Psalm 45 celebrates the marriage of an idealized Israelite king. In view of the New Testament’s use of this Psalm (Hebrews 1) and the frequent scriptural use of the marriage metaphor to describe God’s relationship to His people, we read the psalm as a celebration of Christ’s relationship to His church.
Then the King will desire your beauty. Because He is your Lord, bow down to Him (v. 11).
What does it mean for the church to bow before her heavenly husband? An ancient earthly example may help us sense the flavor of this verse. Bathsheba was King David’s favorite wife. God had chosen her son Solomon to be King after David, and David had conveyed this promise to Bathsheba and Solomon. However, in David’s old age, one of his other sons, Adonijah, proclaimed himself king without David’s knowledge. This immediately put the lives of Bathsheba and Solomon in danger. If nothing were done, Adonijah would kill them as soon as David died. So Bathsheba went into the king’s bedroom to ask him to straighten things out (which he did). This is how she came—
So Bathsheba went in to the king in the bedroom. Now the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was ministering to the king. 16 Then Bathsheba bowed and prostrated herself before the king. And the king said, "What do you wish?" (1 Kings 1:15-16).
After David had spoken with Nathan the prophet about the situation, he called for Bathsheba to come back in.
Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground, and prostrated herself before the king and said, “May my lord King David live forever” (v.31).
Think about this. David and Bathsheba might have been married two decades by this time. She was his favorite wife. Her son was the designated heir. But when she comes in before the king, she kneels down and bends over until her face is on the floor. David is her lord. David is her king as well as her husband. That is what Psalm 45:11 means when it says, Because He is your Lord, bow down to Him.
We must never become so familiar with Jesus Christ that we treat Him like one of our buddies. You and your neighbor may just walk into each other’s houses without knocking—there are some people who do that—but you cannot do that with the Lord Jesus Christ. Even though He loves you, and He wants to spend time listening to you and talking to you, He is still too great a king for you to treat Him with casual disrespect. He is never too busy for you. Your smallest troubles or blessings are not beneath His notice. He wants to hear about them. But still, He is the King, and like Bathsheba, when you come into His presence, humble yourself before Him. He is worthy of your worship because He is a glorious husband and He will transform His people by His grace into a glorious bride.