Touching the King

“I speak of the things which I have made touching the king.”

IT is my heartfelt conviction that every message a man preaches from the pulpit should be centered on Christ. While we must preach about wrath, hell and judgment and we must give every message a “cross-check” with mercy, forgiveness and peace. Point them to the Cross and what Christ has accomplished on the behalf of his people. It is sound and biblical.  Christ is the Advent and Apex, He is Lord of  Life and Death, He is the Alpha and Omega, He is the Beginning and Ending so let us make him known and saturate our message, yes, our very lives in him. In order to preach about Christ effectively, in order to pray with confidence we must embrace him in royal friendship.

At this point in our study we see David speaking of “the King” and his King as the subject of his writing.

The kingship of Christ is an unavoidable subject and it brings great joy to the heart of a believer. David is credited with writing this psalm. He saw God as his King and Christ as his Lord (Psalm 110:1; 145:1).  He is only a lowly servant despite his earthly crown.  In Psalm  22 he sees the dying Messiah becoming the one who will rule all the nations and to whom all the ends of the earth and its families will remember and worship.

The heart of a believer has been conquered by the gracious, living Savior whose crown of thorns is now many crowns of glory upon his head and He reigns even now, in the heart and the universe. He is putting down all rebellion, until death itself finally dies and the abundant life, knowledge and glory of God fills all known expanse (1 Cor. 15:25-28).

The phrase “touching the king” is another way of saying he composed his message to direct at the King. Matthew Henry comments: “This psalm is touching the King Jesus, his kingdom and government. It is a shame that this good matter is not more the subject of our discourse. There is more in Christ to engage our love, than there is or can be in any creature. This world and its charms are ready to draw away our hearts from Christ; therefore we are concerned to understand how much more worthy he is of our love.”

This is David’s Son who would descend from him (2 Tim. 2:8)! Yet “David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord.” (Mt 22:43; cf. Ps 110:1). Paul says it this way that the King of David is, “Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” (Rom. 1:3-4).  This is the Lord Jesus Christ, the God-man who is the King of all kings and Lord of all lords.

David was not only a King but a prophet (Acts 2:30) who were of old-time were called seers (1 Sam 9:9).  They would have visions or dreams given from the Lord (Num. 12:4). Isaiah saw the Lord after the tragic death of King Uzziah (Isaiah 6:1). The throne room scene was powerful and he was gripped with a sense of his own sinfulness (Isaiah 6:5). Yet these scriptures say it was the glory of Jesus Christ that he saw (John 12:41).  Ah may we be gripped with such a sense of how deplorable our sinful state is! Then when the remedy comes we will see that the Physician of our souls brought us back from death! Like Moses he complains of his useless lips (Ex. 4:10)! Who was he to speak about God, or for God?

Oh that men who stand in the pulpit would have such an experience, to understand their personal unworthiness can only be remedied by the hot coal of God’s word pressed upon their lips like molten metal on flesh!  Oh that we would think, “How dare I come into the pulpit without God’s words stamped on my lips to speak to people I pastor?”  Who are these men today who intrude into the holy place? “But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee.” (Ps. 50:16-17).  Oh that these men would come to a screeching halt and whip around on the roads of their lives and ministry back toward the cross of Christ and his glory!  May they spit out with disgust the words of man’s wisdom and philosophy and let the hot coal of God’s holy altar touch their lips with the burning words of scripture! If you have failed, oh man of God, even now God is gracious! As his sin was purged with a hot coal from off the altar of atonement (Isa. 6:7), God will purge away the tarnish from your lips and you will speak for him!

It seems David’s heart is full of admiration and love for who he sees. God has been his friend for many years. Yet we throughout the Psalms, David deeply senses  his own depravity. When David finally was surprised by the outbreak of his sin (Ps. 51:4) with the adultery with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah, he realized that a surface work of religion and ritual would not break his behavior, the powerful sins that controlled his heart, mind and will. David cries in pain,  “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow…Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Ps. 51:6, 7, 10). He turns to the only remedy, the cleansing of the leper. Like a person afflicted with that incurable skin disease of his day, he sees his spirit eaten away with the horrible heart disease of sin and desires cleansing and health! It is the blood of Christ that he sees in the future, that Christ will make covenant with him and grant what we call the sure mercies and covenant love of David (Isa 55:3). Here even in the Older Covenant the King dying for the sins of his people and forgiving them is woven into their hearts and the pages of scripture.

