This hymn is fitly termed a song of loves. It is a
prelude to the Song of songs. The spiritual Bridegroom is rapturously
commended. The Spouse is shown in lovely features. The extension of Christ's
kingdom, and due praise is promised.
1. "My heart is inditing a good matter; I speak of the
things which I have made concerning the king; my tongue is the pen of a
One object ever sits supreme in the believer's heart.
Christ is the noble theme which claims his fervent commendation. Praises
break forth as water bubbling from a heated caldron. They cannot be
repressed. When Jesus is thus the subject in all the majesty and glory of
His kingly office, the fluency cannot be checked. As a skilled writer
quickly moves his pen, so the believer's tongue is prompt and ready to
express due praise. Boundless is the subject, commensurate is the utterance.
2. "You are the most handsome of all. Gracious words
stream from your lips. God himself has blessed you forever."
The Church, taught by the Spirit, warmly cries, "Behold
you are beautiful, my love; behold you are beautiful." Christ is indeed the
chief among ten thousand, the altogether lovely One. What eloquence can show
His beauty? He is the brightness of His Father's glory, the express image of
His person. Every charm which wins admiring gaze dwelt resplendently in Him.
Wisdom in the highest flowed from His lips, and such power attended His
words that the blessing of enlightening grace and saving impression touched
3, 4. "Put on your sword, O mighty warrior! You are so
glorious, so majestic! In your majesty, ride out to victory, defending
truth, humility, and justice. Go forth to perform awe-inspiring deeds!"
Faith in prophetic terms calls on the Lord to equip
Himself for glorious triumphs, and to ascend the chariot of His majestic
course. He is most mighty. Who can withstand Him? His weapons secure
prosperous result. His truth lays error low in the dust of shame. His
meekness sweetly allures sinners to receive Him. His righteousness conceals
all guilt, and is a glorious robe for all who surrender to His sway. Who can
contemplate without awe the exploits of His matchless might? Let our souls
mark and tremble and adore.
5. "Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's
enemies; whereby the people fall under You."
Sharp indeed are the arrows of conviction, when directed
by the Spirit. The contrite sinner feels the grievous wound, and humbly
mourns his miserable state. He who inflicts the wound alone can cure. The
blood alone can ease the rankling misery.
6, 7. "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; the
scepter of Your kingdom is a right scepter. You love righteousness and hate
wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of
gladness above Your fellows."
The glorious truth that Jesus is eternal God is here
proclaimed. The Spirit speaks from heaven, and His voice addresses Him as
God. His essential Deity is the foundation of salvation. This gives infinite
efficacy to His atoning blood, indisputable perfection to His justifying
righteousness, and enables Him to satisfy the claims of every attribute of
Jehovah. Let the true believer constantly address Him, my Lord and my God.
His throne is forever established, and His scepter rules over all, on
principles most just and equitable. Righteousness is the government of His
subjects. Holiness is happiness. Therefore happiness is the atmosphere of
His happy kingdom. God gives the spirit of joy without measure unto the
King, and His blessed subjects are joint-heirs with Him of all the gifts of
righteousness and grace.
8, 9. "All Your garments smell of myrrh, and aloes,
and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made You glad.
Kings' daughters were among Your honorable women; upon Your right hand stood
the queen in gold of Ophir."
The image of royal pre-eminence is still continued. The
King is pictured as coming forth from his beautiful palace arrayed in all
the splendor of regal attire. The perfumes of his robes spread fragrance
around. Upon his right hand is the Queen, the type of His believing people,
arrayed in the splendor of the purest gold, the figure of that glorious
righteousness which He bestows. The allegoric picture adds a circle of
attendants to complete the group. No special lesson is conveyed by this
company. But ardent feeling cannot be restrained that we may have a place in
this gathering, and pay homage to the King in His beauty.
10, 11. "Listen, O daughter, and consider, and incline
your ear; forget also your own people, and your father's house; so shall the
King greatly desire your beauty; for He is your Lord; and worship Him."
The Holy Spirit, speaking from heaven, invites attention
to His words. It is sad that such exhortation should be needed. It is more
sad that it should ever issue forth in vain. Not only should the ears be
open, but the heart should diligently ponder. Words from above should be a
perpetual feast. The Spirit here exhorts the bride to cast away remembrance
of her first estate, the home of her birth and her native companions. By
nature we are born in sin—the children of wrath, the inheritors of corrupt
affections, the companions of aliens and outcasts. When the Spirit reveals
Jesus, all tenderness and love, a marvelous change ensues, all things are
counted less than dross in comparison of Him. In His loveliness we become
lovely. Our cry is, You are our Lord—we love, we worship, and adore.
12. "And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a
gift; even the rich among the people shall entreat your favor."
It sometimes happens that those who receive honor from
the Lord receive honor from men also. There is an inward recognition that
respect is due to them and outward reverence is duly paid.
13. "The King's daughter is all glorious within; her
clothing is of wrought gold."
This is a lovely picture of the true believer. His inward
state is glorious. He is adorned with every grace, and grace is the seed of
glory. The Spirit, by His power, rules throughout the inward man, and
implants faith, and hope, and love, and every holy principle, affection, and
desire. All that is vile, corrupt, base, and earthly, is cast out; that
which is sown is glory in the bud, and soon will be glory in full flower.
But, though thus glorious, the believer cannot inherit
glory, unless every sinful spot is hidden. Christ works for His people a
righteousness which He imputes. It is His perfect obedience with which He
invests His every member. It is pure, and perfect, and without one stain of
blemish. Wrought gold depicts it. Brightly they shine on whom it is
14, 15. "She shall be brought to the King in clothing
of needlework; the virgins, her companions that follow her, shall be brought
to You. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought; they shall enter
into the King's palace."
The bridal allegory is continued. The bride is seen in
clothing beautified by art's elaborate skill. Attendant maidens swell the
procession. All sounds of joy give notice of the glad approach. The royal
residence is reached, and gates are opened to give welcome.
The happy emblems aptly picture the triumphant scene,
when the marriage of the Lamb shall have come, and His wife shall have made
herself ready. Let all who love the Lord, and have in faith and truth
devoted themselves to Him, rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
The day is coming when they shall be publicly recognized, and, clad in the
perfect robe of righteousness, they shall enter heaven with all
manifestations of joy and pure delight. With such bright prospects who will
not sing, We bless You, we praise You, we adore You, O Lord, our God?
16. "Your sons will become kings like their father.
You will make them rulers over many lands."
Scripture is the exceeding joy of faith, because of the
enchanting pictures which in ever-varying form it presents. We have seen the
widespread family of the redeemed. In every climate, in every age, they live
and flourish. High, also, is their dignity. Wherever they appear they excel
as princes. They rule over sin and all the poor attractions of the world,
while others yield, and toil as slaves beneath the lash of Satan.
17. "I will make Your name to be remembered in all
generations; therefore shall the people praise You forever and ever."
It is the duty of the Church—it is, also, her most happy
work—to celebrate the praises of the Lord, and to tell aloud of His love and
goodness, of His majesty and glory. Thus, from age to age, and in earth's
utmost range, the name of Jesus is magnified and glorified. Bless the Lord,
O my soul, and let all saints prolong the song of thankful praise!