Church, get ready to blush…

In our previous posts we’ve seen

  1. The Sons of Korah (SoK), men who deserved death but had reserved mercy wrote Psalm 45 a song to the King
  2. Deep affection that was being communicated to the King, in fact, it is a love song, with words that only a lover would use.
  3. That the King in the Psalm is Jesus and he’s described as smelling like an altar, temple, incense, and dead body.
  4. That King Jesus astonishes us with His, beauty, grace, and power.

Now, the Sons of Korah are about to change the subject…but not really.  This still has everything to do with the goodness of the King, but now we get to see what His goodness is after – what his beauty and grace are seeking to accomplish.

This King that smells like salvation, who loves righteousness and hates evil, and lays his life down…He’s done it all to win a people, more specifically, to win a Bride.  THE KING IS GETTING MARRIED

8 your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
 From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
9 daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor; 
 at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.

Who is the bride of King Jesus.  It’s the people of God. It’s the Church…it’s us.  This is consistent throughout the entire Bible. Here are a couple of examples.

JEREMIAH 31.31-32

31 “Behold, the days are coming when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord.

ISAIAH 54.5

For your Maker is your husband,
 the Lord of hosts is his name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
 the God of the whole earth he is called.

ISAIAH 62.5

5 As a young man marries a young woman,
 so will your Builder marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
 so will your God rejoice over you.

EPHESIANS 5.32

32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.

Back here in Psalm 45, in verse 10, speaking to the Queen to be, the Sons of Korah say this:

10 Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear:
 forget your people and your father’s house,

God first called his people to himself in GENESIS 12.1.  He calls Abraham and his descendants, Israel, to be his people.  What’s he say there? Leave your country, your people, and your father’s house.  When he calls a people, he calls them away from who they were and what they were IN ORDER TO be with him.  Now, notice this summons:

HEAR, CONSIDER, INCLINE

Notice the repetition.  Hear, Consider, Incline your ear. The Sons of Korah are trying to get her attention – YOUR attention.

Let me ask you: have you left your life without God in order to do life with God?  Have you given up control of your life so that you might have Jesus as King? Or are you clinging to your control, your pretend gods, your sin?  Hear, Consider, Listen. Leave that life and believe in Jesus. Take him as your own.

Now, look at VERSE 11: FOR ME, THIS IS THE CLIMAX!  Why would you ever want to leave your old life?

11     and the king will desire your beauty.

HE DESIRES YOU…LITERALLY this phrase means he “GREATLY DESIRES/YEARNS FOR/CRAVES YOUR BEAUTY”

WOW!  He desires to be with you.  Not like, for instance Zeus or Allah or Shivah – these gods all need something from you.  It was thought that if all of Greece stopped believing in the gods of Greece, that would cease to exist.  The Greek gods desired their people, in a way, and that is NOT at all how Jesus desires you.

In his book, The Freedom of a Christian, Martin Luther compares salvation, the Christian teaching of justification by grace through faith, to a marriage between a great King and His bride, a woman of ill repute, a harlot.  For the rest of this post, I’m really going to be leaning on Luther as well as Michael Reeves.

The Great King doesn’t need this woman, but his massive heart is turned to her, he has compassion on her, and his chooses her to be with him as his very bride.

Now, if that’s happened, what does she want of him?  He’s been the first man to ever really love her.  The first man that was safe for her.  To see her and love her for her own sake.  He’s rescued her.  He’s provided for her – safety, sustenance, and affection. What do you think she wants from him?  Gold? A Palace? or…Him? That’s exactly right, her response to his unbelievable love is that she adores him.

11     and the king will desire your beauty.
 Since he is your lord, bow to him.

The word for BOW there is actually the word for Worship.  Jesus loves you, desires you, has set his affection on you, and in response, you worship him.  You adore him. This is exactly what happens in the Song of Songs…the bride of the King says:

SONG OF SONGS 5.16

   he is altogether lovely.
This is my beloved, this is my friend,

You see, he moved first…he came to her and set his delight on her…that’s grace.  She couldn’t make herself a queen. Acting more queenly wouldn’t do it. Sipping tea with the pinky out.  That doesn’t make you a queen. She could dress up in a queen’s dress, but she still wouldn’t be one. What’s the only way to become a queen?

