Preparation of the Bride
Mary M. Bodie
PREPARATION OF THE BRIDE
Mary M. Bodie
"The chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of His preparation" - Nahum 2:3. This scripture, no doubt refers to the time of the Lord's return and the preparation on the earth that precedes the great event. The fulfillment of it, which is before our eyes, is a sure sign that the Day of the Lord is at hand. But there is a particular preparation, at the same time, to which we call attention with no uncertain sound; namely, the preparation of the Bride to meet the Bridegroom. The former is called "His preparation." But her preparation is just as necessary; for His manifestation awaits her presence with Him. The Man to whom has been given dominion upon the earth is not complete without His Bride – Genesis 1:27,28.We are assured that there is nothing today with which the Lord is more concerned than the preparation of the Lamb's Wife. It is written of her, "His Wife hath made herself ready" - Revelation 19:7.
God's people are awaking to the fact of the imminence of Christ's coming; but the readiness necessary to meet Him, with many, is a minor consideration. The former is good to see. It is indispensable to the latter. For the hope of Christ's appearing, held in living faith, purifies us "even as He is pure" - I John 3:3. This constitutes the preparation of the Bride. She must be as separated as He from the world, in its every phase. This includes not only the world's allurements as to its pleasures and money; but also its wisdom, its thoughts, its fame, its zeal, and its energy. The latter are more than the former; for they may be garbed religiously, and thus not be so easily detected. Nevertheless, they are not hidden from the Lord. The Bride cannot afford to be defiled by any of these things. The time is too short. She must be making ready her wedding garments, the materials of which, we are assured, will be altogether from Heaven - nothing of "the elements of the world" in that wedding trousseau. It will be wholly divine.
On every hand is manifested great zeal and energy in the Lord's cause and in the salvation of sinners. But the one great purpose of the age, the Father sending the Holy Spirit in quest of a Bride for His Son, is almost forgotten. She must be a help meet for Him, not an inferior. She must grow up "unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" - Eph. 4:13. This constitutes her readiness. The Lamb's Wife is not going to be a babe nor a child. God is not concerned, nor does He want us concerned, with building up something big upon the earth. This is always man's wisdom, for he walks by sight. He must see the result of his work in something big, to which he can point with pride and take to himself the glory. But the Lord is not working that way. If we desire His best, we must look through His eyes and view things as He views them. The Bride has "doves' eyes," Holy Spirit eyes. God is through with the church, viewed as Christendom. He is already outside the door calling individuals to come out, and He will sup with them - Rev. 3:20. He has given her space to repent; but she has not availed herself of the opportunity.
Scripture nowhere tells us that there will be a revival of the Church as a whole. In fact, the opposite is stated. The love of many waxes cold, iniquity abounds, some depart from the faith, and the last days are perilous. Read II Timothy, for a description of the religious condition at the end of this age. The witness for Christ upon the earth has failed. She has a form of godliness, but denies the power of the Holy Spirit - and so is nothing but "sounding brass, or a tinkling (clanging) cymbal." Notice now, in this connection, that God does not repeat Himself. He is not building up another gigantic apostolic Church in these days. No, indeed! She would prove the same miserable failure again, if she were given the opportunity. God is not doing this. He does a new thing. The end of this age is upon us. The Lord has something new for the next. The Church as a whole is divided. In the
beginning, all believers "were together, and had all things common." Their separation to God and fellowship with one another were complete. But this will never be repeated until Jesus comes. Then, the "all things common" will be fulfilled in a far greater measure to Israel, of which the former was only a miniature picture.
As was said, there is absolutely no hope of a restoration of the professing church. Even the desire for large beautifully organized apostolic assemblies will prove a snare and disappointment to us, if we set our heart upon them. Again we repeat, God is not working in this manner. He has proved man in this way many times. There will never be another Luther, Wesley, or Knox to inaugurate movements for their followers to build up into
ecclesiastical abominations upon the earth. Many of these different sects were of God in their beginnings (though not as sects); but take notice of their end - "the mother of harlots," destroyed with all her progeny -Rev. 17:5. God is going to judge her false pretenses, and fellowship with a guilty world, and give to her according to her deeds. She is the false bride of Christ. Her claims will have to be annulled before the true Bride can be shown.
