A Pleasing Theme

I’ve heard stories of songs that have come to composers almost instantly. An idea is seeded, an inspiration blooms, and, before you know it, a song is written. Verses and choruses emerging from nothing in just a very short time. You sense that the love song in Psalm 45 may have been birthed in such a way.

My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the King; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.

(Psalm 45:1 ESV)

It’s in sentiments like these where Peterson’s The Message can add so much to our devotional musings:

My heart bursts its banks, spilling beauty and goodness. I pour it out in a poem to the King, shaping the river into words.

(Psalm 45:1 MSG)

A heart overflowing. Bursting its banks. Spilling out beauty and goodness. No problem putting pen to paper. Almost enraptured, you sense, as the heart-sourced river is poured out into worshipful words.

Guessing it’s a pretty exhilarating experience to go from a blank sheet of paper to a beautiful song of praise with seemingly no real effort. Not many of us are called to be songwriters. Few of us know the euphoric dynamics of such an activity.

But this morning, thanks to the sons of Korah, there is available to us the reminder of a pleasing theme.

Those are the three words I’m chewing on this morning, “A pleasing theme.” Other translations say it is a noble theme or, most literally, a good word.

. . . whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

(Philippians 4:8 ESV)

It’s a good thing to be pre-occupied with a pleasing theme. A profitable endeavor to noodle on a noble notion. And I’m wondering how often, as followers of Christ, we take up the pleasing theme of the King.

Around here we’re starting to think about our Good Friday service and so, have been spending some time thinking about the Savior and His sacrifice. Chewing on the cross and Christ’s crucifixion. Wondering how we might be still and appreciate afresh the Lamb of God and what humiliation He endured in order to lay down His life. That’s a pleasing theme. For in it our love is drawn out for Him as we ponder anew how He first loved us.

And there are other facets of Christ’s person and works which come to mind. Christ our perfect, sympathetic High Priest. Knowing fully the human experience and leveraging it as He intercedes for us at God’s right hand. Or, there is Jesus the friend of sinners, who calls us His friends; invites us to abide; revealing to us deep things that are only known through intimate relationship. All good stuff to meditate on. All pleasing themes.

But what of Christ as King? The yet to be fully revealed King? The coming King? The “most handsome of the sons of men” (v.2); the Mighty One to be presented in splendor and majesty, a sword on His side (v.3). Returning with arrows ready to subdue the nations (v. 5); establishing His “forever and ever” throne, His scepter a scepter of righteousness (v.6). Anointed of God, robes fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia (v. 7b-8), ready to be presented His beautiful bride as He longs for her beauty (v. 10-14). What a pleasing theme! What a noble subject! What filling food for thought!

But how often do I go there?

So easy to be occupied with the present and to draw on what we know to be true about the past in order to get through the day. Good stuff. We should be.

But I’m thinking sometimes we need to take time to camp on the future. Be occupied with the coming King. Let our imaginations run wild. Let our hearts overflow, bursting their banks. Our tongue ready to let flow thanksgiving and praise for what is yet to come as, by faith, we count it as certainty. To think about such things as the King in His majestic splendor. To be preoccupied with the pleasing theme of the Christ and His glorious appearing.

Doing so, by His grace, depending on the Spirit’s illumination.

Preoccupied with such a pleasing theme, ultimately for His glory, anticipating that day when faith gives way to sight.

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