Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 45

Psalm 45

To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, for the sons of Korah, Machil, A Song of loves.

1My 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.
2Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.
3Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.
4And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.
5Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.
6Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
7Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
8All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.
9Kings' daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.
10Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house;
11So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.
12And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour.
13The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.
14She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.
15With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace.
16Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.

17I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.

Chapter 45

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "The psalmist's tongue was guided by the Spirit of God, as the pen is by the hand of a ready writer. This psalm is touching the King Jesus, his kingdom and government. It is a shame that this good matter is not more the subject of our discourse. There is more in Christ to engage our love, than there is or can be in any creature." I like how Henry pointed out the comparison between the psalmist's tongue and the hand of a writer. I can kind of see a connection between God's guidance of my tongue and the words He provides me with and the ready writer myself. As God writes the words, they're there so He can use them when I need His wisdom. And I want Him to (continue to) use my tongue in such that its obedient so it can utilize the words He reveals to me. And I know when I depend on Him for the words I need for whatever situation I'm dealing with, He's not gonna let me down. In fact, the results which are produced for depending on Him could far exceed my expectations. That kind of goes back to the Christian saying that one shouldn't put God in a box, because if one does, he or she will most likely end up with so-so results. I know I don't deserve His blessings (v. 2), but because I am "fairer than the children of men, " God thinks of me as someone who is special because of the fact that I live for Him. I think it's cool that since God has been so graceful and merciful to me, I will always have His blessings to enjoy. Otherwise, it'd be like this: no acknowledgement of the fact that I've sinned, not blessings. I am a sinner saved by grace through faith and by His grace, I am forgiven, which I don't think I can praise Him for that enough. I think I'll include Matthew Henry's comments on verses 3-5: "The psalmist  joyfully foretells the progress and success of the Messiah. The arrows of conviction are very terrible in the hearts of sinners, till they are humbled and reconciled; but the arrows of vengeance will be more so to his enemies who refuse to submit. All who have seen his glory and tasted his grace, rejoice to see him, by his word and Spirit, bring enemies and strangers under his dominion." I'm not sure if I have much to add to that, but I am thankful that Jesus rode "prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness" (v. 4) because by doing that, I feel that He opened my minded to truth, meekness, and righteousness without my even knowing it until I had a strong relationship with Him. It's as if His victory had His followers in mind and I am thankful that He thought of me while up on that cross. I'd say He even lived a life which reflected truth, meekness, and righteousness as a model for me to live by. If His life didn't reflect those things, I dunno what kind of life I'd be living. If God wasn't eternal, then His throne wouldn't be (v. 6). I imagine His throne being a sacred, special seat where He sits while being revered by those who are already spending eternity with Him. What an expereince it would be to be with Him and see Him sitted at His throne. It makes me wonder about those who are with Him and what it's like to be there and spend time with Him. I continue to display righteousness before God (v. 7) by not falunting my righteousness (Matthew 6:1). I also continue to display righteouness before God by not misleading others in terms of teaching them God's Word. I'm sure there's more ways in which I display righteousness before God, but I don't wanna get off on some tangent. I know that if I continue to display righteousness Him, I will experience joy which exceeds that of non-believers, which is implied by, "therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." It's a reminder that my righteousness to Him has its rewards. I imagine that the verse appeals to Jesus as well because Jesus set Himself above His friends by living a righteous life. I can use that as a model and live a life which is pleasing to God, which God notices since He desires my devotion to Him and not to worldly things. I thought Matthew Henry's note about that verse was interesting: "The Spirit is called the oil of gladness, because of the delight wherewith Christ was filled, in carrying on his undertakings. The salvation of sinners is the joy of angels, much more of the Son. And in proportion as we are conformed to his holy image, we may expect the gladdening gifts influences of the Comforter." I think that pretty much speaks for itself, but I think I have something to say about his thoughts on verses 8-9 in conjunction with the verses: "The excellences of the Messiah, the suitableness of his offices, and the sufficiency of his grace, seem to be intended by the fragrance of his garments. The church formed of true believers, is here compared to the queen, whom, by an everlasting covenant, the Lord Jesus has betrothed to himself. This is the bride, the Lamb's wife, whose graces are compared to fine linen, for their purity; to gold, for their costliness: for as we owe our redemption, so we owe our adorning, to the precious blood of the Son of God." Yeah, I never thought of verse 8 as Matthew Henry did. But since Christ's garments have a good fragrance, I think it's cool that I can (metaphorically) smell them and be satisfied. They even remind of the goodness of His character and His love for me. I suppose I (metaphorically) smell His garments when He blesses me and express thanks for that. I dunno -- maybe it's even a prayer thing because I see myself smelling His garments by spending time with Him and feeling satisfied afterwards due to the fact that I've grown in Him and/or learned more about Him as a result of spending time in His Word and in prayer. Taking Henry's comment about verse 9 into consideration, I am reminded that I am a Bride of Christ and that His love for me is dear.

Now I think I'll conclude with verses 10-17. Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following: "If we desire to share these blessings, we must hearken to Christ's word. We must forget our carnal and sinful attachments and pursuits." Daily, I read His Word (v. 10) and listen as best I can. Some passages, though, can be hard to understand. If I incline my ear, I am opening my mind up to what His Word says to me while being free from any distractions that may interfere with my learning, which I see as being implied where it says, "forget also thine own people, and thy father's house." While reading His Word in the morning, sometimes I'll get distracted by other things, but I typically don't ignore the fact that I'm up early to spend time with God. If I am wrong about that verse 10, feel free to correct me. Matthew Henry comments on verse 11 by stating the follwoing, "There is nothing glorious in the old man or corrupt nature; but in the new man, or work of grace upon the soul, every thing is glorious." That is why God thinks of me as being beautiful: because of the fact that I have a heart for Him. And since I have a heart for Him, I will continue to worship Him and live for Him. However, if I didn't have a heart for Him, I wouldn't be living for Him, which wouldn't be good. So I don't think verse 11 is talking about a physical beauty. I do think, though, that God likes it when I get up in the morning and prepare so I can spend time with Him. It's as if my heart for Him is reflected in my actions and the fact that I wanna spend time with Him and learn from His Word. I could talk about other things which reflect my heart for Him, but I don't wanna go off on too much of a tangent. If you're curious, ask me. I can't really relate to verse 12, but I do know that since I am a Bride of Christ, He will look upon me, when the time comes, with much adoration (vv. 13-14). I will be glad to enter His palace (v. 15), which I very much look forward to. If I have kids, I'm gonna raise up in a godly fashion, which is implied where it says, "whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth." I think I'll conclude with Matthew Henry's comment about verse 17, which says: "In the believing hope of our everlasting happiness in the other world, let us always keep up the remembrance of Christ, as our only way thither; and transmit the remembrance of him to succeeding generations, that his name may endure for ever." It's as my rememberance of Christ encourages others to come to Him, which is something that I'm glad to be a part of.

                                                      Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 45". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

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