David was a seer for sure.  This is no mere play on words as he sees the glorified Christ coming into clear view in this Psalm. Oh that we may SEE Jesus (John 12:20) and be such seers. Ah we add not to a closed canon but there is a biblical mine full of precious truth and jewels that remain untapped for our souls. It is nothing new or innovative we need, but like treasure hidden in the earth, so the pages of scripture contain the most precious jewels, purest gold and untarnished silver.  It is an inexhaustible vault full of spiritual wealth and hidden treasure (Prov. 2:4).

To see the wonderful Christ as KING in the scripture should be our goal and delight! He is our one and only King, we need no others. By this he becomes our dearest friend. Let all rivals bow before him. The study of the scriptures and the love behind their words leads us to the ultimate goal who is Christ, the end of the law for everyone who believes in him and that righteousness fulfilled in them given them a certain sense of Christ’s friendship that they have not had before (Rom 10:4). When the religious salesmen, and ecclesiastical gurus of today say, “Here is Christ!” or “There is Christ.”  that he is in some other book, ministry, some church, conference center, building, or you must travel to see him. Don’t believe them. They serve the father of lies! They are all false counterfeit Christ knock offs developed to appease the whims of people and fill religious auditoriums (see Mt 24:23-26). Once you know the real Christ another fake christ will not do. In the pages of scripture you may look-here is Christ and there is Christ. He is everywhere in its pages. It’s pages and prophets speak of things that touch the KING!

One of the most popular songs today is, “I am a friend of God.” One has to wonder if people realize what that entails.  They will speak of Abraham being God’s friend (Isa 41:8).  Being a friend of Christ according to him is that you OBEY him. “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” (John 15:14). Some people treat Christ these days as a drinking buddy, fishing pal or boy friend.  It is rather sickening. We must acknowledge Christ as our King before he is our friend.  That my life and will is swallowed up to his whim! While we imperfectly serve the Lord,  we should be devoted and dedicated to his rule and Lordship. This is a prerequisite to being his friend. “Obey the king as you have vowed to do. Don’t always be trying to get out of doing your duty, even when it’s unpleasant. For the king punishes those who disobey. The king’s command is backed by great power, and no one can withstand it or question it. Those who obey him will not be punished. The wise man will find a time and a way to do what he says.” (Eccl. 8:2-5 TLB). Those who do not see him as King cannot appreciate him as friend.

The Love Behind the Words

The last time we discussed the wonder of the Holy Spirit’s work of heart in Psalm 45. Here we see the results.

The sweet singer of Israel says, “His heart is “indicting a good matter.”

This is word carries a different meaning than the english word for “indict.” In the original Hebrew language it  means to bubble up and overflow. In this Psalm the song writers heart steadily boils and then overflows at what it understands.  His teaching in song (Eph 5:19-20) serves to reveal Christ. The saint serves God with heartfelt affection and gratitude! I know we joke about God’s chosen frozen, but there is no room for a frigid, aloof relationship with the Savior of our souls! The problem with church people and preachers is Jesus is not quite enough for them! Preaching the cross seems too simple for them despite their abject ignorance of  penal substitutionary atonement. Calvary is not the Gospel 101 and we move on to better or deeper things-it is our doctorate of divinity! It is the love behind the words!

Christians are men and women who have been given access to the Holy of holies by the blood of Christ (Heb 10:19) and there like Moses they may hear and read the written word of God (Heb. 4:12) and see his ultimate Word in Christ (Heb 1:1-2).  The Bible says, “Whenever Moses went into the Tabernacle to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the Ark’s cover–the place of atonement–that rests on the Ark of the Covenant. The LORD spoke to him from there.” (Num. 7:89NLT). The LORD spoke to him from there. Where? The place of atonement? Only the Bible can bring us directly to the place where Christ’s blood and cross still speak his love to his own people through the gospel!  Christ and his gospel, his love behind the Words, is the only cure for men’s sin sick souls and the power of God that raises them from among the spiritually dead!