Only by His word, only when he looks at her and makes his vows.  “I take you as my bride.”

And in THAT MOMENT, she is queen.  And when she speaks un-queenly, that won’t change the fact that she is the queen.  When she stumbles over her new queenly robes, that doesn’t change the fact that she is queen.  By His Word, because of His great love, she has BEEN MADE queen. But that’s not all…

He also clothes her, or said another way, He makes her beautiful!

13 All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold.
14 In many-colored robes she is led to the king,



“All glorious,” it could also be translated Completely Majestic.  He clothes her with beauty. Specifically, with his very own goodness, his very own righteousness.

We call this the Great Exchange.  When he says, “All that I am is yours and all that I have I give to you.”  All my love, my blessing, my righteousness. They are yours.

And she says to him, “All that I am is yours and all that I have I give you.”  All my brokenness, shame, sin, regrets, and debt.

And he took all of that from her and paid it in full on the Cross, dying the death she should have died so that he might be with her forever.  And he clothes her with his righteousness.

ISAIAH 61.10

I delight greatly in the Lord;
    my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
    and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Now, you may not feel beautiful, and adorned.  I get that.  So please be sure to come back for the next, and final, post in this series on Psalm 45!

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How to Walk in the Spirit

In a recent conversation, a friend said, “I want to grow in walking in the Spirit” a couple of times.  It’s a Biblical phrase for sure, and one you hear in my part of the US quite a lot, but I started thinking, “what does that mean?”  And I wanted to write out a few thoughts.

First, here’s what I think people mean (at least here in the Southern part of the US, you tell me if it applies in your context) when they say, “walk in the Spirit.”  I think they mean a kind of relationship with the Holy Spirit that is marked by an ongoing input from the Spirit, particularly as it pertains to what that person should be doing at a given moment.  Said another way, walking in the Spirit is often meant to communicate a Spirit directed life, especially through responding to inner promptings that the person feels/experiences throughout the day.  Does that sound like what you’re hearing as well?

After reflecting on that, I thought, “Is that what the Bible means by walking in the Spirit?”  So, I went to the Word.   Here are the 3 places in the New Testament where walking in the Spirit might be understood.

So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.

in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
You’ll notice that the first is actually walking in the comfort of the Spirit, so that idea’s a little different.  It could mean that you are experiencing comfort that the Spirit is applying to your life OR it could mean that you are experiencing comfort because the Spirit is bringing to mind all the spiritual blessings that belong to us in Christ.  The first is saying that the Spirit is making you feel comforted, the second is that the Spirit is bringing God’s truth to light and that you are being comforted by that truth.  It’s easy to assume the first, but I actually think that, when the Spirit is involved, the second is much more likely.  I’ll say why later on.
In the other two passages, walking in (literally: by or according to) the Spirit is contrasted with walking according to the flesh, which Galatians defines as walking to “gratify the desires of the flesh.”
In context, the Romans passage seems to be saying that if you are born again, you are set free from slavery to sin and the flesh.  Therefore, walk not in the flesh, that is: not in sin, but walk in the Spirit, that is: in holiness, as those that are born again.  In no sense does this seem to say that if we listen closely enough with our hearts throughout the day, then the Spirit will give you promptings as to what to do in a given situation.  No, this passage seems to say: Walking in the Spirit means, simply, walking in obedience to God.
Likewise, Galatians pits walking in the Spirit against gratifying the desires of the flesh.  Paul here, in the wider context, also uses language like “led by the Spirit,” and “live by the Spirit,” and “keep in step with the Spirit,” but each time he clarifies what he means by the examples and instructions he gives.  Here’s what it looks like:
  • 4.16 Walk by the Spirit – the result will be that you won’t gratify the desires of the flesh.
  • 4.18 Be led by the Spirit – the result will be that you won’t perform the deeds of the flesh (listed in vv 19-21), but instead you’ll produce the fruit of the Spirit (vv 22-23) because you have “crucified the flesh along with its passions and desires” (v 24).
  • 4.25-26 – Live by the Spirit/Keep in Step with the Spirit – the result will be that we won’t “become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