OUR HIGH CALLING
Let us then get the mind of God for us as individuals at this time, and not try to imitate those of the past. Let us look alone to our Guide and Teacher who is still with us. God has purposes and plans for us today which, I am sure, are neither sectarian nor selfish. He is a God of variety. He is not at a loss in the midst of the confusion and failure. What He wants, and all He needs, is the "poor and ... contrite spirit" - small enough to be taught and willing to be led. The teaching may not be according to man's wisdom nor his reasoning, and the path in which we are called to walk may be a little thorny and not very popular. But we truly believe that it will be teaching befitting the preparation of the Lamb' s Wife to take her place in the ages to come as the companion, the equal and helpmeet, for the Lord. For the marriage of the Lamb shall come, as it is written; and there must be a bride who "hath made herself ready."
The question may arise - How is the above possible, since salvation is entirely by grace? Well, we believe this is the answer. God Himself has made provision for the readiness, but we must avail ourselves of His provision. Salvation has been provided for the world, but all men are not saved. They will not take the grace that the Lord is freely offering them. So it is, in like manner, with believers. All have the calling of this select highly graced
company - the Bride. The provision to meet the need of all is complete; but it is not appreciated nor wanted. The separation it effects is too entire. The persecution it entails is too severe. The Prize of the high calling is not run after; hence, will not be won. The race is too long, the boxing too strenuous, for the weaklings of our day. They prefer, like Lot of old, to sit in the gate of Sodom to judge the wickedness of the world; but they are not separated from it. True judgment would necessitate an immediate separation from such fellowship. But this can only be done when we acknowledge God's judgments upon this world by taking our place in death with Christ and His consequent resurrection. Then it will be no more I that live, "but Christ." This is the provision God has made through Calvary for the reproduction of the Christ life in the Bride. For, notice, she is called "the Lamb' s Wife" - Revelation 21:9.
THE QUEEN, THE WOMAN OF DESTINY
In Psalm forty-five, we are given a view of the above much graced company who is to reign jointly with her Consort the King. King's daughters are among the honorable women of the court; but she, the Queen, stands at His right hand. She "is but one; she is the only one of her mother (grace), she is the choice one of her that bare her" - Song of Solomon 6:9. There are daughters and virgins without number; but she is the only One (speaking of the unity of the glorious company) who is chosen to share the throne. She stands beside the King "in gold of Ophir," divinely chosen and enrobed in regal splendor as befitting her rank and sphere. She is even as He. Then follows a list of the absolute requirements of those who will grace that dazzling throne.
"Hearken, O daughter." Listen to MyWord, He says. I will tell thee how to measure up to the call of God if thou hast yearning in this direction. "Incline thine ear."