The one who truly stands in His presence will melt  and their eyes fill with tears as they see the battered body of Jesus on Calvary! We see his pain, his forsakeness and it comforts us in our trials and we give that gospel comfort to those in need (2 Cor 1:3-6). Ah how we look for the finely crafted hand made, melted and molded preacher of the pure gospel and not these factory cookie-cutter models of today! These are the weathered Shulamites among all the sterile daughters of Jerusalem (Song 1:5-6). They may not be attractive, people are repulsed by their sun baked blackness and brokeness as they derided Jesus on the cross (Mk 15:29) but God has ordained that these people are his workmanship (Eph 2:10) and they are those who know their God, who LOVE their God and that have served him graciously and humbly no matter the trials or circumstances. You don’t have to be good-looking and talented to be a vessel for the Master-just one who has endured the storm with this testimony, you pleased God (Heb 11:5) and speak with love behind the words.

This Psalm is an outburst of one who loves the Lord who has knowledge of the holy (Prov. 9:10) and unlike so many rude, meaningless, emotional outbursts that distract us from true worship these days, this directs us to “seeing him who is invisible.” (Heb. 11:27).  We must point with forthtelling  prophecy to Christ for their welfare. Paul says, “But one who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them.” (1 Cor. 14:3NLT).  We need MEN (and I mean MEN) who can mark the Word of the Lord! Jeremiah asks, “For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?” (Jer. 23:18). This is the churches greatest advantage over the enemies of the Lord. In these days of apostasy how there is need for an intelligible, clear and meaningful sound from those who preach.

There is so much false doctrine these days it is like chasing pillow feathers, we must preach Christ crucified as the cure for sin and error! People must not only repent of sin but false ideas about God. The Holy Spirit will convince and cross-examine (oh what a thought) of their need of Christ (John 16:8).  May the preacher cross-examine his congregation. What I mean is preach the cross so that they will examine their hearts (1 Cor 11:28)! “As they listen, their secret thoughts will be exposed, and they will fall to their knees and worship God, declaring, “God is truly here among you.” (1 Cor 14:25NLT).

I must also add that our friend the psalmist heart began to become full and gush with so much love that he felt compelled to speak the revelation he received to bring relief to his soul. For example, in Luke 3:2 it says that, “the word of God came unto John” or it came upon (epi) John. It pressed down upon him and exerted force. This teaches that there is a Divine pressure that comes upon a man who loves Christ in that he must preach Christ in order to sense release in obedience. There is a weight with which the Word of God is carried by a man (Jer. 23:38). I doubt if we could even see a finer example of the superintendency of the Spirit of God in breathing the scriptures into the hearts of men. May God in his mercy grant those who preach his word that if our message be not from the Lord that our tongue would cleave to the roof of our mouths and if it is his message that we would be free to speak (Ezek 3:26-27)! Oh that God would grant us men in the pulpit that could not feel relief unless they obediently preached the Word of God as written.

Those of us who have settled the issue of the Holy Spirit’s power in the authorship of the Bible sometimes fail to see the Divine love that was in the weeping pens of the writers. The love of God was poured into their hearts (Rom. 5:5)! Like a cloudburst of rain upon a parched and dry countryside so the love of God is poured into our hearts from these Bible words. We have a dire need for true gospel preachers whose hearts have been warmed by being with God in the oracle room of the written Word (1 Kings 6). In that place there is only one light-the candlestick of the Holy Spirit that illuminates their hearts with understanding (Eph. 1:17) and that room has no place for the counsel of the ungodly (Ps. 1:1) and there they learn the love behind the Words.

The love of God constrained the writers of scripture (2 Cor 5:14). They sensed not only obligation but divinely inspired devotion as they wrote. Most translators see this as the word constrain as “control”, but from what I have derived is the love of Christ pressed in on them, motivated them and took up their thoughts!  It gave them focus, it kept them in a straight line.

It is amazing what happens to the heart when it is focused on Christ! When John preached in the wilderness his message carried a sense of urgency because Christ was coming. There is much teaching about foretelling prophecy these days, one for every mood or opinion. But John’s message was not just eschatological but Christological. He pointed to Christ in his message!

