Wednesday, March 16, 2016

PSALM 45, A Song of Love
A Royal Nuptial
The royal bridegroom is Christ, the royal bride is the church, her consent gained, the nuptials solemnized, the issue of the marriage,(the Gentiles): Adam Clarke says that it is primarily respecting Solomon's marriage to a Pharaoh's daughter.

"My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer."
(verse 1)


Overflows can mean "is astir," bubbleth up, as from a fountain. The Old Psalter says, "Mi hert rofteh gude word" or "My heart belcheth."  Hmm.  The theme is concerning the holy love between Christ and His church.  Has your heart belched lately?

As a writer, I love the next verse and sometimes love to stretch its context so that I like to think a bit of my writing glorifies Him with whom I have to do.  For it is as the Old Psalter says, "I say my werkes til the kung' or I dedicate my works to the king.  "My tung of maister swyftly...That es, my tung is pen of the Haly Gast; and nout but as his instrument, wham he edis als he wil.  For I speke noght bot that he settis on my tung; als the pen dos noght withouten the writer...for the vertu of goddess inspiracioun is nought, for to think with mons study that he schewes til other of the purete of heven: that es sone for to come that he wrytes."  This describes more closely the inspiration of the Holy Ghost by which the Scriptures were written.  May I show the purity of "heven."

As Matthew Henry writes, "This song was a confession with the mouth of faith in the heart concerning Christ and his church.  We speak best of Christ and divine things when we speak from the heart that which has warmed and affected us...'My tongue is the pen of a ready writer,' guided by my heart in every word as the pen is by the hand.  We call the prophets the penmen of scripture, whereas really they were but the pen." 

"Thou art fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Thy lips;
Therefore God has blessed Thee forever." 
(verse 2)

This is thought to be sung by the bridesmaids.  Mirror, mirror on the wall, the most fair of all is not Solomon, but Christ Himself.  He is "the great favourite of heaven." (Matthew Henry)But beyond His beauty is His eloquence, grace poured from His lips.  This grace "By His word, His promise, His gospel, the goodwill of God is made known to us and the good work of God is begun and carried on in us...He has the eternal words of life."  Christ is the divine logos, the very Word of God in the flesh.   

"Gird Thy sword on Thy thigh
O Mighty One.
In Thy splendor and Thy majesty!
And in Thy majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness
and righteousness..."
(verses 3-4)

Oh, goody!  The Prince Charming comes to the rescue!  "The royal bridegroom is to rescue his spouse by dint of sword out of her captivity, to conquer her, and to conquer for her, and then to marry her...The word of God is the sword of the Spirit.  By promises of that word, and the grace contained in those promises, souls are made willing o submit to Jesus Christ and become His royal subject." (Matthew Henry)  His riding, Adam Clarke says, "is the riding the prosperous progress of His gospel over the earth.  He uses no sword, but the sword of the Spirit...It teaches the doctrine of meekness, or humility; opposes pride and vain glory...the necessity of humiliation, or repentance, because of sin." 

Matthew Henry says, "Christ, both in his person and in His gospel, had nothing of external glory or majesty, nothing to charm men (for he had not form nor comeliness), nothing to awe men, for He took upon Him the form of a servant; it was all spiritual glory, spiritual majesty."  Truth, meekness, and righteousness...these are His glory and majesty."

"Let Thy right hand teach Thee awesome things."
(verse 4)
"O hero, gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh."

"In order to the conversion and reduction of souls to him, there are terrible things to be done; the heart must be pricked, conscience must be startled, and the terrors of the Lord must make way for His consolations."  The Septuagint: "And Thy right Hand shall lead Thee wonderfully."  The Vulgate, and the Old Psalter: "Nothing shall be able to resist Thee."

Next time we shall look at His kingdom more closely, the one with joy and gladness...

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