Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament poetic book of the Psalms—a collection of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters forty-nine through fifty-four of this Old Testament book.
PSALM 3: A PSALM OF DAVID, WHEN HE FLED FROM ABSALOM HIS SON! PSALM 7: SIGGAION OF DAVID, WHICH HE SANG UNTO THE LORD, CONCERNING THE WORDS OF CUSH THE BENJAMITE! PSALM 18: TO THE CHIEF MUSICIAN, A PSALM OF DAVID, THE SERVANT OF THE LORD, WHO SPAKE UNTO THE LORD THE WORDS OF THIS SONG IN THE DAY THAT THE LORD DELIVERED HIM FROM THE HAND OF ALL HIS ENEMIES, AND FROM THE HAND OF SAUL! PSALM 30: A PSALM AND SONG AT THE DEDICATION OF THE HOUSE OF DAVID! PSALM 34: A PSALM OF DAVID, WHEN HE CHANGED HIS BEHAVIOUR BEFORE ABIMELECH: WHO DROVE HIM AWAY, AND HE DEPARTED PSALM 51: TO THE CHIEF MUSICIAN, A PSALM OF DAVID, WHEN NATHAN THE PROPHET CAME UNTO HIM, AFTER HE HAD GONE IN TO BATH-SHEBA! PSALM 52: TO THE CHIEF MUSICIAN, MASCHIL, A PSALM OF DAVID, WHEN DOET THE EDOMITE CAME AND TOLD SAUL, AND SAID UNTO HIM, DAVID IS COME TO THE HOUSE OF AHIMELECH! PSALM 54: TO THE CHIEF MUSICIAN ON BEGINOTH, MASCHIL, A PSALM OF DAVID, WHEN THE ZIPHIMS CAME AND SAID TO SAUL, DOTH NOT DAVID HIDE HIMSELF WITH US! PSALM 56: TO THE CHIEF MUSICIAN UPON JONAH-ELEM-RECHO-KIM, MICHTAM OF DAVID, WHEN THE PHILISTINES TOOK HIM IN GATH! PSALM 57: TO THE CHIEF MUSICIAN, AL-TASCHITH, MICHTAM OF DAVID, WHEN HE FLED FROM SAUL IN THE CAVE! PSALM 59: TO THE CHIEF MUSICIAN, AL-TASCHITH, MICHTAM OF DAVID; WHEN SAUL SENT, AND THEY WATCHED THE HOUSE TO KILL HIM! PSALM 60: TO THE CHIEF MUSICIAN UPON SHUSHAN-EDUTH, MICHTAM OF DAVID, TO TEACH; WHEN HE STROVE WITH ARAM-NAHARAIM AND WITH ARAM-ZOBAH, WHEN JOAB RETURNED, AND SMOTE EDOMITE IN THE VALLEY OF SALT TWELVE-THOUSAND! PSALM 63: A PSALM OF DAVID, WHEN HE WAS IN THE WILDERNESS OF JUDAH! PSALM 142: MASCHIL OF DAVID; A PRAYER WHEN HE WAS IN THE CAVE! WHAT PRAYERS DO YOU PRAY WHEN YOU’RE IN THE MIDST OF CONFLICT? WHAT SONGS DO YOU SING WHEN YOU’RE IN THE MIDST OF A STRUGGLE? HOW DO YOU REACT AND HOW DO YOU RESPOND WHEN YOU’RE IN THE MIDST OF SOMETHING THAT IS OR SEEMS TO BE TOO GREAT FOR YOU TO HANDLE? WHAT WAS IT LIKE WHEN DAVID TURNED OVER THESE PSALMS TO BE SUNG? WHAT WAS IT LIKE FOR DAVID TO TURN OVER THESE PRAYERS TO THE CHIEF MUSICIAN FOR THE WORSHIP OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD? WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO TURN YOUR PRAYER JOURNAL OVER TO THE LEVITES, AND PERHAPS EVEN THE PRIESTS OF THE LORD? WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO TURN OVER THE DEEPEST EXPRESSIONS OF YOUR HEART? IT’S ONE THING TO TURN OVER HYMNS AND SONGS YOU WROTE, HOWEVER, IT’S ANOTHER TO TURN OVER THOSE WORDS YOU PRAYED AND SANG WHEN YOU WERE IN THE MIDST OF IT! THE VERY FACT THAT WE HAVE HEADINGS FOR THESE PSALMS SUGGESTS THAT DAVID ALSO REVEALED THE INSPIRATION FOR THE PSALMS!
