The author of Psalm 45 begins by stating that his “heart is inditing a good matter” (45:1a). He thus expresses his viewpoint that he considers the thoughts that are filling his heart and pouring forth from it as good.
He then makes known the subject of those thoughts by saying, “I speak of the things which I have made touching the king” (45:1b). The good matter, therefore, that his heart was overflowing with concerned the King of whom he writes. He also expresses his skillfulness in setting forth his thoughts on his subject by declaring, “My tongue is the pen of a ready writer” (45:1c).
In the rest of the Psalm, he extols the King, beginning first by declaring His all-excelling fairness and superlative God-given eloquence (45:2a-b). He adds that because of His unequalled excellence in appearance, character, and speech, God has unendingly blessed Him (45:2c).
The Psalmist urges the King to gird Himself gloriously for warfare and to ride forth majestically to triumph over His enemies (45:3-5). Strikingly, he portrays the King’s decimating His enemies: “Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee” (45:5).
New Testament use of the next two verses (45:6-7) clearly identifies that this King is Jesus (cf. Heb. 1:2-6), the Messiah: “But unto the Son He saith, ‘Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter 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” (1:8-9). Plainly, both the Psalmist and the writer of Hebrews are emphasizing that this King, who is God Himself, is yet One who has been exalted by the One who is His God (the Father).
From the first seven verses of Psalm 45, an important truth that many likely overlook becomes clear. The Psalmist regards writing about the God-exalted Messiah’s fierce destruction of His enemies as “a good matter.” In contrast to the perspectives of even many believers today, his overflowing thoughts about the messianic King that he considered good include His work as the God-blessed Judge!
This inspired hymn, therefore, teaches us that our worship music should include songs that extol Jesus Christ as the God-exalted Judge and state that His righteous judgment of the enemies of God is a good thing. May God help our music to reflect aright His perspectives about the glory that He has given to His Son as the Judge.
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