A Royal Wedding (Psalm 45)

R. Dwain Minor   -  

Our psalm today is about a royal wedding. And, from all indications it was a beautiful wedding. As this psalm depicts the bride, groom, and the surrounding happenings within the wedding, the beauty is hard to miss.

But there is something else to consider in this text and that is how it reflects Christ. We should be concerned with this throughout all of Scripture, but the New Testament looks at this psalm on a few occasions and possibly even more references concerning the relationship between Christ and the Church. This is interesting because long before the coming of Christ this psalm was understood to be messianic.

And so, what is this psalm?

Both, it is both. It seems to me that this psalm was a song written about an actual marriage of royalty. Many commentators believe it was the marriage of Joram, the son of Jehoshaphat with Athaliah. But it would be very difficult to prove this to be the case. But it is obviously a royal wedding. Because the New Testament authors, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, interpret it as being about Christ and the Church, then I believe it to have its fullest meaning in Christ.

So, in this marriage, we see pictured the relationship between Christ and the Church. And this should not be surprising, for marriage itself is not ultimately about you and your spouse. In the most detailed discussion of marriage in all of Scripture, we find that marriage itself is an icon meant to picture the relationship between Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:22-33).

In this wedding we will see a beautiful wedding that pictures something much greater for us. We will see the relationship between Christ and the church on display. We will see our role as the Bride of Christ and the glory of our Savior.

“Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”– for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19:6-9 ESV)

In this psalm we will see the glory of our Savior and the beauty of the bride prepared for Him.


The Splendor of Christ (Psalm 45:1-9)

We open with a word from the writer. And this is helpful for our interpretation of this wedding. The writer is a person who is reporting on a beautiful royal wedding. And he is ready and eager to do the job (Psalm 45:1). This is a firsthand account with his own personal commentary on what is taking place.

The first thing our reporter discusses is the groom. He is incomparably handsome and regal. He is a kind and gracious man. The words that roll off his lips are gracious declarations. God has truly blessed this man. Royal weddings have always been spectacular events, but this groom seems to outshine all other grooms. He is simply incomparable.

Ultimately, Christ is the only incomparable king in splendor, but also in all other good things. If you want to talk about a glorious  king, Christ is more glorious. And as to grace, Christ is more gracious. In Christ, we serve a king that laid down His own life for the salvation of His people. We deserved punishment, He gave us grace. He is more gracious than all. And if we want to compare might, Christ is the mightiest of  the mighty. He is the incomparable One.

This mighty king rides out in might and victory for truth, for the Lord (Psalm 45:4-5). Because we don’t know for sure the identity of this king we can’t know what battles that he fought and won. But he has a reputation for his might and fight for righteousness. And our reporter states that he will be victorious.

And again, we see that it is Jesus that is the mightiest of the mighty. It is Jesus that will ultimately be victorious. We read of Him in the Book of Revelation.

“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Revelation 19:11-16 ESV)

He will rule and reign. Christ will vanquish all His foes. And in the psalm most quoted in the Bible, we see another picture of Christ doing the same thing. In Psalm 110, we see Christ depicted as riding victorious over his enemies, stopping only to refresh Himself. He is the mightiest of the mighty.

Now, at this point in the psalm we read of the glorious throne of this ruler. The blessings of this ruler are obvious, but if we consider this for just a moment we understand that no earthly king has yet fulfilled what is written here in Psalm 45:6-8. This is the reason that many people believed this to be a messianic psalm by Jesus’s day. They understood that it pointed the great promised king.

The writer to the Hebrews quoted this passage directly and said it was about Jesus in Hebrews 1:8-9.

“But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”” (Hebrews 1:8-9 ESV)

The reign described here is so far above and beyond any earthly ruler that it is difficult to see how it could be applied to anyone but Jesus. And the Book of Hebrews makes this point plainly, it is about Jesus. This is about God the Son and His rule over all things. But we should understand that the blessings that God poured out upon this earthly ruler was so wonderful that it was described in this way. But it also looked forward to something better, something much more glorious. It looked forward to Jesus. Only Jesus’s reign could be called “everlasting”. Though this ruler loved righteousness and hated justice, only Jesus does that perfectly. And only Jesus could be said to be blessed beyond all others.

As we begin to take a look at the bride, the “ladies of honor” are depicted here as being royalty as well. And there is a beautifully adorned bride being given to the king (Psalm 45:9).

A wedding is a beautiful  moment when two people join their lives together. And here, in this royal wedding, we get to see the character of this man even before he was married.

He was a majestic and benevolent leader whose might was spent on the cause of righteousness and truth. And in this cause, he stood victorious!

His reign was so obviously blessed that the reporter called it everlasting. Surely this king’s reign would be long. His love for righteousness and hatred for wickedness seem to indicate that God would bless it tremendously. The anointing of God was on his life.

Men, aspire to be strong and courageous. Aspire to spend your life for the sake of righteousness. Hopefully these are traits you tried to bring into your marriage and continue to develop. There is much to learn from the character of the man described here.