Every example seems to be saying that walking with/in the Spirit is a Biblical phrase that means walking obediently or living holy lives.  That’s easier said that done!  I do think Piper has been helpful on how the Spirit’s work empowers that.  You can listen here.  So, where do we get the idea of the Spirit giving us real time, internal promptings/instructions as a way of living that we should aspire to.  Perhaps it’s in the Bible but just not in these passages?  That’s my next step of inquiry.  Stay tuned AND let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Marvelous Grace & Beautiful Wrath

In our previous posts we’ve seen

  1. The Sons of Korah (SoK), men who deserved death but had reserved mercy wrote Psalm 45 a song to the King
  2. Deep affection that was being communicated to the King, in fact, it is a love song, with words that only a lover would use.
  3. That the King in the Psalm is Jesus and he’s described as smelling like an altar, temple, incense, and dead body.

Now we want to look more deeply at WHY the Sons of Korah are so crazy about Jesus.  Let’s start back in Verse 2.

2 You are the most handsome of the sons of men;
 grace is poured upon your lips;
 therefore God has blessed you forever.

That first line is striking.  Dudes don’t describe other dudes that way any more.  Is that manhood?  YES, this is absolutely the MOST MASCULINE inclination you could ever have.  This is no mere mancrush! The SoK aren’t just praising him for a great fastball, big biceps, or an impressive intellect.

Friends, this is serious.  Right now, how do you feel about Jesus.  When Bible translators throughout the centuries have tried to capture this in English language, they’ve really struggled!  Our language can’t capture the height of beauty that is being communicated.

  • KJV – Thou art fairer than the children of men
  • Chaldee – Thy beauty, O King Messiah, is above that of the sons of men
  • Mudge – Thou art wonderfully fair beyond the sons of men
  • Alexander – Beautiful, beautiful art thou above the sons of men
  • ESV – You are the most handsome of the sons of men
  • NASB – You are fairer than the sons of men

Those last two, newer translations really seem to fall flat, don’t that.  Now, when William Plummer, 19th century scholar, tried to capture the point of this passage, listen to what he said:

In true religion, everything turns on our views of Christ, v.2.  What do we think of him?  Is he in our opinion and thinking incomparable?  Do we regard him as “fairer than the children of men?”  Is he, or is he not the chiefest among ten thousand and altogether lovely?  If you don’t love him, if you don’t admire him, if you wouldn’t, in a fair trial, die for him, you are not his. Luke xiv. 26, 27, 33.

So again: How do you feel about Jesus?  Don’t tell me you’re just not an emotional person.  I use to say that…I invented that. Let’s not fool ourselves.  How we feel about Jesus is a striking indicator of the reality and quality of our faith.

So, what was it about Jesus that the SoK wanted to highlight?

GRACE

Grace was on his lips!  Grace! He came to us with grace.  We are so broken, but he has healing.  We are vicious to each other, but he’s tender.  We get angry, defensive, and mean at the drop of a hat, but he is patient.  Notice what the Gospels say:

And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth.  LUKE 4.22

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth, for the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. JOHN 1.14, 17

He wasn’t just being nice…he was bringing the very goodness of God, the word and presence of God to us.  He was the very embodiment of the grace of God.  The kindness and tender compassion of God.

Children ran to him, prostitutes found him to be the safest place they’ve ever known, people wanted to be with him.  They all found in him the answers to their deepest longings: how can I be right with God?  How can I know peace?  How can I have God as my very own?

But, it gets better There’s more good news.  He brings grace, but he also came with a Sword…wait, what?!

