Bride and Groom (Psalm 45)
Reflections on Psalm 45
When love has been cultivated in a relationship, the individuals in this bond seal their affections with a covenant. Known as marriage, this state joins together their happiness, livelihood, and status. The bride and groom vow to protect and nurture each other. In cultures with a defined social hierarchy, the bride often assumes the class ranking of her husband. Marriage to a royal prince, in this context, carries the weighty promise of future rule. Whether the king’s bride-to-be is a peasant or a princess, she will eventually occupy the queen’s throne. Her resplendent crown comes from the hand of the great monarch to whom she is betrothed.
In biblical literature, God’s relationship with humanity is compared to a marriage covenant. In this situation, he is the royal groom. As a king, sovereignty is his prerogative; he has all the power he needs to rule. “Your throne, O God,” writes the Psalmist, “will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom” (Psalm 45:6). Moreover, our divine groom is holy; he is unique to the rest of the world. He embraces righteousness and detests wickedness. In his court, evil and suffering will not receive an audience. Our holy and sovereign king reigns in eternal perfection, and he longs for a bride.
When God looks upon us, he sees his bride, and he adores us. Sin, however, has affected our frame. How can we be so beautiful in God’s eyes when we are so broken? Though our sin is darker than night, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). Our groom took the debt our evil incurred and paid it with his own life. Of this Paul writes, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Though we will struggle with sin in this life, Christ has wrapped us in his own perfection. Reflecting on this, R.C. Sproul writes, “The good news is simply this, I can be reconciled to God, I can be justified by God not on the basis of what I did, but on the basis of what’s been accomplished for me by Christ.” Our crown comes from the hand the King.
Footsteps—putting feet on our faith
1. Why does the Bible use marriage as a picture of our relationship with God?
2. What kind of groom is God?
3. What kind of bride are we?
4. Why does the groom love us so much?
Dear God, you are a holy and perfect king. Neither sin nor sadness can find welcome in your halls. Instead, you make room for me, your bride. With an undying love, you long to have my heart. You pursue me past my faults and give me your own goodness. May I grow and thrive in the soil of this new identity. By Christ I pray, amen.