First Off…read Psalm 45!
Our psalm today is one that seems out of place – even though it is not. Where many of the psalms speak of joys and needs our psalm today is one that simply speaks of praise. But it’s not a “praise” as seen from David as he has been delivered from his enemies but a simple praise for who God is and what he has done.
The image we get is of a wedding “praise”. The king is now married and a young man stands before the king and his queen to sing them of their praises. He sings a song of joy and encouragement and hope ABOUT the king in verses 1-9 but then transition to focus on the queen in verses 10-17.
Now this may be odd and strange and even out of place…but if you put yourself in the shoes of the writer (or the singer) you get this sense that he is in absolute delight about not only his king but the fact that he has taken a bride too. I like what Roger Ellsworth writes in that he is “bubbling” with joy.
As we start to work through the opening half of this psalm we start to read about all the things that he found delight IN and important in his king. He is excellent (2), the words he speaks are full of grace and he has been blessed by God (2); he is equipped to defend and attack with his sword and he is clothed in majesty and splendor (3); he rides in truth, humility, and righteousness and all he does (his work) is good (4); all the nations bow before him (5) and his throne will never end (6). This king is honest and truthful and because of this God has placed him above all things and of all things that this king could have…of all the women that were available – he desired this royal bride…the one that sits beside him (9).
And the bride? What about her? The place she dwells is glorious (13) and she has been given everything she could ever want or need by her groom (14)…but the writer has a challenge for her – which is interesting. He tells her to focus on the king and only him. Don’t look to others who come to her with favor, who try to please her and taker her eyes off the king…for they WILL come (12). And finally – don’t hold to where you came from but focus on where you are going, whom you are with now (10).
Again, this may seem “odd” and weird…but it makes absolute sense in 2 ways:
- The king and his stability, strength, compassion, and strength on the throne was everything to the Israelites. And having him take a bride brought long-term strength and stability to the house too. When we remember this, and put ourselves in the shoes of the writer/singer…we get it.
- From a CHRISTIAN standpoint – this should make absolute sense when we remember that the king is none other than the King of kings (Jesus Christ (Heb 1:8; Rev 19:7-8)) and the Bride is the Church.
When we come to this psalm with joy and delight (as the author has who has penned this song and been invited to sing for the king and his bride) I begin to wonder what words I would write. What things do I find joy and delight in with Christ that are meaningful, honest, hopeful, and true? Do I go into an aria of strength, power, and might and yet never forgetting his love, compassion, and grace?
And what about his bride? The Church? Do I sing a song, as the psalmist has, that challenges, encourages, and reminds the Bride of where she has been, where her focus should be, and the hope for her to come? How she could be swayed by others and yet she must stay true to Christ, true to His word…and true to all he speaks of?
And just as Christ frequently would speak to his Disciples encouraging words of service and what was to come while they were surrounded by other followers and on-lookers – knowing that the psalmist is singing this song in front of a massive crowd of people too who were listening and wondering what he would say…what words would I choose to sing of my King and encourage his Bride WHILE people were listening? What words would I choose that helped OTHERS know my King and his Bride?
To be honest, as I think about this I am getting goose-bumps. Just the prospect of singing to Christ makes me nervous. Would I say the right thing? Would I say enough? COULD I say too much? How long would I sing for? Is there an appropriate length? Scientists have found that the top 100 songs have an average of 180 seconds before “bloat” starts in (getting repetitive and tired). Is 2 mins really long enough? Or do I do something comparable to the longest song ever written which is a 69 min song containing over 500 verses?
In honesty – neither of those seem right. I SHOULD be able to sing a song less than 2 mins because I can easily sum up the splendor of my King in a few short words – and yet 69 mins doesn’t seem long enough for my whole LIFE must be one extended song of joy and hope and splendor about my King that I share with others.
In the end I’m not sure where I end the song…so I guess I’ll simply keep singing. Because let’s be honest…He never ceases to amaze me with things I simply want to sing His praises about.