3 Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one, 
in your splendor and majesty! 4 In your majesty ride out victoriously
 for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
 let your right hand teach you awesome deeds!
 5 Your arrows are sharp
 in the heart of the king’s enemies;
 the peoples fall under you.

So, they also praise the King because he comes with a sword.  Does that seem shocking to you? I think part of the reason we find that shocking is because we continue to say things like: “God is loving, but he’s also just.”  As if those things are opposed to each other. Or “God is merciful, but he’s also holy.” Statements like that show how far from the Bible we’ve strayed.

God’s love is not opposed to his holiness, justice, or wrath.  No, God IS LOVE. This is 1 John 4.16. This is what he is like at his core.  In fact, John says if you don’t love, it’s certain that you don’t even know God because to know Him changes you and makes you loving.  God is love, at his core, and so EVERYTHING he does flows out of that, even wrath

God’s wrath isn’t opposed to his love.  No, Michael Reeves says it this way: wrath is what happens when a loving God encounters evil.  Wrath is the loving response to evil.  And we actually know this instinctively…

Imagine going outside in a few minutes and as you step out the door you see a man abusing a little child.   How would you respond?  How OUGHT you respond. What would loving behavior look like?  If you see it and turn a blind eye to it – you are not loving.  If you see it and say, “well, we all have our struggles” then you are not loving. Love would do everything it could to bring an end to evil.  It will judge it. And it will bring holy consequences against it. The King has a sword…hallelujah.

Let’s look a little more closely at this loving war that the King is waging:

4 In your majesty ride out victoriously
 for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
 let your right hand teach you awesome deeds!



What would you ride in the Ancient Near East?  A motorcycle? A segway? No, a chariot, and this king rides to victory on a chariot of truth, meekness, and righteousness.  He goes to war against evil by means of truth, meekness, and righteousness.  This is a different sort of King altogether.  He’s not a dictator simply hellbent on maintaining control.  He’s not Allah simply looking to make the world submit.

This King is the truth.

He is meek.

He is our righteousness.

What does he smell like? He smells like salvation for sinners!

The Psalm is about to change gears.  We’re about to find out something exciting:  The King is getting married!

The King Smells like a Corpse

Well, we’re back in Psalm 45.  In previous 2 posts, we discovered that the Sons of Korah, these dead men walking, are writing this Psalm as a love song to the King.  Today, I want to look a little closer and try to figure out who this King is.  Verse 2-5 says this:

2 You are the most handsome of the sons of men;
 grace is poured upon your lips;
 therefore God has blessed you forever.
 3 Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one,
 in your splendor and majesty!

4 In your majesty ride out victoriously
 for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
 let your right hand teach you awesome deeds!
 5 Your arrows are sharp
 in the heart of the king’s enemies;
 the peoples fall under you.

Before digging into the details we need to ask, “who is this?”  If you’re not familiar with the Bible, you’re gonna miss this, I think.  Elsewhere in scripture, who would ever be talked about this way?  “Oh mighty one, in your splendor and majesty!  Ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness.”  It’s never a human talked about like this.  It’s always God.   And in case that wasn’t clear here, let’s look at the next couple of verses.

6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
 The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;
 7 you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.




According to verse 6, the King is God.  “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever!” But in verse 7, we also see that the King is someone anointed by God.  “Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
 with the oil of gladness beyond your companions”

HOW DOES THAT WORK?  

Well, Hebrews 1.8-9 makes this clear.  The writer there tells us that this is God the Father speaking to God the Son.  This is the Father speaking to Jesus.

But of the Son he (the Father) says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
 the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
 9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
 therefore God, your God, has anointed you
 with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

So, who is the King in Psalm 45?  Jesus!  Now, BACK TO PSALM 45.  Let’s learn just a little more about this king.  What’s he like. In fact, what does he smell like? Look at verses 7 and 8:

Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; 8 your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.

That’s his fragrance.  Now, you should know…This is NOT Old Spice.  This is NOT typical kingly after shave. OK.  What are these spices and oils used for?

