God is the Judge - Psalm 50 (Devotion)
GOD IS THE JUDGE
Psalm 50 begins with an introduction of who our God is. He is strong. He is a speaking God. He is the judge. In verse 5, we hear God speak. He calls for God’s faithful people to come to him. Verse 6 goes back to declare God is right and the judge. In verses 7 through 15, God speaks to his people a word of correction. He doesn’t need sacrifices. What does he want? What does it say?
Look a verse 14: Thanksgiving, being faithful, and prayers for deliverance.
Then in verse 16, God brings the wicked. Notice a couple of things. First, they recite God’s statues, and they proclaim God’s covenant. The New Living Translation says they pretend to obey God’s covenant. God goes on to demonstrate they do violence to God’s law by disobeying it. They hate God’s discipline. They cast his Word away. They are pleased with theft. They are okay with adultery. They speak evil. They lie. They are opposed to their brother in word. They interpret God’s silence as agreement.
I think this is a picture of our culture. We have according to the Pew Research Forum, about 70% of Americans calling themselves Christians. However, it seems that our citizenry is filled with immorality, strife, lying, and hatred. Jesus said they would know we are Christians by our love. While it is still popular, people hold onto the name Christian but do not live up to Christ’s way of love.
The wonderful part about Psalm 50 is that it ends with a gospel plea. Look at verse 22. God speaks to those who forget. That is charitable. They have forgotten. He warns them about his wrath and calls them to thanksgiving and recording one’s way, with a promise of salvation.
Jesus is our only hope. But we must acknowledge it with all our hearts, minds, and souls every day. Each day is a day of mercy, including today.
1 The Mighty One, God the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth.
3 Our God comes; he does not keep silence;
before him is a devouring fire,
around him a mighty tempest.
4 He calls to the heavens above
and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
5 “Gather to me my faithful ones,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
6 The heavens declare his righteousness,
for God himself is judge! Selah
7 “Hear, O my people, and I will speak;
O Israel, I will testify against you.
I am God, your God.
8 Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
your burnt offerings are continually before me.
9 I will not accept a bull from your house
or goats from your folds.
10 For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know all the birds of the hills,
and all that moves in the field is mine.
12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and its fullness are mine.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and perform your vows to the Most High,
15 and call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
16 But to the wicked God says:
“What right have you to recite my statutes
or take my covenant on your lips?
17 For you hate discipline,
and you cast my words behind you.
18 If you see a thief, you are pleased with him,
and you keep company with adulterers.
19 “You give your mouth free rein for evil,
and your tongue frames deceit.
20 You sit and speak against your brother;
you slander your own mother's son.
21 These things you have done, and I have been silent;
you thought that I[c] was one like yourself.
But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.
22 “Mark this, then, you who forget God,
lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!
23 The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!” (ESV)