A hearing ear is the first necessity of this queenly company. She must have an ear tuned in harmony with heaven - an ear that can hear the faintest whisper of the Infinite Spirit. But hearing is not sufficient. The second condition follows. She must "consider"; that is, she must eat the Word which she hears, think upon it, let it lodge in her heart, meditate upon it, ruminate, chew the cud, as it were, and get all the sweetness, strength, and power out of it. Keep it in mind. Then the next admonition will be in order. "Forget also thine own people, and thy father's house." She must put off her old Adamic head, and all the associations and relationships connected with the old creation. "Oh, this is hard," some say. No, it simply means that this choice One puts her Lord and Master first. His people are her people; His house, her house. The Spirit is substituted for the flesh, while the eternal things replace the temporal. She has said, "Goodbye," to all earthly ties, ambitions, pleasures, fame, and riches. Forgetting becomes habitual to this company. Like Paul, this choice woman forgets "those things which are behind." She presses forward. She lets go all that she is and has in the natural. She identifies herself with the rejection of Christ; and esteems the reproach that He has borne, and His fellowship, "greater riches than the treasures in Egypt." "Victory," you say. Sure, this is victory. But it is the privilege of the Queen to enjoy such a state of perfection. This is simply glorying in the grace of God and its enabling, which has made such overcoming possible. The work of the Cross will not have been in vain for such a company. Observe further, that such victory is absolutely necessary; for the King's Spouse must reach the standard that has been enjoined [and that standard is a character of obedience to God’s Law, by His grace, which law is a transcript of His character]. Only with such can He mate. They alone are able to enter into fellowship and enjoy His love. In fact, these only will He desire for His own. Listen, "So shall the King greatly desire thy beauty." Because she has met all the conditions, fulfilled all the requirements of His loving tender admonitions, is the reason that He will desire her. It will be this very inward perfection which has been worked in her, which will cause His love to burn toward her and make Him yearn to possess her for Himself. He is this choice Woman's Lord. She owns His Lordship alone - worships, obeys, and yields to Him. He is everything to her - "the Chiefest among ten thousand." He reciprocates this love to the uttermost. "She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework." These fine linen garments are in the process of being made today. They are the result of heeding the above counsel of the Spirit, and are costing her something in the way of pricks and stings.
The needle's constant moving in and out, though necessary, is not pleasant; and it occasions her some tears and groans. But, when we realize that only thus are those embroidered garments to be fashioned, we yield to the pricking. The Queen is to be brought into the King's presence in these beautiful dainty wearables, as though the wrought golden robe were for the gaze of the multitude; while the fine raiment of needlework is for the King alone. He alone will know their worth, and appreciate their value; therefore, He alone will see their beauty.
She must be a partaker of His nature - the Lamb nature. The Bride will most certainly consist of those who have let God have His way with them to the uttermost; not so much in doing great things but rather, we believe, by standing still and letting Him work. He then works in us, rather than for us, a complete renunciation of all that we are and have. All of our own natural goodness, as well as the badness, we will let go. The former is far more difficult than the latter. We do cling to our own self-righteousness. It is the last thing we let go of. But God will have none of it, and neither will the Lamb's Wife. She will take Christ only and always for her preparation; and stand in His spotless righteousness, without fault, in the unsullied light of the throne of God. She sounds out on every hand with clarion voice, "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth." Her boast is grace alone. With deep exultant joy she confesses that she owes everything to Christ. He is all she needs. Others may boast in their achievements, their self-righteousness, their wisdom, their sufficiency. She is dumb and maligned, rejected, misunderstood and persecuted. She goes the way of her Lord and Life Christ Jesus.
The Bride fills up "that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ" - Col. 1:24. She does it with rejoicing, happy to be a partaker of His sufferings; for "when His glory shall be revealed," she will "be glad also with exceeding joy," for she will share jointly with Him. No doleful dismal lamenter is the Bride of Christ. His joy is in her, and her joy is full. She appreciates His love, and awaits His appearing. She expects to win Christ.
She sings, and singing upward wings - Her anthem Calvary's story. Her eyes like doves', her feet like deer. The race she runs with vision clear; For Christ is all her Glory.
We read in two places, of the Lamb's Wife - Rev. 19:7, 21:2,9-11, she is described as a great and glorious city "coming down from God out of Heaven." But who constitutes the Bride? It is very evident that not all the saints have this royal place. For in Revelation nineteen, we read of "servants," of them "that fear Him," and of them "which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb." Furthermore, in Revelation twenty-one, the Bride or Holy City is distinguished from the twelve foundations or twelve apostles of the lamb.
Eve was built of a rib taken from the side of Adam. She became his wife. She is a type of the Bride of Christ, who being taken out of His Body, the Church, divinely chosen and divinely built. But what particular saints constitute His Bride? Our answer is recorded in Romans 7:1-6. We quote verse four: "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God."
