Psalm 45: Rejoice with Gladness
February 23, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
This psalm is apparently a “love song” (as the ascription puts it) and also written as “verses to the king” (45:1). At one level, the psalm ascribes to the king that he is the “most handsome of the sons of men” (45:2). It tells us that the princess, who is about to marry, is “all glorious…in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold” (45:13). It celebrates the progeny of the couple who will be “princes in all the earth” (45:16). It is then a love song and also a song about the victorious power of the king, that in his “majesty [he would] ride out victoriously,” that he is valiant truth, or “for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness” (45:4).
The psalm then, at this level, encourages us to celebrate good authority. We find it very strange to think of praising the powerful, but biblically speaking, authority is not an intrinsic evil. There are authorities which are evil, but authority itself, when used well and for righteousness and peace, is a great good. It is part of the blessing of God.
We should not feel embarrassed, then, to celebrate great and good men and women, and to see in their exaltation a blessing to us all. This is such a strange thought for many us who want to tear everyone down from their positions of authority. But a good leader is good to all he or she leads.
But this psalm is not only operative at this level. It peers beyond human authority to the divine, indeed the messianic. Speaking of this king, the psalmist says “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever” (45:6). No human king has ever had that promise fulfilled. It is only true of one king, The King, Christ Jesus himself. This King has been “anointed with the oil of gladness” (45:7); he is the anointed one, the Messiah. At this fulfilled level, then, the psalmist causes us to celebrate and rejoice in the King of kings, Jesus himself.
Perhaps you feel that your life does not amount to much. Perhaps you feel that you are drifting or that you are small and insignificant and no one notices. Would you rejoice in, commit to, and celebrate the King of kings! He is your King, and you are his beloved, and in him your significance is guaranteed as an heir of the eternal kingdom of Christ! Rejoice with gladness and praise him forever and ever!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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