May 20: Psalm 45

May 20: Psalm 45

The King and the Bride

Short meter double 66.86 D                    Diademata (Crown Him with Many Crowns), p. 20
Terra Beata (This is My Father’s World), p. 10
Festal Song (Rise up, O Men of God)

My heart doth overflow; a noble theme I sing.

My tongue’s a skillful writer’s pen to speak about the King.

More fair than sons of men Thy lips with grace o’erflow,

Because His blessing evermore God did on Thee bestow.

Thy sword gird on Thy thigh, O Thou supreme in might,

And gird Thyself with majesty and with Thy splendor bright.

To victory ride forth for meekness, truth, and right;

And may Thy right hand teach to Thee the deeds of dreadful might.

Thine arrows sharpened are, men under Thee to bring,

To pierce the heart of enemies who fight against the King.

Thy royal throne, O God, from everlasting is;

A righteous scepter evermore Thy kingdom’s scepter is.

Thou righteousness hast loved and wickedness abhorred;

On Thee, ‘bove all, has God, Thy God, the oil of gladness poured.

Through every coming age I’ll make Thy name to live;

The peoples therefore evermore their praise to Thee shall give.

With cassia, aloes, myrrh, thy robes sweet fragrance had;

From palaces of i-vo-ry the sweet harps made Thee glad.

King’s daughters are among those who in honor stand.

Thy bride arrayed in Ophir gold there stands at Thy right hand.

O daughter, hear and heed; incline to me thine ear;

“Forget thou now thy people all, thy father’s household dear.

Thy beauty to the King shall then delightful be;

Because He is thy Lord, do thou To Him bow rev’rently.”

The daughter then of Tyre there with a gift shall be,

And all the wealthy of the land will make requests of Thee.

The daughter of the King all glorious waits within;

Her lovely gown with threads of gold has interwoven been.

She to the King is led in fine embroidery;

The bridesmaids in her train, her friends, are brought to honor Thee.

Attendants following their joy and gladness bring,

Until they all have entered there the palace of the King.

Then in Thy fathers’ stead Thy children Thou shalt take

And everywhere in all the earth them noble princes make.

Through every coming age I’ll make Thy name to live;

The people therefore evermore their praise to Thee shall give.

The kingdom of heaven, Jesus said, is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son (Matt. 22:2), that marriage’s consummation being the definitive aim of our destiny, and all of history constituting the courtship that prepares and anticipates the yet undisclosed hour of its fulfillment. Thus, the end of time is announced by the solemn proclamation: “Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!” (Matt. 25:6). This interpretation of history as the preparation for a royal wedding ceremony is so pervasive and obvious in Holy Scripture that we Christians, taking it so much for granted, may actually overlook it or give it little thought. To counter such forgetfulness of our future, therefore, God’s Holy Writ repeatedly reminds us of that coming wedding day of the King’s Son (Rev. 19:7,9). Thus, too, we are warned against the grave danger courted by those who refuse their wedding invitations (Matt. 22: 3-10), as well as the exclusion awaiting those improvident souls presumptuous of entrance without preparation (Matt. 22: 11-14). Psalm 45 is the psalm that anticipates and most descriptively foretells that future royal wedding. Its lines describe the “bride adorned for her husband” (Rev. 21:2): “The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace; her clothing is woven with gold…” There is even more description of the King’s Son, however, that Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world: “You are fairer than the sons of men. Grace is poured out upon Your lips. Therefore God has blessed You forever. Gird Your sword upon Your thigh, O Mighty One, with Your glory and Your majesty. And in Your majesty ride victorious because of truth, humility and righteousness.” (Reardon, p. 87-88)

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