Psalm 50 – The Message
An Asaph Psalm
1-3 The God of gods—it’s God!—speaks out, shouts, “Earth!”
welcomes the sun in the east,
farewells the disappearing sun in the west.
From the dazzle of Zion,
God blazes into view.
Our God makes his entrance,
he’s not shy in his coming.
Starbursts of fireworks precede him.
4-5 He summons heaven and earth as a jury,
he’s taking his people to court:
“Round up my saints who swore
on the Bible their loyalty to me.”
6 The whole cosmos attests to the fairness of this court,
that here God is judge.
7-15 “Are you listening, dear people? I’m getting ready to speak;
Israel, I’m about ready to bring you to trial.
This is God, your God,
speaking to you.
I don’t find fault with your acts of worship,
the frequent burnt sacrifices you offer.
But why should I want your blue-ribbon bull,
or more and more goats from your herds?
Every creature in the forest is mine,
the wild animals on all the mountains.
I know every mountain bird by name;
the scampering field mice are my friends.
If I get hungry, do you think I’d tell you?
All creation and its bounty are mine.
Do you think I feast on venison?
or drink draughts of goats’ blood?
Spread for me a banquet of praise,
serve High God a feast of kept promises,
And call for help when you’re in trouble—
I’ll help you, and you’ll honor me.”
16-21 Next, God calls up the wicked:
“What are you up to, quoting my laws,
talking like we are good friends?
You never answer the door when I call;
you treat my words like garbage.
If you find a thief, you make him your buddy;
adulterers are your friends of choice.
Your mouth drools filth;
lying is a serious art form with you.
You stab your own brother in the back,
rip off your little sister.
I kept a quiet patience while you did these things;
you thought I went along with your game.
I’m calling you on the carpet, now,
laying your wickedness out in plain sight.
22-23 “Time’s up for playing fast and
loose with me.
I’m ready to pass sentence,
and there’s no help in sight!
It’s the praising life that honors me.
As soon as you set your foot on the Way,
I’ll show you my salvation.”
My first reaction to this Psalm is “OH snap!” This is one of those Psalms that is a real gut check for us as Christians, as worshipers of God. First off you notice that God is coming to speak to us. The God of God, King of Kings, the GOD, our God, Yahwah. He is coming to judge us, not our neighbor us. It starts out all warm and fuzzy with a big thumbs up from God, he approves of our worship. But asks do we really need to sacrifice in this way. Al that is sacrificed is already his. Now we don’t kill animals as sacrifice as Christians. To put it into context . . . we sing songs of praise. God though created song, created, music and sound. By lifting up songs to him are we really truly worshiping GOD? Perhaps, there is nothing wrong with the singing of worship songs, I find huge amounts of joy in worshiping my creator in such a way. The point God wants us to get is this: we need to worship him authentically and truly. It could be through song, driving, hi-fiving teenagers, playing Wii, raking leaves. Anything . . . it could be eating sushi.
The second half of the Psalm is where the real judgment occurs. For those that look good on the outside but in the shadows and in their heart are truly evil and do not care what God says or about the people around them. Another gut check. We could be these people and God is calling us out. Grace though has not left us . . . we still have a chance to change and be true worshipers. That is all this Psalm is really calling for are the true worshipers of God. The ones that find God and praise him in the simplest of things, a laugh, the sunset, a rainbow . . . really good chicken, even not so good chicken.
Questions for digging:
1. Think hard: Are you a true worshiper, a going through the motions or are you not even close?
2. Are you so attached to worship songs that the worship has gone out of them? How can you change this?
3. What is your favorite and most truthful way to worship your creator God?
4. Do you know that God approves your worship?
5. Do you know that God loves you and wants to know you no matter where you fall on the worship spectrum?