Dishman Baptist Church
The Royal Wedding
      • Colossians 1:28CSB

  • Living Waters
  • All Praise To Him
  • Great Is Thy Faithfulness
      • Revelation 19.6-7CSB

      • Revelation 19.8-9CSB

      • Revelation 19.10CSB

  • Introduction

    Good morning and welcome to Dishman Baptist Church. It is a privilege to be with you this morning and to open the Word of God with you.
    What is the most significant event that you have ever been a part of? Not simply a significant event to you alone - but one of national importance? I think I’ve told the story of one such event that I was present for - it was the 2008 Presidential Inauguration Ceremony in Washington D.C. The atmosphere on that day was positively electric. There were people everywhere and the vendors - they were selling all kinds of things with Barak Obama’s likeness on them. The nations first black President - it was quite a moment in time. And whether you agree with his politics or not - you can’t remove from that moment the significance that it had for our nation.
    Maybe for some of you it was when man first walked on the moon or when JFK was assassinated. Many of us remember where we were on September 11th. Or maybe for some it could be the recent royal wedding that took place just last year. Nearly 29 million spectators watched, glued to their television screens as Meghan Markle and Price Harry exchanged vows.
    If you do have any memories of significant events maybe you can resonate with the narrator of the Psalm that we’re going to look in to this morning. This was going to be an event to behold. Let’s read the Psalm first and then see what God is seeking to reveal to us through these words. Please take your Bibles and open with me to Psalm 45.
    Psalm 45 CSB
    For the choir director: according to “The Lilies.” A Maskil of the sons of Korah. A love song. My heart is moved by a noble theme as I recite my verses to the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. You are the most handsome of men; grace flows from your lips. Therefore God has blessed you forever. Mighty warrior, strap your sword at your side. In your majesty and splendor— in your splendor ride triumphantly in the cause of truth, humility, and justice. May your right hand show your awe-inspiring acts. Your sharpened arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies; the peoples fall under you. Your throne, God, is forever and ever; the scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of justice. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of joy more than your companions. Myrrh, aloes, and cassia perfume all your garments; from ivory palaces harps bring you joy. Kings’ daughters are among your honored women; the queen, adorned with gold from Ophir, stands at your right hand. Listen, daughter, pay attention and consider: forget your people and your father’s house, and the king will desire your beauty. Bow down to him, for he is your lord. The daughter of Tyre, the wealthy people, will seek your favor with gifts. In her chamber, the royal daughter is all glorious, her clothing embroidered with gold. In colorful garments she is led to the king; after her, the virgins, her companions, are brought to you. They are led in with gladness and rejoicing; they enter the king’s palace. Your sons will succeed your ancestors; you will make them princes throughout the land. I will cause your name to be remembered for all generations; therefore the peoples will praise you forever and ever.
    During the Middle Ages kings would often employ artisans gifted in music and lyric to regale their courts with stories of chivalry, daring and adventure. This class of artists came to be known as the bards and later the minstrels or troubadours. What we see here in this passage is the precursors to these men in the court of the kings of Israel. The author of this Psalm in unknown - as are the participants of the wedding that gives rise to its writing. Commentators have speculated that it could have been Solomon - and with 700 wives the Psalmist would have had many opportunities to compose these verses. There is even speculation that these verses might have been composed to commemorate the wedding of Ahab and Jezebel but I think that is highly unlikely.
    This writer is moved to exuberant joy because of the event that he is privileged to recount - a noble theme - the wedding of the king to his bride. What more noble opportunity could there be as weddings generally put on display the best that humanity has to offer. The pageantry, the guests dressed in their finest clothes, the anticipation of the groom and the bride’s arrival it truly is a significant event. And for this scribe there is no greater opportunity than to simply be a bystander, a witness to this grand spectacle. His very heart swells at the memory of this glorious event. His tongue, as if moved by an unseen hand, becomes the very pinnacle of creativity, the source of beautiful words that move others hearts to worship and joy as they experience the words that he shares.
    The greatest writers in history were not autobiographical and our writer this morning is the same - after this momentary exploration of how his subject matter affected him he turns to his subject and joyously describes the subjects of this particular event.

