“In your splendor go on to victory.”
1, 2. Why should we be interested in Psalm 45?
A GLORIOUS king rides into battle to defend truth and righteousness. He defeats his enemies, and after his final victory, he marries a lovely bride. The king is remembered and honored forever. These are some of the exciting events described in Psalm 45.
2 However, Psalm 45 is much more than just an exciting story with a happy ending. The events mentioned there are important to us because they affect our lives now, as well as our future. Let us carefully pay attention as we study this psalm.
“MY HEART IS STIRRED BY SOMETHING GOOD”
3, 4. (a) What is “something good” that the psalmist wrote about, and how can it affect our heart? (b) What message “about a king” do we preach? How does our tongue become like a stylus?
3 Read Psalm 45:1. “Something good” that causes the psalmist’s heart to be “stirred” is news about a king. In Hebrew, the word translated “is stirred” originally meant “to bubble up,” or “boil.” The psalmist was so excited to hear this news that it was as if his heart was bubbling up, or overflowing, with enthusiasm. It also made his tongue become like “the stylus of a skilled copyist.”
4 What does that mean for us? The good news of the Messianic Kingdom is something good that stirs our heart. The Kingdom message became especially “good” in 1914. Why? Because from that year on, it was no longer about a future Kingdom. Since 1914, the message has been about a real government that now rules in heaven. This is the “good news of the Kingdom” that we preach “in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations.” (Matthew 24:14) Is our heart “stirred,” or excited, by this Kingdom message? Do we preach the good news of the Kingdom with real enthusiasm? Like the psalmist, our “song is about a king.” We preach the message that Jesus is now Ruler of the Messianic Kingdom in heaven. We invite all, even the leaders of this world, to accept Jesus’ Kingdom. (Psalm 2:1, 2, 4-12) And our tongue becomes like “the stylus of a skilled copyist” when we use the Bible in our preaching work.
Do we preach the good news of the Kingdom with real enthusiasm?
“GRACIOUS SPEECH FLOWS FROM YOUR LIPS”
5. (a) In what ways was Jesus “handsome”? (b) How did Jesus preach graciously, and how can we follow his example?
5 Read Psalm 45:2. The Scriptures do not say much about what Jesus looked like. As a perfect man, he must have been “handsome.” But it was his integrity and faithfulness to Jehovah that made him truly handsome. Also, Jesus used “gracious speech” when he preached the message of the Kingdom. He used words that touched people’s heart. (Luke 4:22; John 7:46) Do we try our best to imitate Jesus in our preaching work?
6. How did God bless Jesus “forever”?
6 Because of Jesus’ faithfulness and deep love for his Father, Jehovah blessed his ministry on earth and rewarded him after he gave his life as a sacrifice. The apostle Paul wrote about Jesus: “When he came as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, yes, death on a torture stake. For this very reason, God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name, so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend
THE KING IS MADE GREATER THAN HIS “COMPANIONS”
7. In what ways did God anoint Jesus more than his “companions”?
7 Read Psalm 45:6, 7. Because Jesus deeply loves what is right and hates anything that could dishonor his Father, Jehovah anointed him as King of the Messianic Kingdom. Jesus was anointed with “the oil of exultation” more than his “companions,” the kings of Judah who were also descendants of David. In what ways? First of all, Jesus was anointed by Jehovah himself. Second, Jehovah anointed Jesus to rule as King and also serve as High Priest. (Psalm 2:2; Hebrews 5:5, 6) Third, Jesus was not anointed with oil but was anointed with holy spirit. Finally, he rules from the heavens, not from the earth.
8. Why can we be sure that Jesus’ rule is righteous? What does it mean that God is Jesus’ throne?
8 In 1914, Jehovah appointed his Son as the Messianic King in heaven. “The scepter” of Jesus’ Kingdom “is a scepter of uprightness,” so we can be sure that his rule will always be fair and righteous. He has the right to be King because God is his throne, that is, Jehovah has appointed him as King. Jesus’ throne will last “forever and ever.” How proud we are to serve Jehovah under the King he has appointed!
How proud we are to serve Jehovah under the King he has appointed!
THE KING STRAPS ON HIS SWORD
9, 10. (a) When did Christ strap on his sword, and how did he use it? (b) How will Christ use his sword in the future?
9 Read Psalm 45:3. Jehovah tells the King to strap his sword on his side. By doing this, he gives Jesus permission to wage war against those who oppose God’s rule and to destroy them. (Psalm 110:2) Because Christ is a Warrior and King who cannot be defeated, he is called “mighty one.” He strapped on his sword in 1914, when he defeated Satan and the demons and threw them out of heaven down to the earth.
10 That was only the beginning of the King’s ride to victory. He still must “complete his conquest.” (Revelation 6:2) Jehovah has decided that every part of Satan’s world must be destroyed, and the influence of Satan and his demons must be removed. First, Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion, will be eliminated. Jehovah will use the world’s political rulers to destroy this wicked “prostitute.” (Revelation 17:16, 17) Next, Christ will completely remove all governments of Satan’s world. Then, Jesus, who is called “the angel of the abyss,” will complete his victory by throwing Satan and the demons into the abyss. (Revelation 9:1, 11; 20:1-3) Let us see how these exciting events were foretold in Psalm 45.
