Wedding Pictures

Wedding Pictures—Ps 45—July 5, 2020. Zoom #14 Dr. David R. Denny. Accomac VA 

"Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad...(Ps. 45:8).

Introduction:  Today we will peruse with joy and contemplation the wedding pictures of the Messiah.  We will all gather as special guests of the King to view the intimate portraits of him and his bride at their ivory palace.  Everybody who is somebody is there.  Guests from around the globe are in attendance.  We will join them and stare with wonder at this eternal union of the Bride and groom.

            Perhaps you remember the details of your wedding, the emotions of that tender moment, the impact it had on your life and still has to this very day.  Weddings are momentous occasions in our lives, and so it is with pleasure and joy that we join in this sacred event of Psalm 45.

Our outline is simple today:  

First we observe the wedding pictures of the Groom in all His majesty.  
Next we will reflect on the beauty of the Bride.  
Then finally we will slip into the wedding book ourselves and be more than observers.  (This is a mystery, as Paul said in his letter to the Ephesians (Eph. 5:32).  For make no mistake, Christ is the King and groom and we as believers are the bride in this memorable Psalm.

1.  The Majesty of the Groom.

            The first half of this Psalm features the Groom.  As we turn the pages of the wedding album, it is the Groom who stands out, featured prominently in all his splendor.  

            a.  First (vs 3-5), we see him as a mighty warrior capable of leading his armies into battle.  He carries a sword on his thigh (v3). He rides forth victoriously in his battle chariot. He fights for truth and justice and is the King of righteousness.  His arrows are sharp, and his skill as an archer is undisputable.  His arrows strike the hearts of his enemies as he flies courageously into the thick of battle.  

            b.  But this impressive warrior has another side.  The pictures shift as we come into verses 6-9.  Now we see him standing in the palace awaiting his bride.  He waits with a scepter that brands Him as the King.  His reputation is firmly established in all the region where He lives.  He is known as a one who hates evil and wickedness.  He has been anointed by God to rule with strength and joy.  He is a happy king and this is his blissful wedding day.

            Flip the pictures of the wedding album.  Study carefully this impressive King now surrounded by palatial glory. wearing garments that smell heavily of exotic perfumes.  His embroidered wedding robes are drenched in the fragrances of the orient: myrrh and aloe and cassia with the scent of cinnamon.  Behind him the palace orchestra plays melodies of joy that make everyone smile.  All about him are the noble ladies of the palace clad in golden garments from Ophir (where Solomon used to get his gold on ships from Tarshish every 3 years—1 Kings 10).  

            Now we must pause here for a brief intermission and slip into the pages of the NT for Breaking News.  The writer of Hebrews begins his book by reading from Psalm 45, our text this morning

            But of the Son, God says, Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His Kingdom.  You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your companions…

            What does this mean as he quotes our Psalm?  He makes it clear to all who have spiritual insight that the King in Psalm 35 is none other than Christ our Savior, the Son of God.  Our writer in Hebrews launches his book by glancing through the wedding pictures of Psalm 45 and finding Jesus.  It is Jesus, the Messiah, he says who stands in that palace on His wedding day.  And it is we who are the Bride.

            And so the Breaking News is breathtaking:  You and I are in this wedding album of Ps 45.  Christ is the Groom in the palace and we are the Bride, believers in the Christ.  This is our wedding day.  Now that is Breaking News!

2.  The Beauty of the Bride—13-15—Here the wedding album displays the bride sumptuously clothed in a flowing wedding dress embroidered with golden threads from Ophir, fluttering along the polished palace floors as she strolls through the entrance toward the King (making her grand entrance as brides do).  Her ladies in waiting traipse behind her monitoring every detail of this marital waltz as she comes ever closer to the Groom.  Every face is lit with joy, and every heart rejoices over this union.  —Ahh. It is so much to take in!  Step back for a moment now and reflect on its meaning—

3.  The Mystery of this Psalm—

            Paul calls this wedding a great mystery, illuminated by the Spirit of God for those who know Him personally.  He tells the Ephesian believers this in Eph 5:27 and 32-32:

            That He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkly or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless…

            For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.  The mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 

            And John the Apostle steps in to add his insights.  In the closing words of his great book Revelation, he sees a marvelous vision:  

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband (REV. 21:1-2). 

Conclusion:  As we close today’s sermon, we will take with us the pictures of the great wedding in Ps 45. Only now we see that we are the ones in the photo album. Psalm 45 is all about you and me, and the blending our of hearts in a royal wedding forever.