After reading Psalm 45 we thought about what makes a person handsome. In the Psalm it becomes evident that several verses are prophetic of our Lord. Verses 6,7 (quoted in Hebrews 1:8,9) 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 contrasts with Isaiah 53 which is evidently speaking 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.

Yesterday we read that because “Joseph was handsome in form and appearance” (Genesis 39:6) it proved to be to his disadvantage. By contrast today we saw 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 first the humiliation and then the exaltation of Christ? They also foreshadow the experience of true believers who, especially in certain parts of the world, struggle with opposition against the true way of life in Christ. This opposition is spreading as Governments are more inclined to pass permissive laws and seek to punish those who ignore them and even 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 properly perform the testing and become handsome in mind, ready for the time when our Lord will “gird (his) sword”.