Summer ought to be a season when we’re able to rest well—a time we can spend with the Lord and His goodness. But, oftentimes, we actually fall out of healthy spiritual habits and end up trying to rest from the Lord instead of resting in Him.
That’s why we’ve created the Summer Selah Series. Over 40 days, we’ll be sharing daily devotions during a season where you may not feel very devoted.
Based on excerpts from his book Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion, Ross Lester, our Pastor of Preaching and West Congregation Pastor, will provide readings from select Psalms, a brief devotional reflection, and some prayer points for each of the 40 days.
Take some time to read Psalm 45. Then, come back and read the following verses again.
“Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;
at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear:
forget your people and your father’s house,
and the king will desire your beauty.
Since he is your lord, bow to him.
The people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts,
the richest of the people.” (Psalm 45:7b-12 ESV)
Psalm 45 is a Psalm about a wedding. It speaks about a gorgeous bride, who is nervous and excited and elated all at once. It speaks about a handsome groom, who is strong and brave, dressed in his best on his finest day. It says some strange things about the bridegroom though. It says he is blessed forever. It says he is robed in majesty and splendor. It says he displays awesome deeds. It says that nations fall beneath his feet, and it says that he will reign forever.
Now, I have done a lot of weddings, and this doesn’t describe any of the grooms that I have seen. They usually just look surprised and terrified.
Some historians think that this Psalm described the wedding between Solomon and Pharaoh’s daughter, but even the splendor of that day could never be said to equate with what is being described in Psalm 45.
This Psalm has always been thought by scholars and commentators to be Messianic. It is quoted in reference to Christ’s work by the writer of Hebrews (Hebrews 1:8) who describes Christ as the Groom and His church as the bride. This is language that is often quite difficult for man to understand, but it is magnificent when we think through the implications.
As the Groom, Jesus’ love for us is proactive. He proposes to us, and He wins us over through His grace and love.
As the Groom, Jesus’ love for us is permanent. When He enters a covenant, He keeps it. I love that Jesus doesn’t date us, or live with us, or flirt with us, He is in a covenant with His bride the church, regardless of how we treat Him.
As the Groom, Jesus’ love for us is passionate. Ephesians tells us that He gave Himself up for us. He lays it all on the line and He spares nothing in winning us to Himself.
As the Groom, Jesus’ love for us is purifying. His holiness cleanses us so that we can stand confident, looking our best, dressed in white as a bride on her wedding day. We just get to do it every day.
Jesus is the Groom and the bride is us—His church. That is great news.
Father God, thank You that You have given Your church as a bride to Your beloved Son to be united to Him forever. Thank You for the covenant commitment that Your Son displays towards us. We wait for Him, Lord.
Ross Lester, Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion (Magnolia, Texas: Lucid Books, 2017)