A PSALM WHEN YOU’RE FLEEING! A PSALM CONCERNING THE SLANDEROUS WORDS OF ANOTHER! A PSALM WHEN THE LORD HAS DELIVERED YOU OUT OF THE HAND OF ALL YOUR ENEMIES! A PSALM WHEN YOU ENTER INTO THE ENEMY’S TERRITORY (WHEN YOU THINK AND FEEL YOU HAVE TO PRETEND TO BE SOMEONE OR SOMETHING YOU’RE NOT) A PSALM OF REPENTANCE AND CONFESSION BEFORE THE LORD! A PSALM WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN BETRAYED INTO THE HANDS OF AN ENEMY! A PSALM WHEN OTHERS HAVE GIVEN YOU UP TO YOUR ENEMIES! A PSALM WHEN YOU DEPART FROM THE INHERITANCE AND HERITAGE OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD AND ENTER INTO THE TERRITORY OF THE ENEMY! A PSALM WHEN YOU FLEE AND FIND YOURSELF IN A CAVE! A PSALM WHEN MEN LIE IN WAIT TO STRIKE YOU DOWN AND KILL YOU! A PSALM WHEN YOU STRIVE AGAINST YOUR ENEMIES! A PSALM WHEN YOU’RE IN THE WILDERNESS! A PSALM WHEN YOU’RE IN THE CAVE! FLEEING! HIDING! RUNNING! THE CAVE! THE WILDERNESS! THE TERRITORY OF THE ENEMY! WHO AND WHAT DO YOU HOLD ON TO IN THE MIDST OF YOUR TROUBLING TIMES! WHERE DO YOU TURN IN THE MIDST OF YOUR CONFLICT AND STRUGGLE?
PSALM 45! A SONG OF LOVES! A SONG FOR THE KING! REVELATION 19:11-21! A SONG OF LOVE FOR THE KING! THE THINGS WHICH I HAVE MADE TOUCHING THE KING! Before I delve into the realities which are found within the passage before us, I feel compelled to draw your attention to the words which are written and found within the forty-fifth chapter of the Old Testament book of Psalms. I have to admit that in all the years I have read the Scripture, and all the years I have read the book of the Psalms, I have never seen this psalm in the light I have seen it recently. In all reality, I must emphatically state that I honestly can’t say that I remembered anything about this psalm—much less the language that is found and contained therein. The forty-fifth chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms is one of the psalms that was delivered unto the chief musician specifically for the sons of Korah. As you take the time to read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you will notice that in the heading of the psalm we find the following language: “To the chief musician upon Shoshannim, for the sons of Korah, Maschil, A Song of loves.” It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand the language that is found within this passage of Scripture, for what we find within this passage of Scripture is an absolutely powerful love song for the king who sits upon the throne in the midst of the people of God. In all reality, I would dare say that the words of this particular psalm sets the stage for the beautiful language of intimacy, affection and love we find in the Old Testament poetic book of Song of Solomon. When you read the words found in the book of Song of Solomon you will quickly notice that it is an expression of love between Solomon who was the king of Israel, and a Shunamite woman whom his heart clave to in love. We know from the words recorded in the eleventh chapter of the book of First Kings that Solomon clave to many strange and foreign women in love, however, there is something markedly and noticeably different about the language that is found in the book of Song of Solomon. There is something dramatically different about the language found within this poetic book, as the language contained here is about what was perhaps a love which transcended all other loves, and a love which perhaps superseded every other love he had within his heart. We know and understand from Scripture that Solomon clave to many strange and foreign women in love—this in addition to the daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt—for we learn how Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. What makes the book of Song of Solomon so absolutely intriguing is when you consider the fact that this man who not only loved, but also clave to love toward many foreign women had one love which transcended all other loves. There was one other love which completely and utterly transcended any love he had for any of his wives, or even any of his concubines. With this being said, consider if you will the words and language which is found in the Old Testament book of First Kings beginning to read with and from the first verse of the eleventh chapter:
“But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: For surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to p ass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. Notwithstanding in thy days I will not odd it for David thy father’s sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen” (1 Kings 11:1-13).
