July 28, 2016

Today you should read: Psalm 45

Did this chapter initially strike you as odd? “A love song… for a wedding… in the middle of the Psalms? Isn’t this Song-of-Solomon-type-of -stuff?” If that’s what you were thinking, you were in good company because I was, too (that is, if you consider me good company). The psalm does make sense when you get into the prophetic side of it. While it may be a song for those from David’s family (As God’s representative, the king carried the responsibility of dispensing justice and maintaining order in God’s world… NLT Study Bible), it really points to Yahweh, the true King of Israel.

This is lengthy commentary, but since the psalm is a bit different in nature than what we have been reading, it may be helpful:

This is a hymn celebrating a royal wedding; as the title says, it is a “love song.” It is impossible to be sure for which king in David’s line the song was first composed, but it does not matter; after 2 Sam. 7:11–16, the line of David was the appointed channel through which God would bless his people and carry out his mission to the whole world. The psalm has sometimes been taken as directly messianic, because Heb. 1:8–9 cites Ps. 45:6–7, applying the verses to Christ.

Whether these words are to be sung by the congregation or by a choir, they are addressed to the king. As a psalm, used in Jerusalem, this would refer to a king in David’s line. A ready scribe was probably one who wrote quickly and neatly.

These words speak to the king, praising him for his appearance and gracious speech (v. 2), military power (v. 3), and commitment to promoting justice for his subjects (vv. 4–7a). These words focus the attention of a young king on the ideals he should hold for his reign and character. These are what lead to God’s blessing for his people’s king, and to the king’s own respected position in the world (vv. 7b–9).

Many have supposed that these words must address the Davidic king, either as foretelling Christ or as a type that Christ would eventually fulfill. Although the OT does foretell a divine Messiah (e.g., Isa. 9:6), this kind of interpretation does not easily fit this context. It seems better to think that the song speaks to God about his throne (“your throne, O God”), namely, the one that the heir of David occupies, and then goes on to describe the divine ideals for a king’s reign (scepter of uprightness). Hebrews 1:8–9 cites these verses in Greek from the Septuagint as part of the author’s argument that the “Son” is superior to the angels. Hebrews 1 applies the term “Son” to Jesus, probably in his role as the heir of David. Thus Heb. 1:5 puts Ps. 2:7 with 2 Sam. 7:14, where “Son of God” is a title for the Davidic king (see note on Ps. 2:7). This also accounts for the use of the messianic 110:1 in Heb. 1:3, 13. Hebrews does go on, like the rest of the NT, to apply to Jesus an OT passage about Yahweh… (ESV Study Bible)

What did you glean from Psalm 45? How did it speak to you today? What questions do you have about it? Let’s discuss it in the comments section.

By: Todd Thomas

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Author: cpclexington

Lexington & Richmond KY

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