Psalm 45 A Song of Love part 3
by John Lowe
He has the Whole World in His Hands
Verses 3-5: Christ’s essential and eternal glory was veiled when He walked upon the earth. He had not come to dazzle and frighten men. One glimpse of that glory blinded Saul of Tarsus. That glory laid aside while He journeyed through life, He wears now as a robe of shimmering light, out there beyond the stars.
The psalmist tells us three things about the Lord’s glory:
Glorious in His Magnificence (45:3)
Glorious in His ministry (45:4a)
Glorious in His Might (45:4b-5)
The church of Jesus Christ doesn’t use human weapons to accomplish His will, but instead uses the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (Hebrews 4:126; Ephesians 6:17; Revelation 1:16 and 19: 15).
3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.
This is a picture of Christ coming forward, not as Savior, but as the King and warrior at His second coming, when He will be “mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.” Israel expected Messiah to come to earth with a “sword.” The first time He came to earth He came without a sword. You will recall that when Jesus was arrested, one of His disciples drew his sword and cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest. And Jesus said, “. . . Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” (Matthew 26:52). In our day they are looking for the Messiah who will bring peace, without a sword, but Psalm 2:9 says of the Lord, “And thou shall break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Psalm 2 speaks of Christ’s coming to earth the second time. In fact, it is quoted several times in the Book of Revelation in respect to His second coming. When he returns, He is going to find the world in rebellion. The Antichrist will be in power. He will be persecuting God’s people, both the remnant of Israel and that great company of Gentiles who turned to God.
This psalm is preeminently a wedding march, but not that of a carpenter; it is the wedding of a King, and a warrior King at that. For if the theme of the psalm is a wedding, the background of the psalm is a war with two major engagements. The first was fought at Golgotha and secured the bride’s person for the King; the second engagement will be fought at Megiddo and will secure the brides property. The first engagement took place on a skull-shaped hill near Jerusalem. There, the armed might of the world together with the principalities and powers of hell were arrayed against Him. The next engagement will take place when the armies of the world mass in might at Megiddo in a vain attempt to prevent His return.
English kings were presented with the great sword of state; now Jesus has a great sword of state carried on His thigh. It is the sword first seen in the Garden of Eden in the hand of a flaming cherub. That flashing sword turned this way and that to keep fallen men away from the tree of life. We see that sword again at Calvary as foreseen by the prophet Zechariah: “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.” The great sword of state that flames at Eden’s gate was to be sheathed in the Savior’s heart and quenched in His blood. We see that sword again at Megiddo, for when the Lord comes, He will use it to sweep His foes into a lost eternity. He wears that sword now, upon His thigh. To Him has been given the real charge: with this sword “do justice, stop the growth of iniquity, restore the things that are gone to decay, punish and reform, and confirm what is in good order.” With this sword He will establish an empire which will last 1000 years. He will use it to usher in the millennial age and to enforce His rule “from the river to the ends of the earth.” He is glorious in His majesty!
4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.
Verses 3-5 celebrate the King’s capacity as a warrior. Since the king was a mighty man of valor, the psalmist called on him to demonstrate his valor by riding forth to champion “truth and meekness and righteousness.” Because the king was just, he prospered. As nations fell before him, his victories would be magnificent. The supreme responsibility of a monarch is to go out before his people and fight their battles (1 Samuel 8:20). The king’s prowess as a future warrior is imagined as he stands armed in glittering armor with his weapons in hand, ready to fight on behalf of his people for honor and right. His strong “right hand” will attack the enemy with sharpened arrows (v. 5) and their morale will fail.
Every incoming government promises the electorate to get rid of corruption, clean up drug traffic, make the streets safe—and everyone fails. Jesus alone will establish an administration based on honesty, humility, and holiness. The millennial age will be the golden age of government—an absolute dictatorship with all power in the nail-scared, capable hands of Jesus!
“Ride prosperously,” that is, march on speedily (which is signified by riding) and successfully against thine enemies.
Notice, the Lord is riding to victory (“prosperously” or triumphantly), and here are the three planks of His platform: “truth, meekness, and righteousness.” Do you know of any candidate today who uses these three planks in his platform? The candidates do not sound meek to me, and I wonder about the truth of their statements, and righteousness—well, the whole motive is to get elected, not to do right. How this poor nation needs a candidate who will speak truth, who exhibits a little meekness, and who goes all-out for righteousness. These are eternal principles of our Lord’s kingdom. No president, leader, dictator, or king has ever come to power on this platform in the history of this world. This King is different. The character of Christ is truth; His words are truth—yet men call Him a liar. But all men are liars, not Christ. You won’t hear the truth today in the halls of Congress, or in the markets of trade, or on Wall Street, or in our industrial complexes, or on our college campuses, or read it in the newspaper, or hear it on TV or radio—because all news is slanted. Unfortunately, you cannot even hear the truth in many of our churches. But our Lord is coming to power on the platform of truth and humility. Someone has said, “If you wish to astonish the entire world, tell the truth.” That is the way our Lord is coming to power—it will be startling.
“Thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things” becomes clearer when read from the Amplified Bible; “Let Your right-hand guide You to tremendous things.” “Terrible things” means awe-inspiring things. You shall do great and glorious exploits, which shall be grave and terrible to your enemies, as the next verse explains it, and this is not by a great force of soldiers, and the assistance of others, but by your own power (compare Isaiah 63:3); which does by no means suggest Solomon, for he was a man of peace and did not engage in any aggressive actions against his enemies. And if he had considered doing anything aggressive at that time, he could not do it by his own right hand but would need the help of his soldiers. But this does point to the Messiah, and to Him only.
There is a reason why Jesus will be so hard on sin during the millennial age, why He will rule with a “rod of iron,” why the slightest infraction of the laws of the kingdom will be instantly punished. The reason is there, in His right hand, which teaches Him terrible things.
In that right hand is to be placed a “rod of iron” (Psalm 2). That right hand teaches Him how far God will go to rid the universe of sin. He will use a rod of iron—symbol of inflexible power. The almighty power He holds in His hands has not yet been used to the full in dealing with sin, but it will be. After the millennial reign He will use it to explode the universe, leaving the lost shaking and naked at the great white throne. Then He will use it to create a new Heaven and a new earth forever free from sin.
5 Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.
This is a portrait of the King coming to earth as a conquering Warrior. “Thine arrows” is the same as the arrows of verse 3, meaning the instruments by which he conquers his enemies, which is nothing other than His Word, which is sharp and powerful and pierces the hearts of men (Hebrews 4:125). His word first wounds sinners, and then heals them, and which is for the fall as well as for the rising of many.
“The people fall under thee” either because they have been slain by thine arrows, or they lay prostate at thy feet, which is the position of conquered persons (Psalm 18:38; 20:8). Again, this cannot be applied to Solomon, because his reign was short, and stained with many and great inequities.
Verses 6-8: The psalmist describes four things about the government of the Lord Jesus Christ:
A Permanent Government (45:6)
A Perfect Government (45:7a)
A Pleasant Government (45:7b)
A Prosperous Government (45:8)