Reflection on Psalm 45: 10-17

Not surprisingly, this psalm has been seen by many as referring to Christ, and His bride—the church. As the psalmist turns to the queen’s preparation for marriage, he adopts a wisdom-teaching mode, characteristic of the court: “Listen, O daughter.” The first point made to the new queen is that she “forget” her “own people” and her “father’s house.” If her “own people” refers to another nation, this means that the queen is a foreigner. It may, however, simply refer to her tribe or extended family. She is called upon to make the break with the old identity and the old ties. Thus when we as the church come to Christ, there must be a death to the past, to the point of hating father and mother and even our own selves, in order to be His disciples as mentioned in Luke 14:26.

The king will long for his bride. The verb for “greatly desire” means “to be passionate for,” that is, the king will want to consummate the marriage. The queen, in return, will submit to the king as her “Lord” and “worship –bow down – to Him.” Similarly, when we come to Christ as His bride we bow in worship before Him. Thus Thomas submitted to the risen Lord confessing, “My Lord and my God!” in John 20:28.

The queen will be courted by rulers and powerful “people.” The “daughter of Tyre” will bring a “gift” and “the rich…will seek your favour.” “Daughter” here either means a princess from the great trading centre north of Israel or it may be symbolic for the “people of Tyre”. Thus into the New Jerusalem, which is Jesus’ bride, the church, “the kings of the earth will bring their glory and their honour”. Again, it is the church, made up of the meek, that will inherit the earth.

Now the queen, the “royal daughter,” is ready for the presentation. She is “all glorious” in “her clothing … woven with gold.” She also wears “robes of many colours” as she is “brought to the King.” Her attendants, “virgins, her companions who follow her,” enter the king’s palace “with gladness and rejoicing.”

Likewise, the church wears robes, but they will be white and spotless, washed in the blood of the Lamb as John described in Revelation 7:14. The church too is made ready to be married to Christ. Thus at the end of the age, there is great rejoicing in heaven “for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready” as per Revelation 19:7. Verse 15 of this psalm well expresses not only the wedding of Israel’s king, but also the union of Christ and His church.

The prophetic word from God given through the psalmist contains the promise to the king and queen that the royal line will continue for generations to come. “Fathers” pass away. In their stead they will have “sons” who will become “princes in all the earth.” This verse is clearly eschatological. There will be a day, yet to come, when the Messiah’s followers will inherit the earth.

Moreover, God “will make the king’s name to be remembered in all generations” and he will be praised by “the people” (or “all peoples”; the Hebrew noun is plural). Here the plural represents fullness. Their thanksgiving will be endless, “forever and ever.”

So in the Book of Revelation 1:5–6, John proclaims to the church that Jesus is the “ruler over the kings of the earth,” and He has “made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” In the deepest sense, this wedding psalm celebrates the final King to come who will claim His bride forever.

As one pastor said, I have performed hundreds of weddings. It is always exciting to have the rehearsal and then to gather for the main event. All of the participants appear in their finest clothes. The bride is always radiant, glowing and a bit nervous as she prepares to walk down the aisle to her groom. Often there are tears of joy as the procession begins. This is the crowning moment—all the hopes, fears, plans, and promises of the engagement period are now climaxed as the wedding takes place. It is as if every wedding is a dress rehearsal for that day when we as Christ’s bride are with Him “face to face,” married for eternity.

Psalm 45 is composed to celebrate the king’s wedding. After a description of his royal glory and kingdom his bride, the queen, is introduced. She is encouraged to forget her people and her father’s house. The king is now her Lord. Finally, she is described in all her glory as she is brought into the royal household. The oriental court poetry here includes both prophetic and wisdom motifs (“Listen, O daughter, / Consider and incline your ear”). Its purpose is to praise the king and it includes instruction for the new queen to help her enter his palace as his bride. If this is true, there will also be instruction for the church which becomes Christ’s bride and is married to Him by faith (Luther).

And John Wesley wrote that, “Remembered – As he began the psalm with the celebration of the king’s praises, so now he ends with it, and adds this important circumstance, that this nuptial song should not only serve for the present solemnity, but should be remembered and sung in all successive generations”.

Here then is a “good theme,” indeed, and our hearts overflow. The one remaining question with which we as the church must search our hearts is this: Are we ready?

This is called a messianic psalm because it prophetically describes the Messiah’s future relationship with the church, his body of believers. It expresses God’s abundant blessing on his Messiah; the words of Psalm find their ultimate fulfilment in Christ. The church is described as the bride of Christ. Both the Holy Spirit and the bride (the church) extend the invitation to all the world to come to Jesus and experience the joys of salvation in Christ.

The Holy Spirit brings healing, love, freedom, refreshment, and newness of life. The Good News is unlimited in scope—all people everywhere may come. Salvation cannot be earned, but God gives it freely.

This beautiful section of poetry describes the king’s bride. It also provides a rich metaphor to help us picture Christ’s bride, the church, as she unites forever with him. We don’t know how the new earth will look or where it will be, but God and his followers—who accepted him their Lord—those whose names are written in the Book of Life—will be united to live there forever. Will you be there?

In the new Jerusalem, God will live among his people. Instead of us going up to meet him, he will come down to be with us, just as he became a man in Jesus Christ and lived among us (John 1:14). Wherever God lives and reigns, there is peace, security, and love. Therefore, as Christians and believers, in His Everlasting kingdom, we will praise Him and remain with Him forever and ever. Praise the Lord. Amen.

God Bless you all.

Noel Noel