THE KING RIDES “IN THE CAUSE OF TRUTH”
11. How does Christ ride to defend “truth”?
11 Read Psalm 45:4. The King does not fight a war to conquer lands or enslave people. He has honorable reasons to go to war. He rides to defend “truth and humility and righteousness.” Jehovah is the only one who has the right to rule the universe. This is the most important “truth” that must be defended. When Satan rebelled, he was saying that Jehovah did not have the right to rule. Since then, both demons and humans have questioned this fundamental truth. Now is the time for Jehovah’s anointed King to ride into battle and prove that Jehovah alone has the right to rule.
12. How does the King ride to defend “humility”?
12 The King also rides to defend “humility.” Jesus has always set the very best example of being humble and obedient to his Father. (Isaiah 50:4, 5; John 5:19) All loyal servants of the King must follow his example and be humble as they obey Jehovah as their Ruler in all things. Only those who do this will be allowed to live in God’s new world.
We must follow Jesus’ example and be humble as we obey Jehovah as our Ruler
13. How does Christ ride to defend “righteousness”?
13 Christ also rides to defend “righteousness.” This righteousness is “God’s righteousness,” or Jehovah’s standards of what is right and what is wrong. (Romans 3:21; Deuteronomy 32:4) Isaiah foretold the following about Jesus Christ: “A king will reign for righteousness.” (Isaiah 32:1) During his rule, Jesus will bring a “new heavens” and a “new earth” where everyone will do what is righteous. (2 Peter 3:13) That means that everyone in that new world will have to live by Jehovah’s standards of right and wrong.
Everyone in the new world will have to live by Jehovah’s standards of right and wrong
THE KING ACCOMPLISHES “AWE-INSPIRING THINGS”
14. How will the right hand of Christ accomplish “awe-inspiring things”? (See opening picture.)
14 The psalmist says that the King rides with a sword strapped on his side. (Psalm 45:3) He then takes the sword in his right hand and begins to use it. The psalmist prophesied about Jesus: “Your right hand will accomplish awe-inspiring things.” (Psalm 45:4) When Jesus Christ rides to destroy Satan’s world at Armageddon, he will accomplish “awe-inspiring things” against his enemies. We do not know exactly how the King will destroy Satan’s world. But we do know that whatever Jesus does will terrify those who have not obeyed God’s warnings and who have not accepted the King’s rule. (Read Psalm 2:11, 12.) In his prophecy about the end, Jesus said that people would become “faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” He also said: “And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”
15, 16. Who will be in the armies that follow Christ into battle?
15 The King’s coming “with power and great glory” to defeat God’s enemies is announced in the book of Revelation. It says: “I saw heaven opened, and look! a white horse. And the one seated on it is called Faithful and True, and he judges and carries on war in righteousness. Also, the armies in heaven were following him on white horses, and they were clothed in white, clean, fine linen. And out of his mouth protrudes a sharp, long sword with which to strike the nations, and he will shepherd them with a rod of iron. Moreover, he treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.”
16 Who will be in the heavenly “armies” that follow Jesus into battle? The angels fought along with Jesus when he first strapped on his sword and threw Satan and his demons out of heaven. (Revelation 12:7-9) So it makes sense that at the war of Armageddon, Christ’s armies will include the holy angels. Will anyone else be in Christ’s armies? Jesus made this promise to his anointed brothers: “To the one who conquers and observes my deeds down to the end, I will give authority over the nations, and he will shepherd the people with an iron rod so that they will be broken to pieces like clay vessels, just as I have received from my Father.” (Revelation 2:26, 27) At that time, all of Christ’s anointed brothers will already have been raised to heaven. These ones will also be part of Christ’s heavenly armies. The anointed will be at Jesus’ side when he does “awe-inspiring things” to destroy the nations.
THE KING COMPLETES HIS VICTORY
17. (a) What does the white horse that Christ rides represent? (b) What do the sword and the bow represent?
17 Read Psalm 45:5. The King rides a white horse. Revelation 6:2 says: “I saw, and look! a white horse, and the one seated on it had a bow; and a crown was given him, and he went out conquering and to complete his conquest.” The white horse represents war that is righteous and approved by God. (Revelation 19:11) Besides a sword, the King also carries a bow. Both the sword and the bow represent the methods that Christ will use to destroy his enemies.
18. What will happen when Christ uses his “arrows”?
18 Using poetic language, the psalmist prophesies about the King: “Your arrows are sharp, making peoples fall before you; they pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies.” There will be destruction all over the world. Jeremiah’s prophecy foretells: “Those slain by Jehovah in that day will be from one end of the earth clear to the other end of the earth.” (Jeremiah 25:33) Another prophecy about the same event says: “I saw also an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice and said to all the birds that fly in midheaven: ‘Come here, be gathered together to the great evening meal of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of military commanders and the flesh of strong men and the flesh of horses and of those seated on them, and the flesh of all, of freemen as well as of slaves and of small ones and great.’”
After destroying Satan’s wicked world, the King will “go on to victory”
19. How will Christ complete his victory?
19 After destroying Satan’s wicked world, the glorious King Jesus Christ will “go on to victory.” (Psalm 45:4) He will complete his victory by throwing Satan and his demons into the abyss. They will stay in this abyss while Jesus and the 144,000 rule from heaven for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:2, 3) When the Devil and his demons are trapped in the abyss, it will be as if they were dead because they will not be able to cause any harm. All on earth will be able to enjoy the King’s rule without the wicked influence of Satan and his demons. Before the whole earth becomes a paradise, there will be another reason to be joyful along with the King and the 144,000. That exciting event will be discussed in the next article.