christ came from Edom in prophecy to destroy enemies (Isaiah 63:1-6).
    4. Jesus came in power and great glory with tribulation on Israel (Matt 24:21; Luke 21:22).
    5. Jesus will come again in power and great glory upon His enemies (II Thess 1:7-10; 2:8).
  2. Whereby the people fall under thee.
    1. He has or will crush all enemies both natural and spiritual, Satan and Pope, sin and death.
    2. Jesus received a rod of iron on His ascension to His great throne (Rev 2:27; 12:5; 19:15).

6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.

  1. Thy throne, O God.
    1. Here is a coronation declaration of our glorious Prince as God and King forever and ever.
    2. These words prove the Messianic character of this psalm as pertaining to Jesus Christ.
    3. Paul quoted these words in Hebrews 1:8-9, where he established Jesus above the angels.
    4. These words prove the full Deity of Jesus Christ, as the Word of God (John 1:1,14,18).
    5. Jesus was Immanuel, or God with us, by prophecy and fact (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23).
    6. The N.W.T. version of the Bible blasphemes, "God is your throne to time indefinite, even forever," in Psalm 45:6, and, "God is your throne forever," in Hebrews 1:8.
    7. The Revised Standard Version blasphemes, "your divine throne endures for ever and ever," in Psalm 45:6; yet declares, "Thy throne, O god," in Hebrews 1:8 (see footnote).
  2. Is for ever and ever.
    1. The kingdom that God established for the Lord Jesus shall not be transferred (Dan 2:44).
    2. The kingdom and reign of the Lord Jesus Christ will never end (Isaiah 9:6-7; Heb 12:28).
  3. The scepter of thy kingdom is a right scepter.
    1. Sceptre. An ornamental rod or wand (often of gold and jewelled) borne in the hand as a symbol of regal or imperial authority.
    2. Esther depended on Ahasuerus's sceptre in the Persian court (Esther 4:11; 5:2; 8:4).
    3. Prophecy had been given seven hundred years earlier of this sceptre (Genesis 49:10).
    4. Even Balaam prophesied of a Star and Sceptre out of Israel to smite Moab (Num 24:17).
    5. Everything Jesus has done or ever shall do is in perfect righteousness (John 5:30; 8:29).
    6. David needed the Lord Jesus Christ to give him a godly Descendant (II Samuel 23:3-4).
    7. And the Lord fulfilled His covenant with David by sending Jesus Christ (Jer 33:15).

7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

  1. Thou lovest righteousness.
    1. The coronation declaration continues with descriptions of great character and blessings.
    2. Jesus truly loved righteousness, even choosing baptism by His cousin John (Matt 3:15).
    3. It is true love to hate everything opposed to the object of your affection (Matthew 6:24).
    4. The righteousness of God is by the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21-22).
  2. And hatest wickedness.
    1. Jesus truly hated wickedness, as His zeal for God's house ate Him up (John 2:12-17).
    2. What the Nicolaitanes believed matters little – Jesus hated their doctrine (Rev 2:15).
    3. He taught the rule of judging righteous judgment rather than by appearance (John 7:24).
    4. Like His father David, He had perfect hatred for the enemies of God (Psalm 139:21-22).
  3. Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
    1. The oil of gladness is the gift of the Holy Spirit – the Spirit that bears the fruit of joy.
    2. God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost (Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:16-22).
    3. God gave Jesus the Holy Spirit without measure, unlike any other man (John 3:34).
    4. The gospel declares God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit for doing good (Ac 10:38).
    5. Furthermore, God gave the promised Holy Spirit to Jesus to give to the church (Ac 2:33).

