Have you ever had that uneasy sense about something you were about to do; that little flipping in the pit of your stomach that says, “I know this is what I’m supposed to do, but…” That was the way I felt when I started preparing this material for the annual ladies’ event at my local church.
Psalm 45:13 has long been a favorite of mine, but when it came time to teach about the King’s Daughter and who she really is, I was in for a big surprise. What I found did not exactly match up with what I had expected to find. I was a bit nervous about it at first because I knew that with that verse and that topic, most people generally have a preconceived idea about what is to follow. But the further I got into it, the more excited I became about teaching it. In fact, I could hardly wait to teach it!
Two days after the event at our church, I got on a plane bound for Kenya. While there, the Lord opened the door to have ladies’ seminars in various villages, and guess what we talked about! As I prepared for each class the message grew deeper and deeper. By the time I returned to the States, I knew that it was something that I had to keep sharing. So, this little lesson has gone from a few scratches on a sheet of paper that I was almost afraid to share, to my own dear friends and sisters at my local church, to the smiling women in Kenya and now to you.
So, if you don’t have your Bible, a pen and maybe even a notebook, go grab them – you’ll need them. I hope you enjoy this book, but most of all I hope that it will draw you closer to the King.
The Throne Room and Its King
“The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.”
For most Christian women Psalm 45:13 serves as a constant reminder that our inner person is to be our most beautiful part. It is to be “all glorious”. But, when I started preparing this material and read the passage over and over again, I realized that the standard, frequently taught meaning of this verse does not fit the context. I was horrified. I mean, Come on! Everyone knows that Psalm 45:13 means we are supposed to be beautiful on the inside because we are the King’s daughters, so how could I teach anything else. But truth and Scriptural accuracy are far more important than accepted, and even commonly taught, opinion. While the analogy is certainly there, the context of the verse is speaking of the King and His throne room.
The word translated “within” in this verse is used fourteen times in the Old Testament, and every single time it is referring to the interior of some place or structure, never to a person’s heart or inner life.
Disappointed? Don’t be. The idea behind the word is that the King’s Daughter is situated, as a queen on her throne, directly in front of the door so that she, in all her beauty, is the first thing you see as you enter the royal chamber. She is the finest ornament of the throne room; a beautiful, praise-worthy addition to the King’s place of judgment. With that in mind, let us begin our look at this passage by turning our attention, first, to the throne room and its King.
Imagine the scene: A beautiful throne room decked in gold and ivory, woods of the finest nature, fabrics of the richest kind, scroll work, carvings. No matter how vivid your imagination, you cannot out-imagine the beauty and majesty of that room for it is the seat of THE KING, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
There He sits, a King that is more beautiful (“fairer”) than the children of men, who speaks graciously; who wears His sword with true glory and honor. His success is not from tyranny and corruption. There is no need, or place, for such things in His Kingdom, for He rides prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness. He is an exceptional warrior, a righteous King, who despises wickedness. God has anointed Him with the oil of gladness. His garments smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia. His presence is a place of joy.
We know this mighty King to be Jesus. We see glimpses of this psalm and the pictures that it draws of our Lord repeated, referenced and quoted over and over throughout Scripture. Here are just a few examples for three passages from Psalm 45:
1. “Grace is poured into Thy lips” – Psalm 45:2
- “And all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?” – Luke 4:22
The word translated in Luke 4:22 as “gracious” is a multi-faceted word. An outline of Biblical usage gives this definition of the word, “that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech.”
Have you ever been around someone who had the ability to say just exactly what needed to be said, in a way that made everyone around them know how truly and sincerely they were loved? Someone who could speak truth in a way that not only made its barbs bearable, but allowed it to heal at the same time that it wounded? Have you ever been around someone whose words always brought sunlight to the darkest days or bolstered the weary of heart when no one else could? This is what was to be expected of this King because of Who the King was.
2. “Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty” – Psalm 45:3
- “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12
- “And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.” – Revelation 1:16
- “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6
- “To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” – Jude 25
His very words were one of the first evidences of His might. They are sharp, able to make the intricate incision required to discern the true intents of the heart as no one else can. His face, too, is like none other. It shines, but not like the meager light of a candle or even the glare of a bare light bulb. It shines as brightly as the sun at its zenith. Why? Because He is the mighty God. The only wise God. He alone is worthy of the glory and majesty, dominion and power to which Jude 25 refers. He is the great Creator, the Holy God, into Whose presence no evil dare come.