Well, MYRRH AND CASSIA are both used to create a special incense…an incense that can only be used in the Temple of God.  It is only made and used by the priests of God. It’s used to anoint everything in the temple, including the alter for sacrifices, and to sanctify everything…that is, to make it holy.  So this King, he smells like…the TEMPLE, he smells like a priest, he smells like an altar.  That’s Myrrh and Cassia.

To bring in aloes, let’s look at John 19.  We’re going to see there another use for Myrrh as well as Aloes.

38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight.

Oh, great KING – YOU SMELL LIKE A CORPSE and LIKE INCENSE TO GOD, sort of like an offering on an altar, like something that has died in the place of someone else.  Like a DEAD AND BURIED HIGH PRIEST KING?

Which is exactly how JESUS is described in the book of Hebrews!!!

So, we know who this is.  This is Jesus!  Now, we must ask, “why?”  Why are the Sons of Korah so excited to praise Jesus?  For the answer, in our next post on Psalm 45, we will rewind for a moment to Verse 2.

Language of a Lover

In my first post about Psalm 45, we discovered that it was written by the Sons of Korah, whom I described as dead men walking, and that this particular Royal Psalm is a love song.  And today I want to begin to dig into the words of this song.  Let’s look at verse 1.

My heart overflows with a pleasing theme;
    I address my verses to the king;
 my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.

The first thing I want us to notice is the attitude of the writer.  Is this someone who’s disinterested? No, not at all. Are they simply wanting to write an intellectual thesis?  Is this an exercise in diction or grammar? No. It’s a love song, and they, literally, sound “in love.”

In fact, the word there that is translated as “overflows” in the English is the same word used for cooking in a skillet.  John Calvin translated it as “Boiling Over.” Something that can’t be contained, something that can’t be held back. This is affectionate language.  And we see this in the Psalms regularly. Language not just of worship, but of longing, of yearning, of craving. For instance,

PSALM 73.25

Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.

PSALM 27.4

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
    that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
 and to inquire[a] in his temple.

PSALM 42.1

42 As a deer pants for flowing streams,
    so pants my soul for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God,
    for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?

Those are just 3 examples.  And all of this is the language of a lover.  Imagine if I called my wife, Megan, and said: Whom have I but you?  Who else could I ever want? I want to gaze upon you. I want to be with you. When can I see you?

That’s…whew!  Right!?!?  That’s lover language.  That’s pupils-dilating, heart rate-climbing sort of language.

So, the Sons of Korah are in love.  Well, then, who are they writing about?  Who is the object of their affection?  “I address my verses to the King.”  The King? Hmm. OK, why him? What is it about the King that has so gripped the Sons of Korah?  We’ll look at that in our next post.

Your Grandmother was Nothing…a Puritan Putdown?

I’m reading in Thomas Goodwin these days, and just can’t understand why my brain (and heart really) isn’t as impressive as his.  You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who can unpack in such beautiful and devastatingly logical ways BOTH the great depths of human separation from God and the soaring heights of God’s affection for us.  This week, I read this:

Your body is made of dust, so that was your mother in a manner of thinking; but that dust was made of the first created earth, without form, so that was your grandmother; but that unformed earth was made purely of nothing; so then, nothing was your great grandmother.  That’s your body.  Now for your soul, that was immediately created by God out of nothing, and so by that line, your mother was nothing.  And what was your soul twenty, thirty, or forty years ago, and so many years before?  Plain nothing.*

*Language updated for clarity

Is there lower that we could go?  No, we are nothing.  From dust (and nothingness before that) and to dust.  In ourselves, in our humanity, body and soul, there is an unimaginable gap between us and God.  And yet…

Here’s Goodwin, elsewhere, on how God responds to the gap.  In reading John chapters 13-17, here’s some of what Goodwin observes:

“It is as if [Jesus] had said, ‘The truth is, I cannot live without you, I shall never be quiet till I have you where I am, so that we may never part again; that is the reason of it. Heaven shall not hold me, nor my Father’s company, if I have not you with me, my heart is set upon you; and if I have any glory, you shall have part of it.’”