As you read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture—not only will you encounter the tremendous reality that Solomon loved many strange women, but you will also find that Solomon clave in love to all the strange and foreign women whom his heart desired and whom his heart went after. Scripture reveals how Solomon had seven-hundred wives and princesses, as well as three hundred concubines. What makes this reality even more intriguing and even more captivating is when you consider the fact that despite Solomon’s cleaving to all these strange and foreign women in love, there was one woman who essentially stood above the rest. The Song of Solomon was not written to each of his wives, nor was it written to each of his concubines, but rather, it was written to one woman in particular. There was one woman whom Solomon’s heart loved above and more than all the others which were before him. The language we find contained within this Old Testament poetic book is a powerful exchange which took place between Solomon the king of Israel, and this woman whom his soul delighted in, and whom his heart longed for and desired. Upon reading the words which are written and contained within this passage you will find that the words contained in this powerful book contain a tremendous amount of love which the king of Israel and this particular and specific woman. You cannot read this Old Testament poetic book and not encounter and come face with the awesome reality that there was something unique Solomon and this particular woman shared that was completely separate from all the other woman whom he loved and whom he clave to in love. It’s quite interesting to think about the fact that although Solomon clave to many women in love, there was one love above all the others, and there was one love above all the rest. There was one love which Solomon son of David clave to more than any others, and it was this love which is expressed in the poetic book of Song of Solomon. The language we find within the book of Song of Solomon isn’t language that expresses the love which Solomon had for the various women whom his heart clave to in love, but rather it was an expression of love which Solomon had for this one woman. It’s actually quite interesting to think about and consider the fact that despite the fact that Solomon clave to countless women in love, there was one woman with whom his heart clave to more than the others. There was one love that had so captured and so consumed Solomon’s heart that he actually wrote a love letter and an exchange of affection between the two of them. What is to absolutely incredible about the book Song of Solomon is that it wasn’t merely a love letter Solomon wrote unto this woman, but it was a dialogue and an exchange which they wrote and sang together and to each other. Consider if you will some of the language that is written and contained within this book before we turn and direct our attention back to the words found in the forty-fifth chapter of the book of the Psalms:
“The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine. Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee. Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will e glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee. I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kendra, as the curtains of Solomon. Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath l. Poked upon me: my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept. Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, Where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at non: For why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?” (Song of Solomon 1:1-7).
“If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, Go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherd’s tents. I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh’s chariots. Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold. We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver. While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard senders forth the smell thereof. A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breast. My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of En-gedi. Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes. Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed is green. The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir” (Song of Solomon 1:8-17).
“The voice of my beloved! Behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. My beloved is like a rose or a yong hart: Behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looked forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice. My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; the fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely. Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender g raps. My beloved is mine, and I am his; he feedeth among the lilies” (Song of Solomon 2:8-16).
“By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth? It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me. I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please” (Song of Solomon 3:1-5).
“Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount GIlead. Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them. Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks. Thy neck is like the tower of David builder for an armoury, where on there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men. Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies. Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense. Thou art all fair, my love; there is not spot in thee. Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: Look from the top of Amanda, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lion’s dens, from the mountains of the leopards. Thou hast ravished my hearty, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck. How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! How much better is thy love than wine! And the smell of thine ointments than all spices!” (Song of Solomon 4:1-10).
“I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me. Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves. The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved” (Song of Solomon 7:10-13).
What I find to be so absolutely incredible about Song of Solomon is that it is a book that is centered around an intimate love and affection Solomon and this “beloved” shared with each other. The entire book is filled with intimate language shared between these two lovers, and their love and their language has been the source of countless weddings and ceremonies throughout the years. THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE! THE LANGUAGE OF INTIMACY! THE LANGUAGE OF AFFECTION! THE LANGUAGE OF ROMANCE! The book Song of Solomon is one that is absolutely remarkable and astounding when you take the time to think about and consider what is found therein, for it is more than simply poetic language and literature found within Scripture, but it is a beautiful dialogue and exchange of love and intimacy shared between these two lovers which would be expressed in writing, and would find its way into the sacred Scripture. How absolutely and incredibly intriguing and captivating it is to think about and consider the words and language contained within this Old Testament poetic book, for despite the countless women whom Solomon’s heart and soul clave to in love, there was one who stood above the rest. There was one love which stood among the rest, and there was one who so captivated the heart of Solomon that he would enter into this beautiful exchange and this beautiful dialogue with. Not only this, but we would find their expression of love within the sacred Scripture and within the poetic section of it. I am absolutely captivated with and by the fact that the words and language we find in this passage of Scripture demonstrate a love which Solomon and his beloved shared, which was stronger than anything else he shared with the various women whom his heart and soul clave to in love. There was one whom Solomon delighted in far above any other within the kingdom of Israel, and even within and among the nations and lands round about the land of Israel. There was one woman who was so distinguished and so set apart from all the others, and it was this woman whom Solomon engaged in a powerful display of love and affection toward—one that would be put on display for countless students, scholars and theologians of the Scripture alike. The words found in the book of Song of Solomon are such that are absolutely and incredibly captivating when you consider the love and the romance which these two lovers shared with each other—a love and affection that far surpassed anything else Solomon had with the various and many women whom his heart and soul clave to in love.
While the words and language found in the Old Testament book of Song of Solomon and the words found in the forty-fifth chapter of the book of the Psalms are different in their scope and language—Song of Solomon is a book that is about the love shared between Solomon king of Israel and his beloved, and the forty-fifth chapter of the book of the Psalms being a song of loves for king who sat upon the throne of David—they nonetheless bring us face to face with a powerful affection and affinity for the king who sat upon the throne. The words which we find in the forty-fifth chapter of the book of the Psalms are words which are meant to ascribe worth, ascribe majesty, ascribe splendor, ascribe beauty, and ascribe praise for the king. These words which are before us are words which were put in a song for the sons of Korah, and were words which comprised and made up a “song of loves.” You cannot read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and not come face to face with the tremendous and incredible reality that the language contained within it is a powerful proclamation and declaration of admiration for and toward the king. What makes the words of this psalm all the more intriguing and all the more powerful is when you consider the fact that the sons of Korah were descendants of their father who mounted a rebellion and insurrection against Moses and against Aaron in the wilderness. It was their father Korah who together with Dathan and Abiram, as well as two-hundred and fifty other famous men in the congregation, dared speak against and rebel against Moses and Aaron there in the wilderness. Only a few chapters after the children of Israel heard the grave words that not only would they not enter into the land of promise, but that generation ages twenty years and older would fall in the midst of the wilderness, they would find themselves in a place where one of their own would mount a rebellion against Moses and against Aaron—against the LORD’s anointed. Their rebellion is even more sinister and even more dangerous when you consider it in light of what Korah was given charge of by the word of the LORD spoken by His servant Moses. In the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Numbers you will find the numbering of the sons of Kohath, which were given very specific charge within and over the sanctuary. Consider if you will the words which are found in this chapter beginning to read with and from the twenty-seventh verse:
“And of Kohath was the family of the Amramites, and the family of the Izeharites, and the family of the Hebronites, and the family of the Uzzielites: these are the families of the Kohathites. In the number of all the males, from a m on the old and upward, were eight thousand and six hundred, keeping the charge of the sanctuary. The families of the son of Kohath shall pitch on the side of the tabernacle southward. And the chief of the house of the father of the families of the Kohathites shall be Elizaphan the son of Uzziel. And their charge shall be the ark, and the table, and the candlestick, and the altars, and the vessels of the sanctuary wherewith they minister, and the hanging, and all the service thereof. And Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest shall be chief over the chief of the Levites, and have oversight of them that keep the charge of the sanctuary” (Numbers 3:27-32).
