Be here—the king is wild for you.
Since he’s your lord, adore him.
(Psalm 45:11, The Message)
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we are knee-deep in “wedding season” right now. We were at a Lake Michigan beach last Saturday and watched as two different wedding parties vied for just the perfect photo op. Of course, everyone in the wedding party is cleaned up and dressed up for the occasion, but there is never any question who the stars of the event are. You can pick out the bride and groom from a mile away. They are the center of attention, the main attraction, the best-dressed couple at the party.
Psalm 45 is identified as “a song of love” (shir yedidot) in the original Hebrew inscription. The songwriter begins by telling us, “My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king.” We don’t really know which “king” the song was sung for originally—but as we read on, it becomes clear that the psalmist’s “noble theme” is a royal wedding. Bible scholars have often speculated that this song was written for the marriage of Solomon and the daughter of Pharaoh. But we can’t be sure…because Solomon had 700 wives! (You can read all about Solomon’s wives in 1 Kings 11:1-4)
Whatever the historical context of the song, however, most Christian scholars agree that Psalm 45 also points toward a much greater king than Solomon…a much more beautiful bride than Pharaoh’s daughter…a much more significant and unlikely alliance than Israel and Egypt. That king is Christ; that bride is the true church—chosen and loved, called out and set apart (Ephesians 5:22-23); and that alliance is no less than the eternal, perfect union of God and humanity (Revelation 19:6-8)
So, just like any royal wedding, everyone naturally wants to see what the happy couple is wearing!
The King’s lips are anointed with grace (vs. 2); he is clothed with splendor and majesty (vs. 3); he wears a crown of truth, humility and justice (vs. 4); he carries a bow to defeat his enemies (vs. 5) and a scepter of justice and righteousness to rule his kingdom (vs. 6-7).
The bride is stunning—gloriously dressed in a spotless gown embroidered with gold (vs. 13-14). But what really makes her beautiful is her joy and gladness in the presence of the King (vs. 15). She has left behind all she had known for everything He has promised (vs. 10), and the psalmist invites her to experience all of it:
“Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.”
Or, as Eugene Peterson translates it in The Message:
“Be here—the king is wild for you. Since he’s your lord, adore him.”
What a scene! What a couple! What a party! And that great wedding feast is coming soon.
Here’s the most amazing part: you are not just able to watch this scene from a distance; you are invited to be part of the celebration! Christ the King has made all of the preparations. He has spoken his gracious invitation; he has shown us his splendor and majesty. At the cross he was crowned with truth, humility and justice; at the resurrection, he defeated every enemy…even death itself. And then he ascended into heaven, where he rules and reigns with justice and righteousness!
And he is waiting for us…he is calling to us…he is beautifying his bride. You’re not just invited–you are the center of His attention, the main attraction. The King is wild for you! And since he is your Lord, come to him…adore and worship him…be united with him.
As followers of this great and glorious King, we don’t have to simply wait for the great wedding feast. Instead, we pray for and work toward the reign of Christ; we long for the ever-increasing beauty of His bride, clothing ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12). The Bridegroom is on his way! One day we will dance at the great wedding feast forever. But that one day has already begun. The new, real life He promises every one of us is possible even now. So suit up, Bride! And always stay thirsty for Him!