The Wedding Song for
Christ & His Church

a brief study of Psalm 45, adapted from PCC Prayer Meeting Exhortation on 8 Feb 2008

Psalm 45 is indisputably a Messianic Psalm. In fact, in the Church of England liturgy, it is appointed for use on Christmas Day.

Many commentators believe that this Psalm was written originally on the occasion of the Wedding of Solomon. Did David, the sweet Psalmist of Israel write it in his old age for his son? We do not know.

But one thing is certain, this Psalm is written under the inspiration of the Spirit of God as a hymn of celebration of the wedding between God the Son and His bride, the Church.

The New Testament makes it clear that this Psalm contains the Word of God the Father to God the Son. Look at Hebrews chapter 1. Here, the writer of Hebrews is comparing Christ with the angels.

He says in verse 5—

“For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?” (Heb 1:5a)

Then in verse 8, He says—

“But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows” (Heb 1:8-9).

These words are taken from Psalm 45:6-7.

So it is clear how we are to regard this Psalm when we sing it. We must not sing it as a wedding song for Solomon, but for Christ and His church.

This Psalm has 4 parts. It begins with a prologue; then for the next 8 verses, Christ the Son is praised. This is followed by an address to the bride of Christ, v. 10-15; and then the last two verses conclude the Psalm.

Consider these 4 parts.

1. Prologue

1 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

The word inditing speaks of a boiling over or an overflowing.

This Psalm is about the king. And he is no ordinary king, for He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. For this reason, the heart that contemplates on the subject on hand will surely overflow with joyous and glorious thoughts.

God who inspires this Psalm is deeply pleased as He contemplates on the wedding of His beloved Son.

The psalmist who pens this Psalm is overflowing in his heart as the Spirit fills his mind with the lofty thoughts that are in this Psalm.

And the worshipper who takes this Psalm in his lips must also find his heart filling up and overflowing so that he sings with spontaneous joy about His King.

It is with this joy that we must praise our King.

2. Praise the Son

2 Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.

Our Lord is fairer not because of His physical appearance, for we are told by the prophet Isaiah that “his vissage was marred more than any man” (Isa 52:14). Our Lord is fairer than the children of men in the eyes of all in whose heart is the Spirit.

And indeed grace is poured into His lips. For when He first began to preach in the synagogue, we are told “And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth” (Lk 4:22). Even the unbelieving officers of the Jews who were sent to trap the Lord could say: “Never man spake like this man” (Jn 7:46)

Our Lord’s word is like a “twoedged sword” (Heb 4:12) proceeding from His mouth as John puts it (Rev 1:16). It is at once meek and gracious; and quick and powerful. It comforts, convicts, converts and conquers.

So we sing, verse 3—

 3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. 4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.  5 Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.

In the vision of John, the Lord Jesus, the King of kings, is going forth upon a white horse, “conquering, and to conquer” (Rv 6:2). He has conquered. He conquered at the Cross. And He is conquering and shall conquer by His Word and Spirit.

And He will accomplish all that He sets out to do, for He is God, even the Son of God. So we echo the words of the Father—

6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. 7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Christ our God and King will rule forever and ever. He will rule in righteousness and justice.

Because He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, God has highly exalted His name and anointed Him with the Spirit without measure (Jn 3:34).

His greatness and glory can hardly be described. Verse 8 describes it metaphorically with sight and smell associated with a great earthly king.

Everything about Him is so great and glorious that I believe one day when we see Him face to face, we will exclaim with the words of the Queen of Sheba when she saw Solomon: “Behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard” (1Kgs 10:7). For He who is greater than Solomon is come.

But that which redounds most greatly to the glory of our King is no doubt His Queen who stands at His right hand arrayed in the gold of Ophir (v. 9).

Who is this Queen? Thank God, that it is none other than His church redeemed by His precious blood.

3. A Word to the Bride

What shall we say to the Queen? What would God our Father remind us?

He says:

10 Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; 11 So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.

That is to say: Let us forget about the world. And let us love our Lord single-mindedly. Our Lord Himself says:

“He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Mt 10:37).

He is not telling us to hate or disown our parents. He is teaching us to love Him above other relations. We must give ourselves wholly unto Him as a bride gives herself wholly to her husband. We must love Him and serve Him. So shall we be His delight.

Then shall we have favour before God and men.

12 And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour. 

The daughter of Tyre and the rich, I believe, refer to unbelievers in the world. As the church walks close to the Lord, the world will see and they will recognise her beauty and will be prepared to ask for her help and intercession.

If as the bride of Christ we fail to show that we love and obey Christ, why would the world want to have anything to do with Christ?

But if we love the Lord and serve Him with all our heart, then what a wonderful entrance we shall have into the wedding banquet of the Lamb?

13 The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. 14 She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. 15 With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king’s palace.

This beautiful picture can be very confusing until we recall the Lord’s Parable of the Ten Virgins. You will realise that in the Parable the virgins were the companions of the bride. If you like, the bride and queen represent the Church as a whole; whereas the virgins, or the companion of the bride represent the individual believers.

If we would follow the Lord wholeheartedly, then what a glorious entrance it will be for every believer who seeks the Lord with us.

Then what a joy it will be for all of us in that great and glorious day of the wedding supper of the Lamb as the heaven resounds with the voices of ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands upon thousands of angels singing together:

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing” (Rev 5:12).

Oh may the Lord grant us that we may be as the wise virgins individually that together with the church we may, at the great Wedding Supper of the Lamb, enjoy the everlasting joys and honours of the glorious Bride.

But now, we must conclude with the Father’s closing remarks to the Son

4. Conclusion

16 Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth. 17 I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.

This is a promise. It is a promise that the Church will endure.

It is a promise that from generation to generation, men, women and children will be enrolled as prophets, priests and kings.

It is a promise that the name of Christ will endure forever and forever, from generation unto generation and for all eternity.

And this promise will be kept because He who has spoken is none other than God the Father, the Creator of the heavens and the earth.

Thank God for this great privilege of sharing in this glorious eternity with Him who is our Great God and Saviour. Amen.

            —JJ Lim