Hail Christ, the Glorious King!
“In your splendor go on to victory.”—PS. 45:4.
1, 2. Why is Psalm 45 of interest to us?
A GLORIOUS king rides in the cause of truth and righteousness and goes forth to conquer his enemies. After winning a final victory over them, he weds a lovely bride. The king is remembered and lauded throughout all generations to come. That is the basic theme of Psalm 45.
2 The 45th Psalm, though, is much more than an exciting story with a happy ending. The events mentioned there have meaning for us. They concern our very lives now, as well as our future. With keen attention, then, let us carefully examine this psalm.
“MY HEART IS STIRRED BY SOMETHING GOOD”
3, 4. (a) What is “something good” that concerns us, and how can it affect our heart? (b) In what way ‘is our song about a king,’ and how does our tongue become like a stylus?
3 Read Psalm 45:1. “Something good” that touches the heart of the psalmist and causes it to be “stirred” concerns a king. The Hebrew verb translated “is stirred” originally meant “to bubble up,” or “boil.” This matter made the psalmist’s heart boil over with enthusiasm and made his tongue become like “the stylus of a skilled copyist.”
4 What about us? The good news of the Messianic Kingdom is something good that touches our heart. The Kingdom message became especially “good” in 1914. Since then, the message no longer concerns a future Kingdom but has to do with a real government now functioning in the heavens. This is the “good news of the Kingdom” that we preach “in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations.” (Matt. 24:14) Is our heart “stirred” by the Kingdom message? Do we preach the good news of the Kingdom with zeal? Like the psalmist, our “song is about a king”—our King Jesus Christ. We proclaim him as the enthroned heavenly King of the Messianic Kingdom. Moreover, we invite all—the rulers and the ruled—to submit to his kingship. (Ps. 2:1, 2, 4-12) And our tongue becomes like “the stylus of a skilled copyist” in that we make extensive use of the written Word in our preaching work.
We joyfully proclaim good news about our King Jesus Christ
‘GRACIOUS SPEECH FLOWS FROM THE KING’S LIPS’
5. (a) In what ways was Jesus “handsome”? (b) How did ‘gracious speech flow from the King’s lips,’ and how can we endeavor to follow his example?
5 Read Psalm 45:2. The Scriptures say very little about Jesus’ physical appearance. As a perfect man, doubtless he was “handsome.” However, his outstanding handsomeness came from his faithfulness to Jehovah and his unbending integrity. In addition, Jesus used “gracious speech” when he preached the message of the Kingdom. (Luke 4:22; John 7:46) Do we personally endeavor to follow his example in our preaching work and try to use words that will touch people’s heart?—Col. 4:6.
6. How did God bless Jesus “forever”?
6 Because of Jesus’ wholehearted devotion, Jehovah blessed him during his ministry on earth and rewarded him after his sacrificial death. The apostle Paul wrote: “When he [Jesus] 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—of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground—and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:8-11) Jehovah blessed Jesus “forever” by resurrecting him to immortal life.—Rom. 6:9.
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 of Jesus’ profound love of righteousness and hatred of anything that might dishonor his Father, Jehovah anointed him as King of the Messianic Kingdom. Jesus was anointed with “the oil of exultation” more than his “companions,” that is, the kings of Judah of the line of David. How so? For one thing, Jesus was anointed by Jehovah himself. Furthermore, Jehovah anointed him as both King and High Priest. (Ps. 2:2; Heb. 5:5, 6) In addition, Jesus was anointed not with oil but with holy spirit, and his kingship is not earthly but heavenly.
8. How can it be said that ‘God is Jesus’ throne,’ and why can we be sure that his kingdom is righteous?
8 Jehovah installed his Son as his Messianic King in the heavens in 1914. ‘The scepter of his kingdom is a scepter of uprightness,’ so the righteousness and equity of his reign are guaranteed. His authority is legitimate, since ‘God is his throne.’ That is, Jehovah is the foundation of his kingdom. Moreover, Jesus’ throne will last “forever and ever.” Are you not proud to be serving Jehovah under such a mighty, God-appointed King?
THE KING ‘STRAPS ON HIS SWORD’
9, 10. (a) When did Christ strap on his sword, and how did he immediately put it to use? (b) How will Christ yet use his sword?
9 Read Psalm 45:3. Jehovah instructs his King to ‘strap his sword on his side,’ thus authorizing Jesus to wage war against all who oppose God’s sovereignty and to execute His judgments on them. (Ps. 110:2) Because Christ is an invincible Warrior-King, he is addressed as “O mighty one.” He strapped on his sword in 1914 and was victorious over Satan and his demons, whom he hurled out of heaven to the vicinity of the earth.—Rev. 12:7-9.
10 That was only the beginning of the King’s victorious ride. He must yet “complete his conquest.” (Rev. 6:2) Jehovah’s judgments are still to be executed on all elements of Satan’s system on earth, and Satan and his demons must be neutralized. First to go will be Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion. It is Jehovah’s purpose to use the political rulers to destroy this wicked “prostitute.” (Rev. 17:16, 17) Next, the Warrior-King will proceed against Satan’s political system, bringing it to nothing. Christ, who is also called “the angel of the abyss,” will then complete his conquest by abyssing Satan and his demons. (Rev. 9:1, 11; 20:1-3) Let us see how Psalm 45 prophesied these exciting events.