The importance of this truth cannot be overestimated, now that we expect soon to see the Lord. May the Spirit enable the reader to see it. Romans 6:6 teaches that "our old man, or former husband, was crucified with Christ; hence, we are not under law. [This means that we are not under the condemnation of the law if we die to the old man of sin, but it by no means signifies that we don’t have to measure up to the standard of all righteousness by His grace, His empowerment of His Holy Spirit. This is evinced by the next sentence saying that we are adulteresses UNDER THE LAW if we do not count the old man dead. rwb]. But, if we do not count the old man dead while we are joined to Christ, we are adulteresses; for no woman has a right to have two husbands. That is why so many do not have victory over sin. They are joined to Christ, but do not count the old husband dead. There is always trouble where there is more than one husband in the same house. Now Christ alone has a right to the headship. He purchased it with His own blood. He cannot accept one as His Wife who has another husband. He would thus commit fornication, and cause her to commit adultery. Of course, that cannot be.
How illogical then, to expect Christ to be our Bridegroom, if we do not count our old man or husband to be dead. Do you see it, friend? If we reckon with God that our old man died with Christ, then we have him no longer as a husband; nor do we longer recognize the old natural life. We are now free to be joined to Christ. We now recognize only His life in us. We are wholly dependent upon Him - our new and rightful and only head. We love Him with an absorbing and adoring love. We trust Him constantly and confidingly. He becomes our constant thought and theme, our life and light, our help and hope, our joy and rejoicing, our wisdom and way. This is not simply cold doctrine. It is a living burning experience. "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit" - I Cor. 6:17. Such are fruitful ones, who hold Jesus only as their Head.
HER HIDDEN FITNESS
The foregoing is the right and reasonable attitude and relation of a bride to her groom. This is the lawful aspect of it. But the true marriage relation is much deeper than law. There is a profound unfathomable inward separation from all else and all others, into union with Him inexplicably deep and tender. Doubtless, this was the pursuit of the Apostle Paul, in Phil. 3:7-14.Who will take time and patience to consider it with Him?
In the first chapter of this epistle, Christ is set forth as our life; and the apostle expressed his "desire to depart, and to be with Christ." In the second chapter, He is set before us as our Pattern; and Paul exhorts to "let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." But, in the third chapter, Christ is "the Prize of the high calling of God." To be with Christ is glorious, to be like Him is great; but to "win Christ," as a young woman wins a man, is everything. This is what Paul was running after. He already knew Him as his Savior, his Life, his strength, and his Wisdom. Now he yearns to know Him as his heavenly Bridegroom. He remarks: "What things were gain to me" – his pedigree and his legal righteousness - "those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things." If we do not suffer in losing, what we give up does not amount to very much. There is a real death in such a giving up; not death to self, but to what we surrender.
But, more than that, he says,” I.. .count them but dung" - a repulsive mass of corruption - "that I may win Christ, and be found in Him." Then, what most Christians cling to and boast of to their dying day, Paul especially repudiated as the largest part of that dung heap; namely, his own righteousness, which was of the law. We can never win Christ except we wholly renounce all our own natural goodness, sweetness, and pious walk. We cannot glory in what we ever did or did not, or in what we are now doing or not doing. We can only glory in the fact that we died with Christ on Calvary, and that He is our present and eternal life and righteousness.
Now as we maintain this attitude of separation from all things and everybody, and as we choose to repudiate our own righteousness, we are becoming conformed to the death of Christ. God, by His providences, makes us to experience with sorrow, grief, and pain, this death to all. We are made to see with shame how self-righteous we have been, and what a mortification is required to rid us of it all. But God is perfecting us. Christ is being formed in us. We are growing up into Him, our living Head. "Forgetting those things which are behind" - pedigree, friends, prospects, plans, prosperity, usefulness, blessings, attainments, achievements, gifts, [unchristlike mistakes for which Satan and His agents will accuse us day and night before the throne], -- all absolutely ALL; and stretching forward "unto those things which are before" - to "know Him, and the power of His resurrection out from the dead (that is, dead saints) "for the Prize" - Christ Himself as our glorious heavenly Bridegroom.