“And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, Take the sum of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, after their families, by the house of their fathers, from thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation. This shall be the service of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation, about the most holy things: and when the camp setteth forward, Aaron shall come, and his sons, and they shall take down the covering vail, and cover the ark of testimony with it: and shall put therein the covering of badgers’ skins, and shall spread over it a cloth wholly of blue, and shall put in the staves thereof. And upon the table of shewbread they shall spread a cloth of blue, and put therein the dishes, and the spoons, and the bowls, and covers to cover withal: and the continual bread shall be there on: and they shall spread upon them a cloth of scarlet, and cover the s Amie with a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put in the staves thereof. And they shall take a cloth of blue, and cover the candlestick of the light, and his lamps, and his tongs, and his snuff dishes, and all the oil vessels thereof, wherewith they minister unto it: and they shall put it and all the vessels thereof with a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put it upon a bar. And upon the golden altar they shall spread a cloth of blue, and cover it with a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put to the staves thereof: and they shall take all the instruments of ministry, wherewith thy minister in the sanctuary, and put them in a cloth of blue, and cover them with a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put them on a bar: and they shall take away the ashes from the altar, an spread a purple cloth therein: and they shall put upon it all the vessels thereof, wherewith they minister about it, even the censers, the fleshhooks, and the shovels, and the basons, all the vessels of the altar; and they shall spread upon it a covering of badgers’ skins, and put to the staves of it. And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set FORWARD; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation. And to the office of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest pertaineth the oil for the light, and the sweet incense, and the daily meat offering, and the anointing oil, and the oversight of all the tabernacle, and of all that therein is, in the sanctuary, and in the vessels thereof. And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, Cut ye not off the tribe of the families of the Kohathites from among the Levites: but thus do unto them, that they may live, and not die, when they approach unto the most holy things: Aaron and his sons shall go in, and appoint them every one to his service and to his burden: but they shall not go in to see when the holy things are covered, lest they die” (Numbers 4:1-20).