Such is the direction in the torrents of the river of scripture. It rushes toward Christ and when he arrives there is nothing more that needs to be said (Heb 1:1-2). Could it be that the Spirit of God caused such a love for Christ in the hearts of apostles and prophets that they wrote down the testimony of the scriptures in an unbroken, elegant and fluent manner that could only be described as the truth in love (Eph 4:15). Is it any wonder that when a true child of God reads the scripture he begins to shed tears or rejoice every time he beholds in the mirror of scripture the love behind the words, the glory of the Lord Jesus?

© 2011 Soul Health Care Ministries, If you share this article just let them know about us and where it came from.

A Work of Heart

“My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” (Psalm 45:1-2).

We are never nearer Christ than when we find ourselves lost in a holy amazement at his unspeakable love.  ~John Owen

I preached this Psalm in a message a very long time ago about a Christ I only thought I knew.  Since that time, God delivered me from false doctrine and now as he gives me strength I will not let him go but bring him into my mother’s house, the church.  I will attempt to write on this psalm for the next few weeks. So many groups only carry in their doctrinal flash drive a certain facet of Christ and church is only seen as a USB port to plug it into. Those who do not proclaim those pet doctrines enough are in their eyes lesser Christians or not Christians at all. The worst false doctrine is to exalt the distinctive of one group, it is imbalanced and will certainly lead to error.  We ought to exalt Christ alone. We must always insist that in Psalm forty-five as in the other scriptures we would see Jesus (John 12:21).  This is the goal of scripture, to reveal the living Christ, walking among his Church and conquering the world by a redemptive kingdom.

The first thing the songwriter mentions is his heart. He says, “my heart.” The heart think, feels and here it writes. This is a heart felt Psalm. Did you know that the heart is mentioned over nine hundred and fifty times in the scripture? So we are assured that the heart is a biblical doctrine. The heart is the nucleus of human affection, desire and thought. It is our inner nature. It is synonymous with “the hidden man” (1 Pet. 3:4) and “the inner man” (2 Cor. 4:16).

It is God’s goal to capture the heart, he calls to a person by His Word, thus the preacher ought not just appeal to the head but the heart.  Ah that men would preach and it would cause a blue flame that burns with a love for the words of Christ! That Christ would dwell in the hearts by faith and his word grow and prevail in their heart!

Psalm forty-five is not just a work of art, but “a work of heart” sweetly performed by the gentle Holy Spirit.  The Psalm instructs those who read and sing it regarding the husband/wife relationship between Christ and his church, much like the books Song of Songs and Hosea which should be used as an encouragement to the church when she is overwhelmed by trials and failure.

Here we see the heroic Savior, Christ the Beautiful, the Divine King of Kings, full of grace and blessing. He is God the Son, Supreme ruler over the church and the universe (Heb. 1:8). Here God the Son in his everlasting love  draws the Psalmist  into the inner chamber of his Word and we will run after him!

God creates by his command a pure and true heart in us (Heb. 10:22; 1 Tim. 1:5 ) as he did when “commanded the light to shine out of darkness hath shined in our hearts.”  (2 Cor. 4:6). What is the light in our hearts?  It is “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”  This is when we become a new creation (2 Cor 5:17).  As light is to the eyes so is understanding to the heart, that is what we call illumination.  The heart of the psalmist is flooded with spiritual light (Eph. 1:17).  As Charles Spurgeon comments, “The eyes of a true heart see more than the eyes of the head.”  Here is the key to understanding Christ: grace, it is all of grace! 

Oh this it is this the priceless gift of grace that God has made to be stored in the hearts of his elect children. The heart that understands is a heart that has been opened by the presence of Christ (Acts 16:14) and has been set on fire  by the words of Christ (Luke 24:32).  

Can you hear the Holy Spirit today with a still small voice and if you hear his voice do not be stubborn and harden not your heart, “And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me.” (Gen 24:49).  Is there a work of heart yet to be done in you?


(c) 2011 Soul Health Care Ministries, If you share this article just let them know about us and where it came from.