Whoa!  That’s good stuff, but it’s all the sweeter because we remember how low we are, and therefore how great His love must be to speak this way to the great-grandchildren of nothingness.  In fact, if you haven’t read it yet, go read Goodwin’s The Heart of Christ to get a strong dose of the glorious, passionate love of Christ for His Church.

Psalm 45 – A Love Song Written by Dead Men

Friends, I hope you’re 2019 is off to a grand start.  And what better way to start the blog year than discussing a Royal Psalm.  Of course, this isn’t just any Royal Psalm.  Yes, the King is front and center like the other Royal Psalms, but Psalm 45 differs markedly in terms of author, tone, content, and heart.  It’s a beautiful Psalm, though can give us trouble if we don’t know what’s going on, so let’s dig in.  Today, I just want to introduce the Royal Psalms, Psalm 45 in particular, and the author(s).

Royal Psalms

On the one hand, Royal Psalms seem to be directed to earthly rulers, instructing them in how to rule with truth, mercy, justice, and equality.  On the other hand, it becomes clear in these Psalms that God’s plan, ultimately, IS NOT to have merely good human rule – that we’d have simply good people leading us – but that God Himself would come and be our King.  That God himself would come and put an end to injustice, to suffering, to kings, prime ministers, emperors and presidents, and be our GOOD King. And Psalm 45 really is focused on that second piece.  It’s not going to pretend that any government of this world can give us what we need, but that Jesus, himself, is our King and His reign is, indeed, good.

PSALM 45 INTRODUCTION

So, let’s look at Psalm 45.  Before we get into the words of the Psalm, let’s look at the the title and author information.  Now, I’m looking at the ESV and the first line up there reads, “Your Throne, O God, Is Forever.”  Does yours say that? Ignore that…OK. That’s just added by some wonderful Crossway staff person as an attempt to describe the topic or a key verse in the Psalm.  It’s not actually part of the Psalm itself, in the Hebrew.  But, the rest is a part of the actual Psalm. It is an English translation of the Hebrew text, and so I want to look at a couple of things with you there.

SONS OF KORAH

First, I want to call your attention to the authors of this Psalm.  It is written by the Sons of Korah. There are several Psalms written by them, but who are they?  Who are these Sons of Korah? Well, in the book of Exodus (the second book of the Bible), we meet a man named Korah…he was a cousin of Moses.  And in the 4th book of the Bible, Numbers, in chapter 16, we find out that Korah didn’t like that God has appointed Moses to be his spokesman to all of Israel and had appointed Aaron as the high priest of Israel.  So, Korah, along with a couple of buddies, mobilized a group of about 250 people to institute a revolution, a coup. God chose Moses and Aaron, Korah said, “no thanks…God must have gotten it wrong.”

They were going to take control, by force.  So the Lord told the rest of the Israelites to separate from Korah and his goons, including their relatives who had all banded together against the Lord.  So, we read in verse 32: “And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods.”  Whoa!

But, get this, in Numbers 26:11, we get a summary of this story and it ends with this line: “But the sons of Korah did not die.”

And that’s it.  It doesn’t explain it.  It doesn’t elaborate. And if we don’t reflect on it, it’s just an 8-word sentence that flies in one ear and out the other, but in reality, it’s HUGE!  They were spared.  They didn’t die.  If you were in their family, that would be your favorite verse of all time.  Not John 3.16, but Numbers 26.11!!!!  So, here we are in Psalm 45, and we encounter a group of men who, for all intents and purposes, should be dead.  Men, who therefore understand what it means to encounter the mercy of God. These are dead men walking.  And let’s look at what they choose to write…what’s that say there in the header? What sort of song are they writing?  A love song.

Interesting!  This is a love song.  Men who should be dead…who have been graciously spared by God are writing a love song.  And it’s the content of that song that we’ll start to explore in the next post.