Faithful & True - Psalm 45 Sermon From June Prayer Service
Prayer Service, Wed June 3rd - 2015. Rev. Ted A. Giese, Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Regina SK. Psalm 45
TO THE CHOIRMASTER: ACCORDING TO LILIES. A MASKIL OF THE SONS OF KORAH; A LOVE SONG
My heart overflows with a pleasing theme;
I address my verses to the king;
my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
You are the most handsome of the sons of men;
grace is poured upon Your lips;
therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O mighty one,
in Your splendour and majesty!
In Your majesty ride out victoriously
for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
let Your right hand teach You awesome deeds!
Your arrows are sharp
in the heart of the King's enemies;
the peoples fall under You.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
The sceptre of Your kingdom is a sceptre of uprightness;
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
with the oil of gladness beyond Your companions;
Your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
From ivory palaces stringed instruments make You glad;
daughters of kings are among Your ladies of honour;
at Your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear:
forget your people and your father's house,
and the King will desire your beauty.
Since He is your Lord, bow to Him.
The people of Tyre will seek your favour with gifts,
the richest of the people.
All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold.
In many-coloured robes she is led to the King,
with her virgin companions following behind her.
With joy and gladness they are led along
as they enter the palace of the King.
In place of your fathers shall be your sons;
you will make them princes in all the earth.
I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations;
therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.
Let us pray: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight O Lord. Amen.
Grace peace and mercy to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Good Christian Friends.
"Will you have this woman to be your wedded wife, to live together in the holy estate of matrimony as God ordained it? Will you nourish, and cherish her as Christ loved His body, the Church, giving Himself up for her? Will you love, honour, and keep her in sickness and in health and forsaking all others, remain faithful to her, so long as you both shall live?" Then say: I will.
And you, "will you have this man to be your be your wedded husband, to live together in the holy estate of matrimony as God ordained it? Will you submit to him as the Church submits to Christ? Will you love, honour, and keep him in sickness and in health and forsaking all others, remain faithful to him, so long as you both shall live?" Then say: I will.
Psalm 45 is a love song, but not one like we hear all the time now. It's construction is fairly straight forward: The first nine verses are about the Bridegroom and verses ten to seventeen are about the Bride. Our wedding service as found in our hymnal, with the vows you just heard, is centred on the Biblical image of Jesus as Bridegroom and His Church as the Bride. This is why the pastor asks the Groom, "Will you nourish, and cherish her as Christ loved His body, the Church, giving Himself up for her?" and why the pastor asks the Bride, "Will you submit to him as the Church submits to Christ?" So then the beginning verses of Psalm 45 are a picture of the coming Messiah and the last verses are a picture of the coming church.
Verse seven is one of the very important Old Testament passages for teaching that the coming Christ, the Messiah, is God, it's also an important passage for teaching the Holy Trinity. We just had Trinity Sunday so let's start by looking at the Trinity in relation to verse seven and along the way we will also see how Jesus is God. First here's verse seven again:
"Therefore God, your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness beyond Your companions; Your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia."
Where is the Holy Spirit in this verse? Saint Paul in 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All Scripture is breathed out by God," ok, but that could be any of the Three persons of the Holy Trinity? Forget not so soon what you confess in the Athanasian Creed, "So the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God; yet there are not three Gods, but one God." "All Scripture is breathed out by God," that would encompass the Holy Spirit, would you like something more specific? Saint Peter in 2 Peter 1:21 provides the sharper point when it comes to the inspiration of Scripture and the Holy Spirit when he writes, "For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." So while these words in Psalm 45 where written by the Sons of Korah, who were from a clan of fierce warriors and Levitical priests some of whom were guards of the Temple gate, the true author is the Holy Spirit: This is implicit in the text not explicit. The one who says, "Therefore God, your God, has anointed You," is the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity.
In verses six we hear the Psalmist say, of the Messiah, the Christ, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever," and in verse seven we hear the Holy Spirit say of this same Messiah the Christ, "Therefore God, your God, has anointed You," The Anointed one is God, Jesus is God, Saint Thomas in the Gospel of John upon seeing the risen Lord Jesus in person, following Jesus' death and resurrection, says of Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” This is Jesus who "loved His body, the Church, giving Himself up for her?" He is the God of Psalm 45 verses six and seven, the eternal Anointed Messiah, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.
Who then is God who anoints Jesus? Saint Paul says in Ephesians 1:16-17, "I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him," The God of Jesus is God the Father: In the Gospel of John Jesus is asked by the Pharisees, "Are You greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do You make Yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing. It is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’" When one of His disciples said to [Jesus], “Lord, teach us to pray," Jesus answered, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come." The One who anoints Jesus "with the oil of gladness," is God the Father, the First person of the Holy Trinity.
Wrapped up in the words, "Therefore God, your God, has anointed You," is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God now and forever, "The Trinity in Unity and Unity in Trinity."