8 All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.

  1. All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia.
    1. The victorious prince, battle armor and weapons put aside, delights in clothing of peace.
    2. Rather than the sword and arrows of militant majesty, he is wearing garments of love.
    3. This verse follows after an anointing of gladness above all His fellows, angels or men.
    4. Myrrh. A gum-resin from several species of plants used for perfume and incense.
    5. Aloes. Always plural. The fragrant resin or wood of the Agalloch.
    6. Cassia. An inferior kind of cinnamon, esp. bark obtained from Cinnamomum Cassia.
    7. All three of these substances are found in lovemaking beds (Prov 7:17; Song 4:11-15).
    8. The overall picture of combined sweetness and excellency of Christ is what we must see.
    9. His intent by choosing such garments with such aromas is lovemaking, as we shall see.
  2. Out of the ivory palaces.
    1. What came out of the ivory palaces? The spices? The garments? The fellows? The King?
    2. We shall assume the King came out of His palaces, where His attendants, the fellows just mentioned in 45:7, which we would understand as angels and saints, caused Him joy.
    3. We encounter a palace again, the place where the King retires from view with His wife.
  3. Whereby they have made thee glad.
    1. This verse is fulfilled by glorious praise of the angels, saints, and elders around the Lamb.
    2. The Lord takes delight in those who hope in his mercy (Psalm 147:11; Malachi 3:16-17).
    3. It is important to remember that we fulfill Him that fills all in all (Eph 1:20-23; 5:29:32).

9 Kings' daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.

  1. Kings' daughters were among thy honourable women.
    1. The wedding party is before us … the king, the queen at his right, princess attendants.
    2. The wedding party is large and illustrious with princesses in the select female company.
    3. These beautiful attendants, same as virgin attendants of verse 14, are part of the church.
  2. Upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.
    1. The bride and queen is gloriously clothed in garments bearing the precious gold of Ophir.
    2. The gold of Ophir was highly esteemed in the Bible (I Kings 9:28; Job 28:16; Is 13:12).

10 Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house;

  1. Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear.
    1. Important instruction is given here that the bride should consider and submit to carefully.
    2. The call to discipleship that Jesus makes to His bride is of great importance and value.
  2. Forget also thine own people, and thy father's house.
    1. As a perfect bride, she must forget her family and home and love her Prince supremely.
    2. Our love of Christ can have no competitors, as we must hate relatives (Luke 14:25-33).
    3. Jesus told one in His day, "Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead" (Matthew 8:22).
    4. Please do not think much of going to heaven to see relatives, for He is more important.

11 So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.

  1. So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty.
    1. The prophet comforts and reassures the queen that her husband will greatly desire her.
    2. Jesus Christ loved the church and gave His own life to beautify her (Ephesians 5:25-32).
    3. Those most faithful and loyal to Him, as in the previous verse, are those He loves most.
  2. For he is thy Lord.
    1. This is no ordinary king, and it is not Solomon; he is thy Lord, and worthy of worship.
    2. He will indeed greatly desire thee – for as thy Lord, He did not make a marital mistake.
    3. He will indeed greatly desire thee – for as thy Lord, He will make you beautiful for Him.
  3. And worship thou him.
    1. The church, being but the bride of her Lord, is bound to worship in return (Eph 5:22-24).
    2. What should have the daughter done in Ezekiel 16 to repay the great kindness shown her?

12 And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour.

  1. And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift.
    1. The psalmist described the gifts of the Gentiles and the rich seeking her royal blessing.
    2. God prophesied in many places of the Gentiles coming to the light of Christ's kingdom.
    3. Many of the Jews rejected the gospel offer, but the Gentiles rejoiced at it (Matt 22:1-7).
    4. Jesus Christ so adorned His church that the rich city of Tyre paid homage (Acts 21:3-6).
    5. We would be remiss if we did not mention the U.S. tax benefits still given to the church.
  2. Even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour.
    1. There have been rich benefactors of the kingdom of heaven seeking her blessing on them.
    2. Whether Darius in the O.T. (Ezra 6:1-10) or King James of England, they served God.
    3. Great men of all kinds in all nations and generations have sought Christian blessings.

13 The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.

  1. The king's daughter is all glorious within.
    1. Is the king's daughter glorious within a place, or does she have a glorious heart within?
    2. Here is pictured by narrative the adorned bride within her dressing room in fine clothes.
    3. Jesus has made us glorious within – in our souls, but the picture is of the bridal chamber.
    4. He perfected us with holiness and spotlessness before Him in love (Ep 1:3-6; Jude 1:24).
  2. Her clothing is of wrought gold.
    1. The garments for the royal bride are of the finest material with various fine attributes.
    2. The Lord has clothed us with the garments of a glorious salvation (Is 61:10; Rev 3:18).