3. “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: the scepter of thy kingdom is a right scepter. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” – Psalm 45: 6,7
- “But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”
Over the years, as I have spent time in various countries around the world (Russia, Romania, China, Central Asia, Kenya) I have had ample opportunity to see the opposite of this. The world does not operate on principles of righteousness. The idea behind the words here translated as “right scepter” is very intriguing. The word for “right” literally means “level ground”. In other words, the scales are not tilted. No one has bribed the King and tilted the scale to their side. The word translated “scepter” has several meanings, four of which add their own special element to the picture.
First, the word is used to describe the rod with which God corrects. Notice that it again involves His Word: “But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” (Isaiah 11:4)
Secondly, it is used to describe the shepherd’s crook. “Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Have you ever wondered how a rod could bring comfort? Consider, first of all, that it is held by this King. When it comes to scooping that lamb up out of danger with that rod, there is nothing to fear. His strength can fully be trusted. But there is more to it, which we will see in a moment.
The third use of this word is the one that we find here in Psalm 45, that of the scepter that a king holds out in judgment. Remember the story of Esther? No one could enter in before the king unless he held out his scepter to receive them. (Esther 4:11) It is used to proclaim judgment, acceptance or denial.
And fourthly, it is used to indicate a measuring rod. Israel was the standard among nations – it was the rod of God’s inheritance. “The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the Lord of hosts is his name”.
Each of these things is important, but when you combine them with the word translated as “right” (level) you get a whole new understanding. What if that rod was not level, what if it was not balanced by the terms “thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness”? What if it were wielded by mere whim? What if one day God corrected evil and the next, let it slide? What if He suddenly decided He didn’t care if there was anything worthy of His correction or not, He was going to bring judgment upon the innocent? What if, in that valley of the shadow of death He suddenly said, “You’re just a dumb sheep. I don’t care if you fall over that edge. Stay there and die”? What if he used His measuring rod as the Moscow merchant who once tried to sell me a pair of boots used the tags on his wares? The man pointed out the tag on a cheaply made pair of boots and told me to read it so that I would know how wonderful the boots were. When I translated the very bad English translation back to him, “Do not go in the water, do not go near the fire, do not get wet”; he took the tag off of that pair and put them on a different pair. “What’s in a tag anyway?” he laughed. What if that was how God measured things, with an inaccurate and changeable measuring rod?
God’s rod is on level, unmoving ground. It doesn’t move like the bubble on the level, swaying to one end or the other according to His mood. It is set on a plain that does not change. Truly, as in Psalm 23, in this there is comfort.
This is just a hint of the splendor of the King whose glory fills that throne room. Is it any wonder, in light of all this, that Psalm 24 calls Him the King of Glory five times! Truly, He is a glorious King and His court is glorious. Even the fragrance that flows out from his clothing is noteworthy (Psalm 45:8). Cassia was a sweet spice similar to cinnamon. Aloes were used in perfumes and also used to describe the blessings upon Israel. And most notable of all, myrrh was a precious spice that was used in the anointing ointment that was to be made for the sole purpose of sanctifying the tabernacle. What a glorious King!
Many honorable women stand about the court, but there is one who stands above the rest. She is the very first thing that catches your eye as you enter this room of immense beauty. And it is only the glory of the King himself that ever draws your gaze away. Who is she? She is the King’s Daughter, but she was not always His. So, who is she really? How did she come to be here, and how did she become so beautiful? Will it always be this way? Will they “live happily ever after”?
Think it Through (Please, feel free to share your insights in the comments below!)
- Sometimes the political, cultural and social state of the world around us can be discouraging. How can the knowledge that God is the King of kings and Lord of lords help to balance
- Why do you think truth, meekness and righteousness would cause a king to prosper?
- Can you think of some of the gracious words that Jesus spoke during His time on earth? Do you remember a time when those words ministered grace to your soul?
- According to Hebrews 4:12, God’s Word is quick (alive), powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword. How precious is the Bible to you? How do you approach it? Are you conscious of the fact that it is more than just words on a page, but actually the word of GOD? Can you think of a time when the Bible helped you to understand the true intents of your heart?
- What do the following names of God mean to you personally:
- The Mighty God
- The everlasting Father
- The Prince of Peace
- What do the following verses reveal about God’s glory?
- Exodus 40:34, 2 Chronicles 7:1,2; Revelation 15:8
- Numbers 14:21; Psalm 72:19; Habakkuk 2:14
- 1 Kings 8:11; 2 Chronicles 5:14
- Ezekiel 10:4
- Ezekiel 44:4
Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for pĕniymah (Strong’s 6441)”. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 16 May 2011. < http:// http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm? (http://%20www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?%E2%80%A8Strongs=H6441&t=KJV) Strongs=H6441&t=KJV >
Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for charis (Strong’s 5485)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 28 Feb 2012. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?