Psalm 45 is a picture of Jesus as All Powerful and at one and the same time perfectly obedient to His Heavenly Father "the King," this Eternal Son of God is the Bridegroom whose "arrows are sharp in the heart of the King's enemies; [and as the Psalm says] the peoples fall under [Him]." In Saint Paul's letter to the Philippians we hear how, "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Psalm 45 is also the source of inspiration for the hymn, Beautiful Saviour, when Psalm 45 says of Jesus, "You are the most handsome of the sons of men;" it says it not because of what we imagine handsomeness to be, but rather the Holy Spirit says this of Jesus because of the second part of the verse, where the Psalm says that, "grace is poured upon [Jesus'] lips;" and because of this Grace, God, Jesus' heavenly Father, "has blessed [Him] forever."
There is yet another hymn connected to this Psalm, when the Psalm says of the Bridegroom, "In Your majesty ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; let Your right hand teach You awesome deeds!" The hymn that is called to mind is the Palm Sunday hymn, "Ride On, Ride On, In Majesty," where in verse two we sing, "in lowly pomp ride on to die. O Christ Thy triumphs now begin O're captive death and conquered sin," and in verse four we sing, "Thy last and fiercest strife is nigh The Father on His sapphire throne Awaits His own anointed Son." The greatest and most awesome deed of the Lord Jesus is His willing death upon the cross, the death He died as the Bridegroom for His Bride the Church and not just for her but for all people. The majestic splendour of the sword of God, the mouth of Christ, was silent on Good Friday as Jesus hung dead upon the cross, the sword of truth lay sheathed in the tomb on Holy Saturday but on Easter Sunday Jesus says to ten of His eleven remaining disciples, "Peace be with you," the same words He later said to Saint Thomas. Words of Forgiveness that cut sin and fear and doubt down to size.
Jesus the Bridegroom of the Church, His Bride, brings peace to His people: He brings eternal safety and security. In this way Psalm 45 is a prayer which expectantly points forward to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb which will have no end, to the everlasting hope of eternal life. The Psalm, particularly verses nine and ten, "draw from the luxurious life of a king [,these verses] represent the beauty of life in Christ's presence." The whole Psalm is a love song and a prayer concerning faithfulness, first the loving faithfulness of the Bridegroom to His Father and to His Bride and then also the loving faithfulness of the Bride, who "forsaking all others, [pledges to] remain faithful to [Christ]," the Psalmists encourage the Bride to "forget [her] people and [her] father's house," to set aside the past and hold fast to her husband, and in doing so the Church is to forget her pagan past, to forget the idols of her past, forget the gods she had served in the past, the gods of her father's of old and then at the end of the Psalm the promise comes when the Psalmist says, "In place of your fathers shall be your sons; you will make them princes in all the earth. I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore nations will praise you forever and ever."
Be encouraged then, as a Christian - as part of the Church, to set your eyes on Jesus (the Bridegroom of the Bride) who is the author and perfector of your faith: For He is Faithful and True, and He promises on the Last Day to present you to His Father as one washed clean of every impurity just as Saint Paul says when he writes to the Ephesians, saying, "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish." Yes in Christ, all the church together, and you in it, will stand next to Him at His right hand "in gold of Ophir." You with all the faithful will "with joy and gladness [be] led along [by Christ Jesus] as [you] enter the palace of the King," The kingdom of God, of which we pray, when we pray, "Thy kingdom come."
Dear Christian friends, Christ Jesus is ever more faithful to you than you are to Him, and He is ever more patient with you than you are with Him, and He is ever more loving toward you than you are toward Him, and thankfully He is ever more forgiving toward you than you are toward Him. Live lives of repentance, pray without ceasing to be more faithful, more enduring, more loving, more forgiving. Trust that in your life Jesus gives you the blood of His forgiveness. It is yours, as He is yours.
We all in our daily lives are given opportunities to model obedience and faithfulness, love and forgiveness, for those of us who are married the closest person with which to practice this is our husband or wife, and for those with Children they too are some of your nearest neighbours, but there are many more, as Saint Peter says, "keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins." While Jesus is an example to follow He is also the One who actively gives His love to us, a love not like the love we hear sung about in popular songs today but a Love which is eternal, perfect, a love which entirely covers the multitude of our sins. As Saint John says, "God is Love." Psalm 45 is a song of love, a prayer of love; a song of Jesus and a prayer centered on the eternal and everlasting love of God for you. Amen.
Let us pray:
Lord have mercy on us, Christ have mercy on us, Lord have mercy on us, “take our minds and think through them, take our lips and speak through them, take our hearts and set them on fire; for the sake of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen
 A Commentary on Psalms 1-72, John F. Burg, Northwestern Publishing House 2004, pg 455.
 Athanasian Creed, verses 15-16, Lutheran Service Book, Concordia Publishing House 2006, Pg 319.
 1 Chronicles 12:1-2, 6
 1 Chronicles 26:1-19
 John 20:28
 John 8:53-54
 Athanasian Creed, verses 25
 Philippians 2:10-11
 Lutheran Service Book, Concordia Publishing House 2006, 537
 Lutheran Service Book, Concordia Publishing House 2006, 441
 Revelation 1:16, 2:16
 John 20:19
 Revelation 19:7-10
 Burg, pg 457.
 Hebrews 12:2
 Revelation 19:11
 Ephesians 5:25-27
 1 Peter 4:8
 1 John 4:8