14 She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.

  1. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework.
    1. These are the nuptial garments for the consummation of the marriage and lovemaking.
    2. Jesus Christ will clothe us with the fine linen of righteousness He gives (Rev 19:8,14).
  2. The virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.
    1. There were many at Solomon's bed (Song 6:8), and so in heaven (He 12:22-23; Re 5:11).
    2. Weddings are ranked by size of the wedding party and number of attendants. See it here.

15 With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace.

  1. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought.
    1. The virgin companions of the illustrious bride shall be brought to celebrate with her.
    2. This is a description of the ecstatic scene of the adoring bride meeting her beloved Lord.
    3. The gospel privilege of knowing Jesus Christ is such a joyous privilege (Isaiah 35:1-10).
  2. They shall enter into the king's palace.
    1. Our Lord has prepared a place for His bride here and there (Eph 2:19-22; John 14:2-3).
    2. The heavenly privilege of being with Christ is a much more joyous event (Rev 7:16-17).

16 Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.

  1. Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children.
    1. Here the psalmist instructed the bride about her spiritual seed replacing her ancestors.
    2. Note the spiritual seed, which would be accounted for a generation (Psalm 22:30-31).
    3. Many who follow Christ forsake earthly families (Matt 10:34-37; Lu 9:57-62; 14:25-33).
    4. This cost of discipleship is a blessing by a factor of one hundred to one (Mark 10:28-30).
    5. The fertile bride of Christ would bear many children (Is 49:21-23; 54:1-10; Gal 4:26-27).
    6. Jewish fathers rejected Jesus and His kingdom, but not Gentle children (Acts 15:13-18).
  2. Whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.
    1. Here the psalmist instructed the bride about exalting her children as princes in the earth.
    2. The spiritual fulfillment is our position as kings and priests (Rev 1:6; 5:10; Gal 3:28).

17 I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.

  1. I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations.
    1. David concluded his good matter, promising perpetual teaching and praise to the King.
    2. By David writing this inspired psalm, he has exalted the name of Jesus to all generations.
    3. Whenever this psalm is considered as to the identity of its object, Jesus is remembered.
    4. We are still reading about Jesus in these glorious terms 3000+ years after its writing.
    5. This nuptial psalm has been cause for praise, is still today, and shall be forever in heaven.
    6. God's ministers make His glorious name, person, and work remembered (Rom 11:33-36); and it is the privilege of God's saints to praise Him forever (Ps 72:17-20; 145:1-21).
    7. Let us make sure we convey from one generation to another the glory of Jesus Christ.
  2. Therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.
    1. It should be our greatest joy and purpose to describe Jesus and His glory to others.
    2. It is by the use of scripture that we learn of Christ and praise Him forever (John 5:39).
    3. Without scripture, we could neither remember nor consider such great things as these.
    4. The names of Jehovah God and His Son Jesus Christ are loved by Gentiles (Mal 1:11).
    5. The great mystery of godliness without controversy is about Jesus Christ (I Tim 3:16).
  1. Conclusion:
    1. The apostles declared the glorious fulfillment of this psalm to the Jews (Acts 2:33-36; 5:30-32; etc.).
    2. My earnest desire is for your increase in the knowledge of Christ (Phil 3:8; II Pet 3:18; Eph 3:14-18).
    3. Are there weeping Mary's here, who would desire to sit at the feet of Jesus Christ (Luke 10:38-42)?
    4. Beware! If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha (I Cor 16:22)!
  1. For Further Study:
    1. The sermon, Jesus the Son of David.
    2. The sermon, He Is Altogether Lovely.
    3. The sermon, World's Greatest Lover.
    4. The sermon, The Glory of the Cross.
    5. The sermon, The Coronation of Jesus.
    6. The sermon, He Ascended Up on High.
    7. The sermon, We Would See Jesus.
    8. The sermon, Jesus Is Jehovah.
    9. The sermon, Above Every Name [Audio/Video].
    10. The sermon, Jesus and the Angels.
    11. The sermon, Blessed Potentate.
    12. The sermon, To Live Is Christ.