Christianity deals in spirituality, yes, but spirituality is not to be dissociated from reality. Christ was promised, and He came, and He was just as He had been described. He did what it was foretold He would do. The knowledge of Christ spread throughout the earth, just as God said it would in Psalm 45 and elsewhere.
The pronouns in these verses are masculine singular, so these expressions are addressed to the King, not the bride. The psalmist is relating to us the words of God the Father given to the messianic King.
Instead of Your fathers shall be Your sons, whom You shall make princes in all the earth. I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore the people shall praise You forever and ever (Psalm 45:16-17).
One might insist on seeing only the ancient context here—”all this means is that the king’s marriage will produce sons, which will cause the king’s fame to live on.” But, really, that explanation doesn’t do these verses justice at all. These promises are extravagant—the King’s name shall be remembered and praised forever and ever. We have here God’s promising the King worldwide dominion and eternal worship. The scope transcends its ancient setting like the sun outshines the stars when it rises. Let’s look at these three things God says to Christ.
Princes in all the Earth
The King’s sons will be made “princes in all the earth.”
This never happened in the ancient context, not even on a small scale. Calvin commented on this passage with characteristic wisdom:
This prophecy is spoken expressly concerning Christ; for so far were the sons of Solomon from having a kingdom of such an extent, as to divide it into provinces among them, that his first successor retained only a small portion of his kingdom (John Calvin, Commentaries, vol. V, Psalms 36-92, 1:192).
The word sons can be understood metaphorically for believers. Isaiah tells us the Messiah “shall see His seed” (53:10), clearly not referring to literal children. Scripture tells us that, not physical sons, but glorified Christians will rule in the heavenly kingdom, under Christ. “The saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever” (Dan. 7:18). “If we endure, we shall also reign with Him” (2 Tim. 2:12). This glorified state of believers appears to be what the psalmist refers to.
His Name Will be Remembered
God will make the King’s name to be remembered in all generations.