    The Groom

    Psalm 45:2-9;
    The initial introduction of this king is exactly as something we might expect. He is described as being the most handsome of men. I mean of course the king is going to be good looking - but how quickly we forget the chiding that Samuel was given by God when he was sent to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the king of Israel.
    1 Samuel 16:7 CSB
    But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature because I have rejected him. Humans do not see what the Lord sees, for humans see what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.”
    Although later in the same chapter David is described
    1 Samuel 16:12 CSB
    So Jesse sent for him. He had beautiful eyes and a healthy, handsome appearance. Then the Lord said, “Anoint him, for he is the one.”
    Here we have the same picture - when we hear of the king being described as handsome we immediately think of his physical stature or appearance. And yet the description of the king that follows is an immediate departure from what would be expected.
    Grace flows from his lips - what an unusual and, really undesirable, characteristic for a leader. This is primeval Israel. Not more than a few generations separated from having to fight to conquer these lands and with the instructions that they were to annihilate all of the people groups who lived there before them. You would think that the leader would exude confidence, maybe even a touch of arrogance, certainly at least strength - but grace. When it comes to dealing with threats - whether it was ancient Israel or 21st century America - the last thing the populace wants is a leader who exudes grace. But the king of Israel was meant to be a counter-point to all the other rulers around them. The pattern that the Israelite king had to follow was of a higher standard than simply those who sought to grab power and land. He was to first and foremost be a representative of the God who the nation was to represent and as such was called upon to exude grace.
    Think of the example of David during the Saul’s pursuit of him. Saul heard David was hiding in the wilderness and so he collected 3000 of Israel’s finest young warriors to go and track David down. 1 Samuel 24 tells the story
    1 Samuel 24:3–7 CSB
    When Saul came to the sheep pens along the road, a cave was there, and he went in to relieve himself. David and his men were staying in the recesses of the cave, so they said to him, “Look, this is the day the Lord told you about: ‘I will hand your enemy over to you so you can do to him whatever you desire.’ ” Then David got up and secretly cut off the corner of Saul’s robe. Afterward, David’s conscience bothered him because he had cut off the corner of Saul’s robe. He said to his men, “I swear before the Lord: I would never do such a thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed. I will never lift my hand against him, since he is the Lord’s anointed.” With these words David persuaded his men, and he did not let them rise up against Saul. Then Saul left the cave and went on his way.
    Instead of exacting vengeance on his pursuer, David exercised grace demonstrating his faith in God to provide and remembering what God had said in Deuteronomy
    Deuteronomy 32:35 CSB
    Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay. In time their foot will slip, for their day of disaster is near, and their doom is coming quickly.”
    And for his example of grace God will bless his king forever.
    But there does come a time when physical force is required. The writer’s next words point to the king riding out when his lands are threatened, when his people are being attacked and he rides forth. You can almost hear the creak of the gates as they open to reveal this king sitting on his noble steed ready to ride forth and to expand his lands and make his name great among the nations. His armor gleams in the sunlight and his personal banners snap in the breeze. And yet - while he most certainly rides forth with his sword strapped to his thigh exuding majesty and splendor his cause is not his own glory - but instead it is the glory of the One who placed him on the throne. Kings and politicians ride forth for many reasons - gold, land, power, prestige - but very few of them ride forth for the principles of truth, humility and justice (or as the NASB translates this righteousness).
    We might be willing to accept a ruler riding forth for the principles of truth and righteousness - but humility. Like grace before this, humility is not a much prized attribute in leadership. Yet again we see a picture that God’s ways are not our ways and that His desires for those who will step in to lead His people are for them to emulate Him. In so doing he reveals a dependence on God that results in the performance of great deeds.
    Now comes an interesting passage because the address is made toward God but the words are applied toward the king. Because ancient Israel was a theocratic society - they were primarily supposed to be ruled by God working through the king - it was often a difficult process to determine where the king stopped and God began. And so the writer says that His throne will be forever and ever and that the scepter of his kingdom will be the scepter of justice or righteousness. This again points to the defining characteristic of the nation of Israel - or at least what it was supposed to be. We looked last week at how God described Himself and His primary attribute being His own holiness from which every other attribute flows. This is to be the defining attribute for this earthly representative of His kingdom and rule as well. The scepter was to be a representation of the Kingdom and it was to be defined by the righteousness of the one holding it and how he wielded his power - but more than that it was to be a representation of the One who had put the leadership in place and His righteousness.
    This king is not just the physical leader but also the spiritual leader of the nation. The anointing oil here refers to the oil that was used to anoint the priests
    Exodus 30:22–25 CSB
    The Lord spoke to Moses: “Take for yourself the finest spices: 12½ pounds of liquid myrrh, half as much (6¼ pounds) of fragrant cinnamon, 6¼ pounds of fragrant cane, 12½ pounds of cassia (by the sanctuary shekel), and a gallon of olive oil. Prepare from these a holy anointing oil, a scented blend, the work of a perfumer; it will be holy anointing oil.
    This groom would don his kingly and priestly garments and then be ready to lead forth the procession to claim his bride. Having painted us a picture of this man, the author now turns his tongue to draw a picture of the bride.

    The Bride

    Psalm 45:10-15;
    He starts off by speaking to her. His first words call to mind the words of Genesis
    Genesis 2:24 CSB
    This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.
    Here he tells the bride that she is to leave her family, her people everything that she has known and that has been a part of her life and to bond herself to her husband, to her king. While this may point to the idea of submissiveness in a patriarchal society, this also is not cumbersome as a man who leads a nation with grace and seeks to defend truth, humility and righteousness will do so first within his own home. There is a tenderness promised here in the way that the king will approach her - that he will desire her.
    Having allayed her fears, the writer now turns to his description of her. And we are given one simple description that her dress, her clothing is embroidered with gold. We are told nothing of her physical beauty, her outward appearance but instead are pointed to the garments that are given to her to wear that day. That is not to say that this bride was not beautiful - if this is a picture of one of Solomon’s brides this could be the bride that is one of the principal characters in the Song of Solomon which uses extravagant language to describe the physical beauty of both the bride and the groom. But here we are given a picture that this bride is beautiful because of the clothes that she has been given - a picture of the inner beauty of her honor and her person. She is pure, dressed in the finest white garments and embroidered with gold.
    And she comes forth not preceded by anyone but instead followed by her maidens and led forth with gladness and rejoicing. This is a joyous day, the day that she gets to enter the kings palace to dwell there with Him.

