Bible Meditations

Beautiful Warrior: A Meditation on Psalm 45

The Psalmist is swept up by the beauty of the King, who is a warrior, who is a judge, who is a bridegroom. This reveals some of the glories of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 45 (The Message)

A Wedding Song of the Sons of Korah
1 My heart bursts its banks, spilling beauty and goodness.
I pour it out in a poem to the king, shaping the river into words:
2-4 “You’re the handsomest of men; every word from your lips is sheer grace,
and God has blessed you, blessed you so much.
Strap your sword to your side, warrior!
Accept praise! Accept due honor! Ride majestically! Ride triumphantly!
Ride on the side of truth! Ride for the righteous meek!
4-5 “Your instructions are glow-in-the-dark;
you shoot sharp arrows Into enemy hearts; the king’s
foes lie down in the dust, beaten.
6-7 “Your throne is God’s throne, ever and always;
The scepter of your royal rule measures right living.
You love the right and hate the wrong.
And that is why God, your very own God, poured fragrant oil on your head,
Marking you out as king from among your dear companions.
8-9 “Your ozone-drenched garments are fragrant with mountain breeze.
Chamber music—from the throne room— makes you want to dance.
Kings’ daughters are maids in your court, the Bride glittering with golden jewelry.
10-12 “Now listen, daughter, don’t miss a word:
forget your country, put your home behind you.
Be here—the king is wild for you.
Since he’s your lord, adore him.
Wedding gifts pour in from Tyre;
rich guests shower you with presents.”
13-15 (Her wedding dress is dazzling, lined with gold by the weavers;
All her dresses and robes are woven with gold.
She is led to the king, followed by her virgin companions.
A procession of joy and laughter! a grand entrance to the king’s palace!)
16-17 “Set your mind now on sons— don’t dote on father and grandfather.
You’ll set your sons up as princes all over the earth.
I’ll make you famous for generations;
you’ll be the talk of the town for a long, long time.”

I met Harry as we sat around the crafts table, rolling and tweaking our space rockets out of modeling clay. The playground can be a brutal battlefield when you’re a first grader boy out there with those gigantic sixth graders. Was I ever glad Harry was my friend, because he had flunked first grade twice and was a lot bigger than the rest of us. His academics mattered nothing to me. His friendship was everything. At the crafts table we created a and on the playground we rough-housed and he fought for me. (This was way, way before the harsh “zero tolerance policy.” Boys were just boys.) That was beautiful to me.

Today, if we suffer injustice and dishonesty, we have a Beautiful Warrior riding to our rescue with a sword in hand. His enemies are our enemies too. They don’t see his beauty; instead they will be struck to the ground by is arrows. I want to see his beauty as this warrior fights for me and for right and goodness. Let us not be confused by the ugliness of war.

Batman asked the right question, “How can I fight evil without becoming evil myself?” We all face this issue because we have all been damaged by our hurts and emptied by our losses. Will we retaliate and answer in like kind–blow for blow, word for word, rejection for rejection?

I have met this Beautiful Warrior and I want to join in singing his praise. He is a king. Imagine a palace lined with glowing white walls, filled with original music played by the best musicians, enjoyed by friends and servants wearing the latest luxury clothing. This is his home.

He wants you to join him there, to clothe you in royal apparel, evoke your favorite songs and enjoy the festivities with your friends. He describes the occasion the same way we look forward to celebrating a wedding together with people we love and people we’re just getting to know.

You are invited and happily anticipated. But the time of celebration is not yet. Right now is a time of war. Kings are born to rule, to govern, to tell people what is best for them. People who resist or rebel have to judged, changed, removed. Forces of evil that come to disrupt and destroy the glorious kingdom must be fought and overcome.

We humans are not much good at picking out the good guys and the bad guys. That’s why I invite you to agree with me about this One, this good king, this generous judge, who is also oru Beautiful Warrior. He shines with the light anglory of eternal goodness. His heart is pure and he hates all evil, deception and degradation. He is Jesus, the Son of God, elevated to the supreme throne because he humbled himself to save the lowliest, most miserable sinner who wants to change.

At the Bowery Mission in Manhattan men in business suits serve food and encouragement to homeless, defeated men who come to get warm. They can tell how Jesus reached them a few years previously, when thay too were outcast and hopeless. Thes men are evidence of Jesus’ righteous power. They wage war against degradation on behalf their king.

Soon he is coming with glory and honor. Thousands of glorified, holy saints will be riding alongside him. All who defy him will be struck down. Then the party will begin.

Can you imagine Jesus in his humility, coming to yhou and saying, “I forgive your sin. I want to pick you up from your old life and give you my rayal kind of life?” Can you imagine Jesus in his beauty saying, “I love goodness and I am making you good. Will you let me be king to you?” Are you ready for him to come back to earth to rule and judge? Are you ready to party?

Let us worship him now. “We bless you, Lord Jesus. We bless your holy name.” In worship we change our attitude about life and we change the world, inviting the Beautiful Warrior to come and reign. Invite him into your life, into your world.

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