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A View from the Altar / Forget your own people (Psalm 45)
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Forget your own people (Psalm 45)

When the psalmist sings his admiration for the king’s bride, he advises her to forget her own people and her father’s house (Psa 45:10).  Her station as the king’s chosen calls her out of a humble station to something exalted.

America has an odd love/hate attitude toward the sort of elevation described in the psalm.  Many of us dream of being lifted up somehow, yet we prefer our great ones to act like regular Joes.  Scott Brown became a senator partly by driving around his old pickup truck.  People liked to see George Bush on his ranch clearing cedar bushes and getting sweaty.  Southerners deeply appreciate those who excel but “ain’t forgot where they come from.”

Korah advises the bride to ditch this thought.  Where she’s going everything must be left behind.  That was Abraham’s calling (Gen 12:1).  Jesus required this of his people too (Matt 8:21-22, Luke 14:26), and Peter described salvation as being redeemed from the vain, aimless traditions of our fathers (1 Pe 1:18).

There’s typology here: Nothing of this present world system will be welcomed in Christ’s kingdom at the last.  God’s people are invited in.  After that, there will be a new heavens and a new earth, and we’ll be joint heirs with Christ to inherit it. (Ro 8:17)

Many hesitate at the little narrow gate that leads to life because they can’t cram all their belongings through the opening.  The psalmist has the gift of prophecy.  He lets us look ahead into ivory palaces (v8) where the bride is arrayed in clothing spun from golden thread (v13) and says, “The stuff of this world, leave it all behind.  You’ll never miss it where you’re going.”

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

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