All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; from palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad. Daughters of kings are among your honored women; at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir.Psalm 45:8-9
These verses describe a marriage service. Traced for us here is a remarkable series of preparations. First, the groom has prepared himself. The writer says,
All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. These are burial spices. You remember that when the women went to the tomb on Easter Sunday morning, they carried with them a quantity of spices--myrrh and aloes--in order to wrap the body of the Lord and preserve it in its death. And yet here these same spices are present at the wedding. What does this mean? This marriage is made possible out of death; somehow out of death comes this fragrant incense that makes glorious the scene of the wedding. You can see how beautifully this fits with what the apostle Paul describes for us in Ephesians 5:25 when he says that Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. He died for it. He went into the bonds of death for us. Why? In order that He might present to Himself a glorious church, a beautiful bride, without spot or blemish or any such thing.
Then, he has prepared a place. We read of where this wedding is to take place:
From palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad. It is a picture of a beautiful place, and it reminds us immediately of Jesus' words to His disciples before the cross. He said to them,
I am going there to prepare a place for you (John 14:2). That place is being prepared now. It is a place of beauty and glory beyond any possible description. These terms used here are simply a way of suggesting to us what it is like: ivory palaces filled with music and gladness with a rejoicing company around.
And finally the bride herself is prepared:
At your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir. In Oriental custom, the bridegroom himself, who paid for the golden dress, always presented this golden dress to the queen. This is also a wonderful picture for us. Who is it that is preparing us for this day, for this sharing of life together? It is He who is preparing us. He has clothed us with His own righteous golden robe. Gold, in Scripture, is always the picture of deity, and this is a hint of what Peter speaks of:
You may participate, he says,
in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Do you really grasp this? This is true! Jesus Christ is blending our lives with His and giving us all His position and all His privileges. All that belongs to Him belongs to us. One of the things that is most seriously wrong with the church today is that we are forgetting the privileges we have. We do not reckon on them, we do not think about how tremendous they are. Yet here stands the bride, ready to join Him, dressed in gold that He has provided.
Lord Jesus, You are our beautiful King, and we long for you like a bride longs for her husband. Thank You for adorning us in Your own righteousness that we might dwell with You forever.
Do we truly by faith grasp how we participate in the divine nature? How does Jesus blend His Life with ours to give us His position and all His privileges?