Out of the Ivory Palaces
Lord, uncover the empty places of my soul and fill them with Yourself; find the darkened corners and bring Your light.
Read Psalm 45:1-17
 For the director of music. To the tune of “Lilies.” Of the Sons of Korah. A
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Eph. 1:7). Thanks be to God!
My nephew played guitar with a gospel writer/singer, and his wedding was graced by his well-known friend’s participation, although I don’t remember the song composed for the occasion. Here a royal wedding of much grander proportions evokes splendid language in praise and blessing of the king, his bride and the future family which will result from their union.
We are reminded of the love story behind Solomon’s Song of Songs. Like that song, these words can also be applied wonderfully to Christ. This was celebrated in an old gospel song: “My Lord has garments so wondrous fine / And myrrh their texture fills.” Was it the mention of myrrh that led to the words that followed? “Out of the ivory palaces / Into a world of woe, / Only his great eternal love / Made my Savior go.” Paul gives validity for this parallel in describing Christ’s self-giving for his beloved bride, the church (Eph. 5:25-32).
But we should not hurry too soon to that wonderful extension of meaning. Verses 8-15 speak of the magnificent palace prepared for the bride; v. 10 is a call for her to establish new loyalties because of her marriage; v. 16 calls for the groom to give new priority to the next generation rather than the father’s. These are wise words about marriage.
Again, we think of Christ and the bride he is making beautiful. Paul risks criticism in his advocacy for this bride (2 Cor. 11:2), but it is the groom who gives most and who has the most confidence that the desired beauty will one day be apparent in his church for all to enjoy.
Do we have that confidence about the church? As we admire our Savior and sing his praises this Sunday, let us join him in his love for his bride.
Sovereign Lord, thank You for preserving the church through the ages, through various times and myriad places. Continue to build Your church.
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