Chapter 46 The King And His Glory

He is thy Lord; and worship thou Him (Psalm 45:11).

The titles of the psalms are as fully inspired as the text of the psalms. This one is written to “the chief musician.” No doubt there was a certain man who led the temple choir, but since the psalm is Messianic it points to our Lord as the Chief Musician, of whom it was written: “In the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee” (Hebrews 2:12). “Shoshannim” means lilies. It is the song of the lily, which is notable for its whiteness, its fragrance, and its delicacy. It reminds us of the Bridegroom-Lover’s description of Himself in the Song of Solomon 2:1, “I am the…lily of the valleys,” which expresses our Lord’s absolute purity, fragrant excellence, and deep humility.

The psalm is written for “the sons of Koran,” and you will recall that the founder of this line was brought under the judgment of God and swallowed up in the first recorded earthquake for his rebellion against God’s appointed leaders, Moses and Aaron (Numbers 16:26, 31-32). But here we see his descendants leading the praises of God. It reminds us that grace can cut off the entail of sinful heritage. It is also a “maschil,” or song of instruction, and “a song of loves,” expressing, as does the Song of Solomon, the love union between Christ and His elect bride, the Church.

Psalm 45 makes reference to the psalmist’s heart, lips, tongue, and hand in verse one. All are included to work together to compound this most delightful psalm. It bubbles up from his heart. It is his own personal discovery of the glory and excellence of the Redeemer—“Things” he says, “which I have made.” It is a love song, and love songs begin with the heart; thus he first mentions his heart as bubbling up or inditing it. In spiritual matters the heart is more important than the brain. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness” (Romans 10:10); “My son, give Me thine heart” (Proverbs 23:26); “Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:1). This is not to belittle the processes of education, or the elevation of the mental faculties, but in the realm of spiritual life and affections the Bible emphasis is upon the heart.

The King’s Personal Glory

The matter which so engaged the psalmist’s thought was of “things…touching the King.” And while no mention is made of His name, there is really no need, since none could answer the description but God’s beloved Son. “Thou art fairer than the children of men” (verse 2). This refers to His personal glory which is natural and essential, original and eternal. He far transcends any to be found in the realm of created beings. Everything in Him is divinely fair and beautiful, and there is nothing really fair and lovely but what is in Him. “Grace is poured into Thy lips: therefore God hath blessed Thee for ever” (verse 2). This may refer to the doctrines of the gospel which He taught when on earth, which were the gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth, as was said. It is His words which are so sweet to the believer’s taste and which minister such spiritual refreshment to the soul.

The King’s Official Glory

Here we see His appointment to deal with all enemies who have challenged God’s authority in His own universe. “Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O most Mighty, with Thy glory and Thy majesty” (verse 3). The psalm goes on to speak of His arrows in the hearts of such enemies. In this the psalm looks forward to the day when He will subdue all principalities and powers and wind up all these present kingdoms of darkness, which final works are described as “terrible things.” The day of final battle has yet to come, and our Lord’s coming forth will be one of wrath and terror to all His enemies. This will be most manifest in His dealings with Antichrist and the destruction of “the man of sin.”

The King’s Divine Glory

“Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of Thy kingdom is a right sceptre” (verse 6). This is the Father addressing the Son, quoted in Hebrews 1:8. How, then, can anyone deny His deity? It is very clear that He who is our Saviour is the great, true, and living God. The glory of God shines in His face and was fully manifest in His life here on earth as the Son of man. He is the full expression of the Godhead, and so we may comfortably conclude that all He did for us was efficacious and answered the purposes for which it was done. Also, since He is God, no force of man can topple His throne which stands immovable and impregnable forever. It is a throne, too, which is bathed in righteousness.

The King’s Moral Glory

“Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness” (Psalm 45:7). It is part of the glory of God to do this, and it expresses the absolute purity of His character. Righteousness is interwoven in the essence of His nature. So also is hatred of iniquity. These two qualities forced God to raise up the cross of Calvary so that His righteousness should remain unsullied, and His severity against wickedness know no respite. Both attributes have their full satisfaction in the cross of the Lord Jesus.

“All Thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia” (verse 8). These are all principal spices and speak of the fragrance of our Lord’s life in His person, in His offices, in His sacrifice, and in His risen and glorified life in Heaven.

But all this wondrous revealing of our Lord’s glories and excellencies is shown forth to provoke us to worship. The psalm goes on to speak of His bride, the Church. We are to be by His side on the throne of glory and in the most intimate of all relationships. But we are never to forget who He is. “He is thy Lord; and worship thou Him” (verse 11).

Begin, my tongue, some heav’nly theme,
And speak some boundless thing—
The mighty works, or mightier
Name Of our eternal King.

Tell of His wondrous faithfulness
And sound His pow’r abroad;
Sing the sweet promise of His grace,
The love and truth of God.

O might I hear Thy heav’nly tongue
But whisper, “Thou art Mine!”
Those gentle words should raise my song
To notes almost divine.

Isaac Watts