As Psalm 45 proceeds it becomes evident that several verses are prophetic of our Lord. Verses 6,7 are quoted in Hebrews 1:8,9. In the Psalm they read, “Your throne, O God, is forever 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”.

This puts the relationship between the Almighty and His Son in its true perspective. But are verses 2 and 3 also prophetic of Jesus? “You are the most handsome of the sons of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever. Gird your sword on your thigh O mighty one, in your splendour and majesty”. This is in contrast to Isaiah 53 which is prophetic of the Lord, that “he has no form or majesty that we should look to him, and no beauty that we should desire him” (verse 2).

The solution to this contrast is two-fold: the words that follow in the Psalm, “you are the most handsome” are – “grace is poured upon your lips therefore God has …”. This reminds us of Peter’s words, “let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a meek and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (1 Peter 3:4). God will reward this kind of beauty.

Because “Joseph was handsome in form and appearance” (Genesis 39:6) it proved to be to his disadvantage, but today we saw a contrast when “they quickly brought him out of the pit” (41:14), and when he had shaved and had new clothes he was brought before Pharaoh. Exalted to a position of honour before Pharaoh, did not these developments foreshadow in type, first the humiliation and then the exaltation of Christ? They also foreshadow the experience of true believers who may struggle with opposition against the true way of life in Christ. This opposition is spreading as more Governments are inclined to pass permissive laws and seek to punish those who ignore them or speak against them.

Paul’s words to the Romans should be engraved on our minds: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing, you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable …” (12:2). Our daily reading of God’s word enables us to endure the testing and become handsome in mind.