Sunday, July 27, 2014

Deep in our hearts, there’s a tenderness for the story of Cinderella. Ordinary girl, stuck in an oppressively unfair situation, who steals away for one magical night to attend the ball. She unexpectedly finds love but is so unsuitable for the prince, and knows it, so she disappears back into obscurity. But, the prince can’t forget her, so he goes looking for her.

And he finds her. What happens then?

We know, of course, that he lifts her from the oppression and obscurity and makes her his wife. Some of us love the story all the more because, really, we are Cinderella. Sold into bondage, discovered by the prince, invited to become his—and we deserved none of it.

Some scoff at the idea of assigning any sort of romantic connotations to our relationship with God. I have to wonder what they think of Song of Solomon, and of the metaphor of the Bride of Christ.

Because here, buried deep in the Psalms, is this snip of a fairytale, the story of Cinderella if you will, foreshadowing our union with the victorious Son of God.

Psalm 45 (NKJV) … To the Chief Musician. Set to “The Lilies.” A Contemplation of the sons of Korah. A Song of Love.

My heart is overflowing with a good theme;
I recite my composition concerning the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword upon Your thigh, O Mighty One,
With Your glory and Your majesty.
And in Your majesty ride prosperously because of truth, humility, and righteousness;
And Your right hand shall teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the King’s enemies;
The peoples fall under You.

The stage is set by the royal scribe, who sets the stage with a breathtaking description of the Hero of the Ages. Anyone else find it noteworthy that sandwiched in between truth and righteousness is the descriptor of humility?

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.
All Your garments are scented with myrrh and aloes and cassia,
Out of the ivory palaces, by which they have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your honorable women;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.

The wording of this Psalm only makes sense if one believes in the Messiah as God incarnate—in other words, deity in the flesh. The mighty King of kings, strong and mighty and beautiful beyond description, is honored as God by God Himself.

And now, once we’ve been introduced to the hero of the story, the focus shifts to our heroine …

10 Listen, O daughter,
Consider and incline your ear;
Forget your own people also, and your father’s house;
11 So the King will greatly desire your beauty;
Because He is your Lord, worship Him.
12 And the daughter of Tyre will come with a gift;
The rich among the people will seek your favor.

How completely romantic she, likely just an ordinary girl, carries a beauty and grace that is not only the envy of others, but desired by the King.

13 The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace;
Her clothing is woven with gold.
14 She shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors;
The virgins, her companions who follow her, shall be brought to You.
15 With gladness and rejoicing they shall be brought;
They shall enter the King’s palace.

And she doesn’t come alone. Is it her sweetness that compels those who accompany her? The hope that some of the King’s glory will rub off on them, and they too will find stellar husbands?

16 Instead of Your fathers shall be Your sons,
Whom You shall make princes in all the earth.
17 I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations;
Therefore the people shall praise You forever and ever.

The Psalm closes with the reminder that regardless of what happens, the Name of the Everlasting and Almighty will be remembered. This is our glorious Sovereign, who rules forever and ever with a beauty and goodness that would dazzle our mortal eyes to blindness were we to see it unveiled, now.

Someday, though, we’ll enter His palace, completely transformed by that beauty—and then dwell there with Him, as His beloved.

Who could not be enchanted with that story?


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