The Battle of Gettysburg was costly. In just three days of fighting, there were more than 50,000 casualties. The nation was weary of war and wondered if it would ever end. In his famous Gettysburg address, Abraham Lincoln presented a vision for the future: “[T]hat this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
Psalms 42–44 present us with two main problems: separation from God’s presence and military defeat. Psalms 45–49 provide answers to these problems. While Psalm 44 lamented a great military defeat, Psalm 45 presents a vision of a Davidic king who would “ride forth victoriously” and defeat the nations (vv. 4–5). This king is described in lofty terms: “Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever” (v. 6). This description goes beyond any historical king of Israel and is a vision of a future Messiah.
While Psalms 42–43 lamented being cut off from God’s presence (42:1–3; 43:3–4), Psalm 45 describes a bride being led into the presence of this exalted king “with joy and gladness” (v. 15). This psalm looked to a time of future hope for God’s people. The bride described here is a figurative representation of the speaker of Psalm 42–43, who longed to come into God’s presence with “joy” (43:4). This fits with the regular Old Testament image of God’s relationship with Israel as a marriage (Jer. 2:2; 31:32; Isa. 54:5; Hos. 2:16–20). As one commentator explains, “It is best to understand Psalm 45 as speaking figuratively about a wedding between the divine Messiah-King and His people.”
>> As we look at the state of the world around us, it can be easy to get discouraged. This psalm encourages us to reflect upon our future hope. We have a great wedding feast to anticipate when the Lord will declare, “I am making everything new!” (Rev. 21:5).
Together, we reflect on our future hope, the wedding feast of the Lamb. We thank you, Lord, that even now your promise from Revelation is true: “I am making everything new!” (Rev. 21:5).