To paraphrase, let us press on then with Paul that, "If by any means we may apprehend or seize hold of that for which we have been apprehended of God in Christ." Let us set our faces like flint by persistent faith in God; and by whole-hearted yieldedness to Him, and by real heart devotion to Him, seek to reach that goal and win the PRIZE. Then we will indeed be apart of that holy city, new Jerusalem, "descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal" - Revelation 21:10,11. "And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be" - Revelation 22:12.
Here is an interesting commentary on the King and "queen" or royal bride of Psam 45:
A Love Song
An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 45
Words in boxes are from the Bible.
Words marked with a *star are described in the word list at the end.
The translated Bible text has yet to go through Advanced Checking.
Jesus said, "At midnight somebody shouted, Look, the bridegroom is coming. Go out and meet him". (Matthew 25:6) (This is part of a story that Jesus told about a marriage. The bridegroom is the man getting married.)
(This is) for the music leader.
(It is) for the *sons of Korah.
(It is) a *maskil and a love song.
(Sing it) to (music that they call) "*lilies".
(Words that the *psalmist says:)
v1 These good words make my *heart very happy.
I will say these verses to the king.
My *tongue is *like the pen of someone that writes easily.
(Words that the *psalmist says to the king:)
v2 You are the most beautiful man (that there
You speak words of *grace.
God has made you special *for ever.
v3 Wear your *sword by your side.
(You are) the *Mighty One.
(You are) great and (you are) the king!
v4 (Because you
are) the king,
ride out and beat (all your enemies).
Then (people that are) honest
and *meek and *righteous will always win.
Your right hand will show you
that you can do things that (make people) afraid.
v5 Your sharp *arrows will cut into the *heart of
the king’s enemies.
*Nations will fall down under your (feet).
v6 Your *throne, God, will go on *for ever and ever.
The *sceptre of your *kingdom will be a *righteous *sceptre.
v7 You have loved things that are *righteous
and you have *hated things that are *wicked.
So God, your God, has put you above the people that are with you.
He did this by putting some *oil on you, which made you happy.
v8 All your clothes (smell) of *myrrh, aloes and
The (beautiful) *ivory in big houses
(and the music that you hear from them) makes you happy.
v9 Among your great women are the daughters of
Your *queen stands at your right hand.
(She is wearing) gold from *Ophir.
(Words that the *psalmist says to the *queen:)
v10 Daughter, listen (to me).
Hear (what I am saying) and think about it.
Forget your people and your father’s house.
v11 You are beautiful and so the king loves
He is your *lord, so *worship him, (v12) daughter from Tyre.
v12 Rich people will make you happy with gifts.
v13 The daughter of the king is beautiful
They made what she wore out of cotton made from gold.
v14 They led her to the king in her
The girls that were her friends followed her.
v15 They came in with *joy and were very
as they entered the king’s *palace.
(Words that the king says to the *queen; or the *psalmist says to the king:)
v16 You will have sons instead of fathers.
You will make them *princes over all the land.
v17 I will make sure that people always
remember your name.
So, people will *praise you *for ever and ever.
The famous English author, C. S. Lewis, wrote that some of the psalms meant two things. He also wrote that Psalm 45 was a good example of this. What did C. S. Lewis mean? He thought that Psalm 45 meant one thing before Jesus came to the earth and something else after he came!
1) Before Jesus came to the earth, it meant this. The king in verses 2-9 was the king of Judah or Israel. He was the *messiah. The words "did this by pouring *oil over" in verse 7 are "*messiahed" in Hebrew! They poured *oil (from the fruit of a tree we call the olive) over him when he became king. All the kings of Judah and Israel were God’s *messiahs.
The *queen in verses 10-15 was the woman that the king married. Some Bible students think that the *sons of Korah sang Psalm 45 when King Solomon married his *queen. Others think that they sang it every time a king married. The "*sons of Korah" were the people that sang in the *Temple. The *Temple was the house of God. King Solomon built the *Temple in Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the capital city of Judah.
