A Magnificent Bridegroom
(H) For the director of the choir, according to “Lilies,” a Maskil of the sons of Korah, a song of love. (1) My heart is moved by a noble theme. I address my composition to the king. My tongue is like the pen of a skilled writer. (2) You are fairer than the sons of men. Grace is poured upon your lips. Therefore, God has blessed you forever. (3) Gird your sword upon your thigh, O mighty one, in your glory and majesty, (4) and in your splendor ride victoriously for the cause of truth, humility, and righteousness. Let your right hand teach you awesome deeds. (5) Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies. May the nations fall under you. (6) Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. A scepter of uprightness (is) the scepter of your kingdom. (7) You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore, God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your companions. (8) All your garments (are fragrant with) myrrh, aloes, and cassia. From ivory palaces stringed instruments cause you to rejoice. (9) The daughters of queens (are) among your ladies of honor. At your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.
Exalted language is used throughout this description of the king, God’s anointed ruler, preparing for his wedding. Note the triplets that describe him. First, he is “fairer” than all, with lips full of “grace,” and is “blessed forever” (vss. 2 & 3). Then he rides forth in the cause of “truth, humility, and righteousness” (vs. 4).
In addition we observe the distinguishing marks of his royal sovereignty: powerful weapons including a sword (vs. 3), sharp arrows (vs. 5), and the symbols of his rule, his eternal throne and scepter of uprightness (vs. 6) as well as his divine anointing with the oil of gladness (vs. 7). His wedding garments are prepared with three costly substances that exude a lovely fragrance: myrrh, aloes, and cassia (vs. 8). The last verse describes a climactic moment, the introduction of the queen surrounded by her attendants and adorned with gold from Ophir (vs. 9).
I. Introduction to the king on his wedding day (1)
II. The king’s exalted person (2-5)
III. The king’s exalted position (6-9)
God’s Davidic ruler, magnificent in his person and glorious in power, prepares for his wedding day.
This entire psalm celebrates the wedding of God’s exalted ruler. In this first segment (vss. 1-9), the psalmist rejoices in the grandeur of the king, his splendor, his righteousness, and his power. In the second part (vss. 10-17), the focus will shift to the bride whom the king will wed, focusing on her beauty and desirability. While some commentators view this passage as describing Solomon’s marriage to the Shulammite (Song of Songs 3:6-11), others consider it to be an anticipatory description of what is foretold in the last book of the New Testament, the marriage of the Lamb to his bride, the Church (Rev. 19:7-9).
We should take a moment to focus on a statement, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever” (vs. 6). While some have considered this an example of exaggerated speech offered in a glorious moment of acclaiming an earthly king in his splendor, others believe that with these words the psalmist has moved beyond describing a historic event to a prophecy of future glory. Psalm 2 portrays the Son, Israel’s Messiah, in direct dialogue with his Father regarding his ruling over the earth. In similar fashion, Psalm 45 describes the Anointed One, the promised messianic king, in his future role as universal monarch. All Old Testament covenants, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic, and New, find their ultimate fulfillment in the Messiah when he is enthroned as sovereign over all the earth.