    The Future

    Psalm 45:16-17;
    The writer spends far more time describing the beauty of the King than he does the bride. This was written for a real wedding that took place in pre-exile Israel. And so we must ask what significance this Psalm could have to those who lived in Israel after the reign of the kings during the dispersion and under various rulers - most notably the Romans. One commentator writes
    Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 19: Psalms 1–50 (Revised Edition) Explanation

    In its original sense and context, it is not in any sense a messianic psalm.

    and this is so - but the Psalm came to take on the sense of messianic promise for the Jews as they looked forward to the day that Messiah would come and would throw off the oppressive rule and would once again establish the Davidic throne in Israel. And it takes on significance for us as we look around and see the dark and oppressive world we live in and we look forward to the day when our King will ride forth with His sword strapped to his leg to defend and conquer His enemies with truth, humility and righteousness.
    Revelation 19:11 CSB
    Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and he judges and makes war with justice.
    It is His throne that will be forever and ever as the writer of Hebrews took these words and applied them to Christ
    Hebrews 1:8–9 CSB
    but to the Son: Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of justice. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; this is why God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of joy beyond your companions.
    He is our great King, Priest and Prophet fulfilling the threefold office and coming to claim His bride. It is interesting that He is referred to here as the most handsome of men because later Isaiah would write
    Isaiah 53:2–3 CSB
    He grew up before him like a young plant and like a root out of dry ground. He didn’t have an impressive form or majesty that we should look at him, no appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was. He was like someone people turned away from; he was despised, and we didn’t value him.
    But He is beautiful not because of His outward appearance but because of the grace that He speaks over us and to us. Because of what He has done in purchasing His bride. Because His war for truth and righteousness was won because of His humility as He sacrificed Himself for our freedom on the cross.
    Philippians 2:8–11 CSB
    he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross. For this reason God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow— in heaven and on earth and under the earth— and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
    It is for this reason that we, His bride to be, can wear garments of white embroidered with gold. It is not for our physical beauty or attraction that He is coming to retrieve us but for His glory and for the garments, the purity that He has bestowed upon us.
    But there is a question - there is a challenge for us in this Psalm. Do you see it? It is in the words of the poet to the bride, it is in his counsel to her to forget her people and to forget her father’s house. We were dead in our trespasses and living among a people who were dead in their trespasses as well. We lived in the house of our father the devil and performed the works that he approved of. Do we still desire to live there? Are there things that we still desire more than than the King who has provided such lavish garments for us to wear and instead we’re still clinging to the worthless raiment of self-righteousness or sinful works? Do we think that we can clean our own garments and make them presentable for that great day when He comes to claim His bride?
    If this is you this morning pay attention and consider, listen to the Psalmist here, forget your people and your father’s house bow down to Christ for He is your lord. It is His name that the Psalmist refers to in the final verse of this passage - it is His name that will be remembered for all generations and His name that the people will praise forever and ever.

    Conclusion

    So the question for us this morning is whose bride are you? What garments are you wearing? Are you trying to dress yourself before you come to Christ?
    2,200 Quotations from the Writings of Charles H. Spurgeon: Arranged Topically or Textually and Indexed by Subject, Scripture, and People Salvation, Excuses Against

    1248You need not trim and dress yourselves to come to Christ. Even your feelings are not the wedding garment. Come naked.

    “But sir, I am so careless.”

    Come careless, then.

    “But I am so hard-hearted.”

    Come hard-hearted, then.

    “But I am so thoughtless.”

    Come thoughtless, then, and trust Christ now.

    And if you are a believer, if you are already a member of His bride, do you look forward to that day with the exuberant joy of this Psalmist? Do we live with an eye toward the coming of our King who, after riding forth in truth, humility and righteousness, will sit down on His throne and claim His bride and we will live with Him in His palace, in His glorious city forever? Oh may that day come quickly. But until then as we live with one eye looking toward that day we must be those who will make His name remembered for all generations, those who praise His name forever and ever.
      • Psalm 45CSB

      • 1 Samuel 16:7CSB

      • 1 Samuel 16:12CSB

      • 1 Samuel 24:3–7CSB

      • Deuteronomy 32:35CSB

      • Exodus 30:22–25CSB

      • Genesis 2:24CSB

      • Revelation 19:11CSB

      • Hebrews 1:8–9CSB

      • Isaiah 53:2–3CSB

      • Philippians 2:8–11CSB

  • Revelation Song
      • 1 Thessalonians 5:23CSB

      • Colossians 3:11CSB

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