2) After Jesus came to the earth it meant something else. This is a more important meaning for Christians. They think that verses 2-9 describe Jesus, the King of kings. Verses 10-15 describe the Church, all Christians.
A few Christians think that the psalm only means one thing. They think that:
· the king in verses 2-9 is always God
· the *queen in verses 10-15 is always God’s people.
God’s people were the Jews in the Old Testament, and are Christians in the New Testament and after. They think this because all through the Bible marriage is a picture of God as husband and his people as his wife.
This shows us that Psalm 45 is not a simple psalm. We must never think that we understand it completely. God will always have something new to say to us through it!
Verse 1: Students think that the person that wrote the psalm said this. Although it is part of the psalm, it is not about the king and *queen. ("Like" is another word for "as".) It tells us that he says things (with his *tongue) as easily as other people write things (with a pen). His *tongue is his pen! A verse is a part of a psalm. There are 17 verses in this psalm (18 if you count the words above verse 1, as the Hebrew Bible does).
Verses 2 – 9: For the Jews before Jesus came to the earth, these words described their king. There is now no king of the Jews ... only Jesus! For Christians, these words are all about Jesus. Here are some of the things the psalm tells us about Jesus:
a) he speaks words of *grace, verse 2. This means that he tells us that he loves us and that he died for us. He did not have to do these things, but he did them. That is what *grace means.
b) he is the *Mighty One, verse 3. This is another name for God. It tells us that he is more powerful than anybody else. It also tells us that Jesus is God (look also at verses 6 and 7).
c) he does things that make people afraid, verse 4. This is because he is God and is more powerful than any man or woman. Even his *disciples were a bit afraid when he made the storm become quiet!
d) he will rule many *nations, verse 5. In the end, he will rule all the *nations in the world. He will be King of kings! His sharp *arrows will go into the *heart of his enemies. An *arrow in the *heart will kill you. This means that he will beat his enemies.
e) his *throne will go on *for ever and ever, verse 6. This means that he will never stop being king. "*for ever and ever" means "for always and always". There will be no end to his *kingdom. Also, his *kingdom will be *righteous. No bad things will happen in it. The *sceptre is the special stick (often made from gold) that a king holds as he rules his people. "A *righteous *sceptre" means that the king is good. So good things will happen and not bad things.
f) he is God's *Messiah, verse 7. All the kings of Judah and Israel were *messiahs, with a small "m"; but Jesus is the *Messiah with a capital ‘M’! He was God’s special servant on earth.
g) he is beautiful and there are beautiful things round him, verse 8. Myrrh, aloes and cassia come from trees and plants. They used them as medicine, and to make things smell pleasant. They used *ivory to make beautiful things to put in their houses. Ivory came from the tusks of a large animal called an elephant. Tusks are *like big white teeth and can be up to a metre long. Elephants have one each side of their mouth. The end of the verse "and the music that you hear" is not in the Hebrew Bible. Some Bible students think that it may be what a strange word in Hebrew means, but others do not agree.
h) his *queen stands at his right hand, verse 9. Some people say that this was the marriage of the king to the *queen, others do not agree. Really, Psalm 45 is very difficult to translate and we are not sure about many things in it. The Hebrew word is "*queen", or "the wife of a king", so in this verse they were already married. *Ophir was a place probably on the east coast of the Red Sea, in what is now Saudi Arabia.
Verses 10 – 15: For the Jews, these words described their *queen. The Jews now have no king or *queen. For Christians this part is about the bride of Christ. In several places in the Bible, the Church is "the bride of Christ". A bride is a woman who is at her marriage. John wrote, "the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready" (Revelation 19:7). He also wrote, "I John saw new Jerusalem coming down from God in *heaven. She was *like a bride made beautiful for her husband" (Revelation 21:2). New Jerusalem is another name for the Church. So, *like the Jews in the Old Testament, the Church in the New Testament is *like the wife of God. Does Psalm 45 tell us anything about the Church, the bride of Christ? Here are some of the things that it tells us:
a) the Church is to forget the things that happened in the past, verse 10. Everything is now new.
b) the King (Jesus) loves the Church, verse 11. He does this because the Church in Christ is beautiful! Remember, it is not how we see the Church but how God sees it that matters!
c) the Church must *worship Christ, verse 11. "Worship" is a difficult word. It means love, be afraid of, be a servant of, and fall down on the ground in front of ... all at the same time!