But ultimately this is about King Jesus whose royal reign really is forever. He spent His life for the benevolent salvation of His people, even going to the cross and dying for us. And He fights for righteousness and justice in a battle that, one day, He will be completely victorious.

In this we see the greatness of Jesus.


A Bride Prepared For Her King (Psalm 45:10-15)

The reporter calls our attention to the bride with something she must consider. He is recounting what this wedding and marriage will mean for her and the decisions that she had to make and will continue to make. The bride was to abandon her old ways and attach herself completely to her husband.

In marriage, we forsake all others. When a husband asks a woman to marry him, and she says “yes”, the two of them have stated two things. First, they have decided to say “yes” to each other. And second, they have decided to say “no” to every other person in the world. That is what we mean when we say “forsake all others”.

When a husband asks his wife to marry him, he is telling her that he wants to be with her forever and that he will not say “yes” to another as long as she is alive. And when a wife says “yes” to her husband’s proposal, she is telling him that she wants to be with him forever and as long as he is alive she will say “no” to all others.

Because we understand that this psalm is ultimately about Christ and His relationship to the Church, we ponder what this would mean for the Church. The Church is the Bride of Christ and this makes a lot of sense here. God’s people are also to forsake all other attachments. When we trust in Christ, we no longer have the right to court the world. We are Christ’s own possession. And He loves His people.

Notice her submission to the king. This is seen as beautiful in our passage today and throughout Scripture the wife’s submission to her husband is seen as a beautiful trait. Notice what Peter says,

“Do not let your adorning be external–the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear– but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.” (1 Peter 3:6 ESV)

This queen is to adorn herself with submission and it is a beautiful quality. There is something special about a relationship that is functioning well within God’s ordained roles in a culture that does not think highly of those roles.

But if we think back to Ephesians 5, we realize that the Church is to submit to Christ as the wife submits to her husband. There is something marvelous about the submission of Christ’s people to Him. And that is seen as we decide to live all of life in conformity to God’s Word. It is seen when we order families after God’s Word. It is seen when we treat others according to God’s Word. And it is seen when we worship according to God’s Word. This willing submission is seen as we submit our lives to Him.

This queen is the envy of many because of her relationship with this great ruler. And she is showered with tremendous favor and gifts from the incredibly wealth from cities such as Tyre. She is benefitting greatly in her relationship to the king, and that is something we can feel deep in our bones.

As Christians, we know that without Him we would be nothing. We sing about how we would be “drifting like a ship without a sail”. We know what He has done for us and the many benefits He has given us. But not everyone knows that, yet. There is coming a day in which all the world will see how tremendous our benefits have been. And it will all be because of our relationship with King Jesus.

Our attention is then called to the loveliness and beauty of the bride. She is lovely in her wedding garments and in the splendor of her purity, which is signified by the purity of her companions (Psalm 14b). This is the beginning of a marriage filled with joy and gladness.

The righteous and beautiful bride is being wed to the righteous and mighty king. It is beautiful and much is to be mimicked in our own lives.

But the lessons of the bride, her repentance, and beautiful submission are lessons that we need to take to heart. When we trust in Christ, we forsake all others. We leave behind the world and are attached, now and forever to Him. And there is beauty in that just as there is beauty in our own holiness.

As individual Christians, we seek to live lives that are set apart for the Lord. We fight sin and temptation. And we live lives that are faithful to Him.

As a church, we seek to be faithful to Christ. We endeavor to be holy and conform ourselves to Christ. This means that we deal with the sins in our own lives and seek to walk in holiness.

Simply put, we are seeking to offer ourselves and our church to Christ as a pure bride. We seek to be a holy and righteous people for the Lord, set apart for Him. We cast off immorality. We cast off the sin that so easily entangles our lives. And we seek after Christ. He has purified us in the gospel and adorned us with wonderful righteousness. And we seek to honor Him with our lives.

“Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”– for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19:6-9 ESV)


Christ Will Expand The Boundaries Of His Reign (Psalm 45:16-17)

When we read that the groom will make his children princes in all the Earth, we see a picture of God blessing the king with the expansion of his kingdom. But this is the language of worldwide rule that will one day come. And we also read that the ruler’s name would be remembered in all generations. I am sure that the ruler was blessed by the Lord. But the fulfillment of these things was not seen in his lifetime.

It seems obvious enough to me that this has never taken place. But it is just as obvious to me that this is about Jesus. For it will take place in Him.

God has given tremendous promises about the expansion of His kingdom. We rehearse them time and time again in the Book of Genesis. People from every tribe, nation, and tongue will be conquered by the gospel and brought into this Kingdom. And they will be part of the Bride of Christ and this Great Wedding.

God the Son took on human flesh, bled, and died for a bride. This bride is the Church. And the number of people within this bride will grow until Christ comes again to bring them to be with Him. And within this bride will be people from every tribe, nation, and tongue.



I look back very fondly at my wedding. It was the day that I pledged to forsake all others and be attached to my beautiful wife. It was no royal wedding, but it was beautiful. But part of the beauty of a wedding, and more so a marriage, is that it pictures something greater than itself. It pictures the relationship between Christ and the Church.

And what a glorious relationship it is!


R. Dwain Minor