My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.
You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever. (vv 1-2)
Psalm 45 draws our attention because of its shift in focus. This is not a prayer or plea to God as the preceding entries have been. Instead, it is a song in praise of a Royal on his wedding day. Our view of the psalter is expanded and its application to all of life is made more apparent.
The voice of the first verses also gives us a new appreciation for the author of the song. He is an ‘expert scribe’, similar to profession of Ezra (Ezra 7:6). The scribe is not simply a transcriber of words. He is a learned fellow, observing and cataloging the traditions, literature, and practices of his community. In the instance of this psalm, it appears that he has composed this loving tribute orally and speaks it to the King himself. We will now be more aware of his hand in the rest of the psalter as we continue our exploration.
The application of this psalm has expanded through the ages. This was read as a Messianic text in later Jewish practice and others have found it to be speaking allegorically of the relationship between God and His people. Many have struggled with verses 6 and 7 as the King is referenced as God:
Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. (vv 6-7)
In the context of the time, modern readers must appreciate that King was seen as divinely appointed by God and possessed a special relationship because of the selection. This is not to be read as an ascendency to divine status nor as idolatry. The author of Hebrews found in these verses the perfect words to speak of the Son of Man and His person and office (Heb 1:8-9). Christians have interpreted this psalm as a song of love between Christ and His church, a beautiful application of beautiful words.