In verse 13 we read "the daughter of the king is beautiful inside". This probably means that nobody saw what she wore until the king saw it. When Jewish girls came to their marriage, they covered their clothes. When they met their husband, they showed everyone their dress. What will the Church wear when she marries Christ? If we believe in Jesus, we will all have a "robe of *righteousness"! A robe is a long dress that covers all the body and feet. Jesus gave us *righteousness when we first believed in him. It means that He does not see us as bad but as good. This is not because we are good, but because Jesus gives us the gift of goodness (righteousness) when we believe that he died for us.
Verses 16 – 17: Bible students are not sure about these two verses. The two important ideas are at the end of The Story of Psalm 44. Either the king is speaking, or the *psalmist is speaking. But, whatever is right, "people will *praise God for ever and ever". "For ever and ever" is a strange idea in the Hebrew language. It means "as far as we can see". For us it means "for always and always".
In the New Testament, there is a book that we call "The Letter to the Hebrews". We do not know who wrote it. This is what it says in Hebrews 1:8-9:
v8 But about the Son (it says), "Your *throne, God, is *for ever and ever. His *sceptre is a *sceptre of *righteousness.
v9 You have loved things that are *righteous and you have *hated things that are *wicked. So God, your God, has put you above the people that are with you. (He did this) by pouring *oil over you, which made you happy".
This is a very important part of the Bible. It is important because it tells us that early Christians thought that Psalm 45 was about Jesus! So, it does not matter that it may have been about the King of Judah. It is now about Jesus!
1. Read about the *sons of Korah at the end of Psalm 43 in this set of psalms.
2. Read Psalm 45: 2 - 9. How many things can you find that remind you of Jesus?
arrow ~ stick with a sharp point at the end, shot by a bow.
disciple ~ someone that follows and obeys a teacher.
for ever (and ever) ~ always, with no end.
grace ~ being kind to someone when you do not have to be.
hate ~ the opposite of love.
heart ~ part of our body; the Jews thought that you used your *heart to think; so to know it "in your heart" or "by heart" means that you remember it.
heaven ~ the home of God.
ivory ~ hard white material of great value.
joy ~ feeling happy deep inside.
kingdom ~ a country that has a king.
like ~ another word for "as".
lilies ~ beautiful flowers.
lord ~ someone with authority (with a capital L a name for God, look after Psalm 25).
maskil ~ a psalm that teaches you something.
meek ~ letting people teach you.
Messiah ~ a name for Jesus; really it means ‘he is made king’.
Mighty One ~ a name for God that means that he is powerful.
myrrh, aloes, cassia ~ all have special smells.
nation ~ a group of people (or a country) with a government.
oil ~ liquid from the fruit of the olive tree.
Ophir ~ a place where Solomon got gold.
palace ~ the home of a king; a beautiful building.
praise ~ (noun, or being something) words that say that someone or something is very good.
praise ~ (verb, or doing something) say that someone or something is very good.
praise God ~ say how great that God is.
prince ~ son of a king.
psalmist ~ the person that wrote a psalm.
queen ~ the wife of a king.
righteous ~ very very good; only God is very righteous (or has righteousness); doing what is right.
righteousness ~ being very good.
sceptre ~ a special stick that a king holds, maybe made of gold.
sons of Korah ~ the people that sang in the *Temple (look in Psalm 43).
sword ~ a long sharp knife that soldiers used.
temple ~ a special building where people *worship God.
throne ~ a special chair that a king or *queen sits on.
tongue ~ the bit in the mouth that speaks or tastes.
wicked ~ very very bad.
worship ~ say that someone is very wonderful.