THE KING RIDES “IN THE CAUSE OF TRUTH”
11. How does Christ ride “in the cause of truth”?
11 Read Psalm 45:4. The Warrior-King does not wage a war of conquest in order to occupy territories and subjugate peoples. He wages a righteous war with noble objectives. He rides “in the cause of truth and humility and righteousness.” The greatest truth that must be defended is that of Jehovah’s universal sovereignty. Satan challenged the legitimacy of Jehovah’s rulership when he rebelled against Him. Since then, that fundamental truth has been disputed by both demons and humans. Now the time has come for Jehovah’s anointed King to ride forth to establish the truth of Jehovah’s sovereignty once and for all.
12. In what way does the King ride ‘in the cause of humility’?
12 The King also rides ‘in the cause of humility.’ As God’s only-begotten Son, he himself has provided a sterling example of humility and loyal subjection to his Father’s sovereignty. (Isa. 50:4, 5; John 5:19) All loyal subjects of the King must follow his example and humbly submit to Jehovah’s sovereignty in all things. Only those who do so will be allowed to live in God’s promised new world.—Zech. 14:16, 17.
13. How does Christ sally forth ‘in the cause of righteousness’?
13 Christ also sallies forth ‘in the cause of righteousness.’ The righteousness that the King defends is “God’s righteousness”—Jehovah’s standards of what is right and what is wrong. (Rom. 3:21; Deut. 32:4) About the King Jesus Christ, Isaiah prophesied: “A king will reign for righteousness.” (Isa. 32:1) Jesus’ reign will usher in the promised “new heavens” and “new earth,” wherein “righteousness is to dwell.” (2 Pet. 3:13) Every inhabitant of that new world will be required to conform to Jehovah’s standards.—Isa. 11:1-5.
THE KING ACCOMPLISHES “AWE-INSPIRING THINGS”
14. How will the right hand of Christ accomplish “awe-inspiring things”? (See opening image.)
14 As he rides forth, the King has a sword strapped on his side. (Ps. 45:3) But the time comes for him to take the sword and wield it with his right hand. The psalmist prophesies: “Your right hand will accomplish awe-inspiring things.” (Ps. 45:4) When Jesus Christ rides forth to execute Jehovah’s judgments at Armageddon, he will accomplish “awe-inspiring things” against his enemies. Just what means he will use to destroy Satan’s system, we do not know. But that action will strike terror in the heart of the inhabitants of the earth who have not heeded the divine warning to submit to the King’s rule. (Read Psalm 2:11, 12.) In his prophecy regarding the time of 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 added: “And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”—Luke 21:26, 27.
15, 16. Who will make up “the armies” that follow Christ into battle?
15 Announcing the King’s coming “with power and great glory” to execute judgment, the book of Revelation states: “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.”—Rev. 19:11, 14, 15.
16 Who will be Christ’s fellow warriors making up the heavenly “armies” that follow him into battle? When he first girded on his sword to expel Satan and his demons from heaven, Jesus was accompanied by “his angels.” (Rev. 12:7-9) It seems logical to conclude that at the war of Armageddon, Christ’s armies will include the holy angels. Will his armies include others? 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.” (Rev. 2:26, 27) So Christ’s heavenly armies will also include his anointed brothers, who by then will have received their heavenly reward. The anointed corulers will be at his side when he accomplishes “awe-inspiring things” while shepherding the nations with an iron rod.
THE KING COMPLETES HIS CONQUEST
17. (a) What does the white horse that Christ rides represent? (b) What do the sword and the bow stand for?
17 Read Psalm 45:5. The King is mounted on a white horse, representing warfare that is clean and righteous in Jehovah’s eyes. (Rev. 6:2; 19:11) In addition to a sword, he is equipped with a bow. We read: “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.” Both the sword and the bow represent the means that Christ will use to execute judgment on his enemies.
18. How will Christ’s “arrows” prove to be “sharp”?
18 In poetic language, the psalmist prophesies that the King’s ‘arrows are sharp, piercing the hearts of his enemies’ and ‘making peoples fall before him.’ The carnage will be earth wide. 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.” (Jer. 25:33) A parallel prophecy states: “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.’”—Rev. 19:17, 18.
19. How will Christ “go on to victory” and complete his conquest?
19 After destroying Satan’s wicked system of things on earth, Christ ‘in his splendor’ will “go on to victory.” (Ps. 45:4) He will complete his conquest by abyssing Satan and his demons for the full length of the Thousand Year Reign. (Rev. 20:2, 3) With the Devil and his angels then in a state of deathlike inactivity, earth’s inhabitants will be free of satanic influence and will be able to live in total subjection to their victorious and glorious King. Before they see the earth gradually transformed into a global paradise, however, they will have another reason to rejoice with their King and his heavenly associates. That joyful event will be examined in the following article.