A Word from the Word

The Beauty of Righteousness


Psalm 45:7–8

You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; from palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad.     NIV

Those words are addressed prophetically by the psalmist to the Lord Jesus. They are a picture of Jesus – His character, His attitude and the reason why the Lord exalted Jesus.

It’s important for us to understand that Jesus was not treated as a favored Son. He was not given promotion that He had not earned, but He earned His promotion and the reason given here is His attitude in moral matters. The psalmist says, “You love righteousness and hate wickedness, therefore God has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” It was the attitude of Jesus in the matters of righteousness and wickedness that caused God to promote Him.

Notice that there’s no neutrality in these matters. If we love righteousness, we will hate wickedness. We cannot compromise with it. And notice also the beauty that goes with righteousness: the fragrance of myrrh and aloes and cassia and the melody of strings from a place of ivory palaces. What a beautiful picture that is of righteousness and how righteousness causes God to exalt those who practice it.