It is quite clear when you read these words that the Kohathites—which would include Korah and his sons—were given a very specific charge over the sanctuary, and over the sacred and holy things within it. Moses according to the word of the LORD gave a very specific charge to the sons of Kohath, and they were responsible for fulfilling their charge with the sacred and holy things which were present within the sanctuary. It is this reality that makes Koran’s rebellion against the authority of Moses and Aaron so sinister, so diabolical, and so dangerous, for he was one who dealt with and touched the sacred things. Pause for a moment and consider the fact that it is possible to handle that which is sacred and still find yourself rebelling against the authority which the LORD has set up and established. This is perhaps what makes the words which are found in the forty-fifth chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms so incredibly beautiful, and so captivating, for not only did the sons of Korah choose not to walk in the sin(s) of their father, but they also chose to align themselves with the king who sat upon the throne of David, and they chose to fulfill their charge and assignment within the Temple and sanctuary of the living God. When you come to the book of First Chronicles you will find the sons of Korah—the Kohathites—engaging their charge in the midst of the sanctuary, and fulfilling their duty and responsibility in the midst of the sanctuary. The language that is found in the eighty-fourth chapter of the book of the Psalms demonstrates and proves the tremendous reality that the sons of Korah desired, yearned for and longed for the courts of the LORD, and for the sanctuary of the LORD. Moreover, the sons of Korah would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of the LORD than to dwell in the tents of the wicked. Perhaps this is and was a reflection upon their father Korah who found himself and his tent, as well as the tents of Dathan and Abiram being swallowed up and going down into the grave. Is it possible that the words and language which is found in the Old Testament book of the Psalms in the eighty-fourth chapter is the sons of Korah looking back upon the history of their lineage, and remembering how their father with his tent, and the tents of those who aligned themselves with him went down alive into the pit? Could it be that their desperate desire for the courts and house of the LORD was set directly against the tents of the wicked which their father and his co-conspirators dwelt in? For the sons of Korah, their passion, their desire, and their delight was in the sanctuary of the LORD, and they would not neglect, despise, nor reject their charge in the midst of the sanctuary. For the sons of Korah, they would and could not abandon their charge and their assignment in the sanctuary of the living God, and they would continue to fulfill that which they were mandated to by David the king and Samuel the seer.
In all reality, I can’t help but get the strong sense that we cannot truly understand the forty-fifth chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms without also understanding the words and language which is found in the eighty-fourth chapter of the same book. In fact, I would dare say that the words and language found within these two psalms are intrinsically linked and connected, as the courts of the house of the LORD and the king who sat upon the throne in Jerusalem were the delight and passion of the sons of Korah. Not only did they delight in the place of the glory of the living God, but they also delighted in the place of the government of the living God. For the sons of Korah, their delight was in the Temple of the LORD which would be the symbol of His glory and His presence, as well as in the throne of David which would be the symbol of the government, the dominion and authority of the living God. What I so absolutely love and appreciate about the sons of Korah is that they were such who delighted in the glory of the LORD as well as the government of God—a reality which we would be incredibly wise to discern and understand within our own hearts and lives. What’s more is that we cannot and must not separate the glory of the living God from the government of the living God, for the glory and the government are intrinsically linked and connected. It is absolutely impossible to separate the throne and the Temple, for the throne and the Temple represent the divine reality of God in the midst of His people. The Temple of the LORD would be the place of the altar and of the Ark of the Covenant, while the throne of David would be the place of the scepter of righteousness. It is absolutely necessary that we understand this, for the sons of Korah would not only delight in the place of government, but they would also delight in the place of glory. The sons of Korah were directly connected, and directly linked to the throne and the Temple, as they would worship the King of kings at the Temple, and would honor the king who sat upon the the throne of David in the midst of Jerusalem. With that being said, I invite you to first consider the words which are found within the eighty-fourth chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms, as well as the words which are written and recorded within the forty-fifth chapter of the same Old Testament book:
“How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: My heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one. Of them in Zion appeareth before God. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: Give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah. Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield: The LORD will give grace and glory: No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, Blessed is the man that trusteth in thee” (Psalm 84:1-12).
“My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I made touching the king: My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Thou art fairer than the children of men: Grace is poured into thy lips: Therefore God hath blessed thee for ever. Gird thy sword upon thy thighs, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride properly because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and a thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteosuness, and hatest wickedness: Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. All thy garments small of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad. King’s daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir. Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; Forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him. And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy FAVOUR. The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king’s palace. Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever” (Psalm 45:1-17).
