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bride and groom

All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold. In many-coloured robes she is led to the king, with her virgin companions following behind her. With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the king.                   Psalm 45: 13-15


The world has good reason to be thankful for the nation of Israel for preserving for the world their national literature, including this Psalm, an extraordinary love song. It dates back to around 1000 BC in Jerusalem.


This love song is about the wedding day of one of their young Kings—similar to the many weddings each Saturday in Jersey that are all also terribly special.


When the time comes round for speeches, some “best men” occasionally burst into verse. So did the best man who wrote this Psalm, one of the “sons of Korah”. He is so enthusiastic that he begins: My heart overflows with a pleasing theme: I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.”


Then he turns to the king-groom and says: “You are the most handsome of the sons of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you for ever.” Ah...a very handsome man, and a man who is full of grace (generosity) in his lips—in everything he says. How does this appeal to Jersey ladies, young and old?  And there’s a lot more about him: “In your majesty ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness...your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.....daughters of kings are among your ladies of honour”


But, as is still the case in Jersey weddings AD 2008, the bride's father (or someone who knows the bride very well) praises and gives wise words to the bride. So he says to this beautiful young lady: “Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your father’s house, and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him.” Then a reference to the bride’s wedding gifts: “The daughter of Tyre [the capital city of the wealthy Phoenician traders in the Mediterranean] is here with gifts, the richest of people seek your favour.” 


The final word from the overflowing heart of the best man is to both bride and groom: “In place of your fathers shall be your sons; you will make them princes in all the earth....”


Super, isn’t it?


But, as with many best man speeches about his friend the groom, there are a couple of startling sentences about the king-groom: “Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever. The sceptre of your kingdom is a sceptre of uprightness; you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions...”


What? Would this particular king-groom have an everlasting throne? And  a sceptre of uprightness?


Maybe the best-man (as often happens today) was carried away on his own rhetoric.


But Psalm 45 is probably one of those Israeli Scriptures to which Jesus Christ drew attention when, after his resurrection in AD 33, he walked with two disciples on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus and “interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”


If so, who is his wonderful bride? Well, the people that he died to ransom, of course....


And when is the wedding? 

‘A successful marriage demands a divorce: a divorce from your own self-love.’ (Paul Frost, 1938-)
‘From heaven he came and sought her/To be his holy bride/With his own blood he bought her/And for her life he died’ (Samuel John Stone, Hymn writer, 1839-1900)
Richard Syvret

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