John Wetger - Psalms 45

Verse 2, “You are the most excellent of men and Your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed You forever.” The writer to the Hebrews quotes from this psalm in Hebrews 1:8-9 and makes it clear that it speaks of the Lord Jesus. Yet even if the verses in Hebrews were not kept on record for us, we would understand that Jesus is the theme of the psalm, since it is written about the king, and to God’s people, there is no other king except the Lord Jesus.

 

Isaiah 53:2-3 provides an interesting contrast of Jesus as seen from another viewpoint, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces, He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.”

 

The beauty that we see in the Lord Jesus is proof of a work of love that has been done, a relationship that has been established. When I am with my elderly mother, I do not tire of simply sitting and watching her. Her hair is mostly grey, her face is wrinkled, her back is stooped, her skin is spotted with age. Many would not give her a second glance, just one more old lady. But to me, she is the most beautiful woman there ever could be. I understand that she has given herself so completely for me in love, in long hours of prayer, in sleepless nights of concern, in many years of faithful, sacrificial service without any regard for her own comfort and well-being. She has suffered for me in ways that even now I cannot begin to comprehend, but my awareness of her love for me and the love I feel in return all combine to make her beautiful to me.

 

So it is with our vision of our Lord. Human vision, the viewpoint of the verses in Isaiah 53, sees little about Him that would be attractive, but because we understand how He loved us and gave Himself for us, and because our hearts have been won to love Him in return, He has become to us the most excellent, the most beautiful of all.

 

Some translations say, “You are fairer than the sons of men,” giving the thought that we see the Lord Jesus not just as one among many men, but set apart from men in a very special way. When we have spiritual vision to see Jesus as not just another man, though as a man He took upon Himself all of the nature of mankind, but the divine, eternal Son of God, we begin to truly appreciate what He has done for us. Those who see Him simply as a man cannot begin to understand the sacrifice involved in Him coming to earth to give Himself for sinners, and therefore they can never see and appreciate His excellent beauty that His people see.

 

Verse 2, “Your lips have been anointed with grace.” Luke 4:22, “All... were amazed at the gracious words that came from His lips.” The message of grace is one of the great Christian realities that words cannot fully express, one at which we continually stand in awe. He was not sent to call righteous people, but sinners. His message of salvation was always directed to unworthy, needy souls: the poor, the prisoners, the blind, the oppressed. When He speaks to us today, He still communicates the same message of grace to all who will come to Him in faith. Because through the grace of the Lord Jesus we understand that God in His perfection loves us in our imperfection, our experience is one of hope.

 

 

Verse 2, “God has blessed You forever.” In contrast to everything that is only of the flesh, the Father’s favour toward the Lord Jesus is eternal. I have noticed that often when the word ‘eternity’ is used in casual conversation, it is used in a negative sense. People speak of some painful experience, some sorrow, some worry, and say, “It seemed like an eternity.” In Christ, however, there is no negative aspect to eternity. All that we experience of the world here and now, both positive and negative, is illusory, while, if we are in tune with the Spirit of Christ, all we experience in Him, whether in the present or in the eternal future, is the reality of His blessing.

 

The heading of this psalm calls it a wedding song or a love song. A love song doesn’t just deal with one person, but with a loving union, a partnership of two souls. After speaking so effectively about the King and His beauty, in verse 10 the focus shifts to His chosen bride: “Listen, O daughter, consider and give ear: Forget your people and your father’s house.” The bride was advised to forget her past and where she’d come from.

 

We all have a past that is very different from the future that can be ours in Christ. The best thing we can do with our past is to leave it behind. Listening to the message about the King is one of the best ways to forget the past. The more we get taken up with who He is and what He has prepared in love for His people, the easier it is to leave behind the past that has no meaning or value. Verse 11, “The king is enthralled by your beauty.”  Not only is the King beautiful, but His bride is beautiful as well. The Song of Solomon several times refers to the bride as the “most beautiful of women,” and her Lover finds many ways of telling her how beautiful she is in His eyes.

 

We need to understand that our Lord sees His people just as beautiful as they see Him, not because of the beauty of their flesh, but because of the spiritual rebirth they have experienced that makes them like Him. When God first created Eve as a suitable helper for Adam, he fashioned her from a rib taken out of Adam’s side. Their compatibility was assured because she was made of the same material, possessed of the same nature.

 

The inhabitants of ancient Peru believed that their king, the Inca, was a direct descendant of the sun. In order to assure the ‘divine’ purity of the royal bloodline, the king was only permitted to marry his full sister. We may not believe the myths that they believed, but we do understand the principle: our Lord can only be united in fellowship with those who are of the same nature as He. By the work of regeneration He has done, He sees us and accepts us not for what we are in the flesh, but what we are as born-again partakers of the divine nature.


Verse 12, “All glorious is the princess within her chamber.” Ephesians 5:27, “... to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Can we take it in that these beautiful words: glorious, radiant, holy, blameless, are God’s thoughts toward us when He looks at us through the provision of the Lord Jesus? I once read a story about another culture where men purchased their brides from their parents by trading cows for them. One young man approached his prospective father-in-law with the offer of ten cows for his daughter, a price that had never been heard of before; three cows would have been considered an ample price for the most desirable bride, and some were sold for only one cow.This particular young lady hadn’t been known for her exceptional beauty, but the young man was deeply in love with her and did not consider ten cows to be too much to pay that she would be his bride. After they were married, a visitor to their home found that the young bride was indeed strikingly beautiful, glowing with a remarkable radiance.

 

Her awareness of the high price that had been paid for her, understanding how great her husband’s love for her was, created a poise and assurance that made her increasingly beautiful. Likewise the great price that has been paid for our salvation makes us aware of how very special we are to Him, and that awareness enhances the glory of God that is reflected in His purchased people.


Verse 16, “Your sons will take the place of your fathers.” Already instructed to forget her father’s house, now the bride is told about her future. Whatever it is that you’ve left behind in your past, it’s not worthy to be compared to what’s ahead.

I Corinthians 2:9-10, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him, but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.” Because of responding to the loving favour of our Lord, we can look forward to a future of fruitfulness, both in this life as His nature and image are recreated in us, and on into eternity as we share in His great eternal inheritance.