It is absolutely necessary that we pay close attention to the words which are found within these two chapters, for within these two chapters we find powerful language written, spoken and sung by the sons of Korah who not only delighted in the king who sat upon the throne, but who also delighted in the Temple and sanctuary of the living God. These two psalms must be read in tandem with each other, for these two psalms unite the desire and delight within one’s heart for the glory of God with the desire and delight for the government of God. In the eighty-fourth chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms we find the sons of Korah expressing their sheer and utter delight in the sanctuary and Temple of the living God, while in the forty-fifth chapter of the same Old Testament book we find the sons of Korah expressing their delight in the king who sat upon the throne. This is particularly and especially intriguing when you think about and consider the fact that their father was one who mounted a rebellion against the authority that was placed upon and given unto Moses and Aaron. Their father Korah would despise the charge which he was given over the sanctuary, and over the sacred things, and in all reality desired more than what was ordained and appointed unto him. For Korah, he was not content with that which the living and eternal God had ordained and appointed for both he and his brethren, and as a direct result of this, he forfeited his place within the sanctuary, as well as his place within the assembly. Perhaps one of the most deadly and dangerous realities surrounding Korah was that through his rebellion he forfeited his place in the midst of the sanctuary of the living God, and through the judgment and wrath that was executed against him he forfeited his place within the sacred assembly of the people of God. It’s absolutely incredible to think about what such a rebellious heart and such a critical spirit can do within the life of an individual, for it can lead them into a dark and dangerous place where they would dare lift up their hand against the authority which the living and eternal God has established. Oh, I can’t help but be reminded of the words which are written and recorded in the second chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms, as well as the words which describe the narrative of Korah and his rebellion. It’s quite powerful to read the words which are found within the second chapter of the Old Testament book of Psalms, and then read of Koran’s rebellion which is found in the sixteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Numbers. Consider if you will the words which are written and contained within these two chapters found within the Old Testament:
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: The LORD shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou arty my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:1-12).
“Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Elian, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: and they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD? And when Moses heard it, he fell u pon his face: and he spake unto KOrah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will shew who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him. This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company; and put fire therein, and put incense in them before the LORD to morrow: and it shall be that the man whom the LORD doth choose, he shall be holy: ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi. And Moses said unto Korah, hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi: seeketh it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them? And he hath brought thee near to him, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also? For which cause both thou and all thy company are gathered together against the LORD; and what is Aaron, that ye murmur against him. And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Elian: which said, We will not come up: Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land that floweth with milk and honey, or given us inheritance of field and vineyards: wilt thou up t out the eyes of these men? We will not come up. And Moses was very wroth, and said unto the LORD, Respect not thou their offering: I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I h rut one of them. And Moses said unto Korah, Be thou and all thy company before the LORD, thou, and they, and Aaron, to morrow: and take every man his censer, and put incense in them, and bring ye before the LORD every man his censer, two hundred and fifty censers; thou also, and Aaron, each of you his censer. And they took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense therein, and stood in the door of the tabernacle of the congregation with Moses and Aaron. And Korah gathered all the congregation a gainst them unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the congregation. And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment. And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation? And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Pseak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him. And he spake unto the congregation,s aging Depart, I pray your, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins. So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children. And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind. If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me. But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appear rained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also. And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense” (Numbers 16:1-35).
In the second chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms we encounter and come face to face with those who would dare raise themselves up against the LORD and against His anointed, while in the sixteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Numbers we find Korah—together with Dathan, Abiram, and two-hundred and fifty men of renown which were famous in the congregation—rising up and standing against Moses and against Aaron. Essentially that which Korah and those with him desired to do was to deliver themselves from the government and the authority which had been bestowed upon Moses and Aaron, and had not only risen up against Moses and Aaron, but against the LORD. What makes the words in the second chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms so absolutely incredible is that within it we find—not only a reference to the king which would sit upon the throne of David in the midst of the Jerusalem but we also find a reference to the eternal King which would sit upon the throne in heaven. If you begin reading with and from the sixth verse of the second chapter you will find the psalmist writing and declaring the following words concerning the king whom the LORD had established and set up: “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The LORD hath said unto me, Thoua truly my Son; This day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Psalm 2:6-9). These words are a clear and definitive reference to the coming Messianic king who would sit upon the throne of David, and would be directly linked to the words which the sons of Korah would write and sing in the forty-fifth chapter of the book of the Psalms. In fact, that which you find in the forty-fifth chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms contains its own Messianic reference. Consider if you will the following words which are written within this psalm concerning the coming Messianic king: “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: The sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows” (Psalm 45:6-7).
