An Invitation to Everlasting Intimacy with God

Psalm 45 is titled “Ode for a Royal Wedding,” but whose wedding is it?  The psalm begins with the declaration, “My heart overflows with a goodly theme,” but what is the goodly theme of this psalm?

Consider this psalm from the perspective of God choosing us as his beloved and of God doing his part to secure an everlasting intimacy with us.

Verse 8 begins, “Your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.”  Ray Stedman points out, “These are burial spices.  You remember that when the women went to the tomb on Easter Sunday morning, they carried with them a quantity of spices–myrrh and aloes–in order to wrap the body of the Lord and preserve it in its death. And yet here these same spices are present at the wedding. What does this mean? This marriage is made possible out of death; somehow out of death comes this fragrant incense that makes glorious the scene of the wedding. You can see how beautifully this fits with what the apostle Paul describes for us in Ephesians 5:25 when he says that Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. He died for it. He went into the bonds of death for us. Why? In order that He might present to Himself a glorious church, a beautiful bride, without spot or blemish or any such thing.”  Eternal intimacy with God is made possible to us because Christ was willing to lay his life down for us.

Verse 8 goes on to say, “From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad.”  That sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?  A wedding in ancient Israelite culture included a new home prepared for the bride by the groom.  Jesus speaks of preparing such a home in John 14:2-3 where he says to his disciples (and to us), “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.  If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.”  Psalm 45 tells us that the home our Savior has prepared for us is a place of beauty and glory and joy.  Revelation 21:3-4 describes it this way: “See, the home of God is among mortals.  He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”

Psalm 45:13-14 describes the beauty of the bride: “The princess is decked in her chamber with gold-woven robes; in many-colored robes she is led to the king.”  Such beauty is ours when we belong to Christ.  Revelation 21:2 declares, “And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”  And Revelation 22:14 states, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates.”  The beauty and the joy of being united to God is expressed most powerfully in the Song of Solomon 6:3: “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”  Our greatest beauty and our richest glory are found in being united to God.

Psalm 45:6 makes it clear that the wedding described in this psalm is not the wedding of any earthly king, for every earthly king dies.  But the wedding described in this psalm is eternal: “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever.”  The intimacy with God that we are invited into is an intimacy that is everlasting!  1 John 5:11-13 assures us, “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.  I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

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