It is absolutely necessary that we understand the words which are found within these two psalms, for the words contained here would be referenced in the New Testament epistle which was written unto the Hebrews. If you read the words which are written and recorded in the first and second chapters of the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews you will encounter and come face to face with the tremendous reality of these words within the psalms which were Messianic psalms and prophecies concerning Jesus the Christ who would be anointed and appointed by the eternal Father. As I prepare to bring this writing to a close, I feel compelled to ask you whether or not you desire and delight in the glory and government of the living God. Upon reading these words, can you truly and honestly declare that you desire and delight in the eternal King and the only begotten Son of the Father? Is the King of kings and Lord of lords truly and indeed your beloved? Are you one whose heart is and has been ravished by the eternal and only begotten of the Father? When you consider the words which are found within these particular passages of Scripture—Psalm 2, Psalm 45, Psalm 84–can you truthfully and honestly say that you not only delight in the throne of the LORD your God, but also in the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD your God? I feel compelled to leave you with the words which are found within the first two chapters of the epistle which was written unto the Hebrews, for the words found in these two chapters bring us face to face with how Jesus the Christ perfectly fulfills the words which the sons of Korah spoke concerning the Messianic king who would reign upon the throne of his father David, and who would rule and reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. I leave you with the words found in the epistle written unto the Hebrews as an invitation for you to come and worship before the eternal King of kings who is the eternal and only begotten of the Father. I leave you with these words as a. Powerful invitation to not only delight in, but also desire the only begotten of the Father who is seated at the right hand of the Father, and who will sit upon the throne of David in the midst of the holy city and rule and govern with justice and righteousness:
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and He shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of othe angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: they shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Hebrews 1:1-14).
“For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? Or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste d earth for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:5-18).
The words which we find written and recorded within these two passages found in the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews not only bring us face to face with the beauty of the Son, the majesty of the Son, the splendor of the Son, the glory of the Son, and so much more, but it also brings us face to face with the creation of man who was made a little lower than the angels, and yet was crowned with glory and honor. What’s more, is that man was given dominion and authority over the works of the hands of the living God, and yet man is invited to delight and desire in the eternal Son who is the only begotten of the Father. The language contained in the forty-fifth chapter of the book of the Psalms was written and sung by the sons of Korah—those who not only delighted themselves in the throne of the king, but also in the Temple of the LORD. The sons of Korah not only delighted themselves in the earthly king who sat upon the throne of David, but they also delighted themselves in the eternal King who was above all kings. The sons of Korah would delight in the palace of the glory of the living God, as well as the place of the government of the living God, and it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this, for we are invited to step into the same reality within our hearts and lives. We as the people of God are invited to walk in the same delight and the same desire the sons of Korah had, as they delighted themselves in the throne and the Temple as worshippers of the living God and servants of the king. SERVANT WORSHIPPERS! As I read the words and language that is found in the forty-fifth chapter of the book of the Psalms, as well as within the eighty-fourth chapter of the same book, I can’t help but be brought face to face with the tremendous reality that the sons of Korah were more than simply worshippers of the LORD, but they were also servants of the king—a reality which is absolutely necessary within our hearts and lives in this generation. We are not only called to be servants of the King, and we are not only called to be worshippers of the King, but we are called to be servant worshippers. In reality, we dare not, we cannot and must not separate the two realities from each other, for the LORD has invited us into a place where we serve the King through worship and worship the King through service. Oh that we would bow ourselves down low before the throne of the living and eternal God, and before the Son who is seated at the right hand of all authority, all power, all government and all dominion and would worship with reckless abandon and selfless engagement.