Spirit of God, I quiet myself before You today. Help me to hear Your voice.
Read Psalm 50
A psalm of Asaph.
1 The Mighty One, God, the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to where it sets.
2 From Zion, perfect in beauty,
God shines forth.
3 Our God comes
and will not be silent;
a fire devours before him,
and around him a tempest rages.
4 He summons the heavens above,
and the earth, that he may judge his people:
5 “Gather to me this consecrated people,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
6 And the heavens proclaim his righteousness,
for he is a God of justice.[a][b]
7 “Listen, my people, and I will speak;
I will testify against you, Israel:
I am God, your God.
8 I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices
or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
9 I have no need of a bull from your stall
or of goats from your pens,
10 for every animal of the forest is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird in the mountains,
and the insects in the fields are mine.
12 If I were hungry I would not tell you,
for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
14 “Sacrifice thank offerings to God,
fulfill your vows to the Most High,
15 and call on me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
16 But to the wicked person, God says:
“What right have you to recite my laws
or take my covenant on your lips?
17 You hate my instruction
and cast my words behind you.
18 When you see a thief, you join with him;
you throw in your lot with adulterers.
19 You use your mouth for evil
and harness your tongue to deceit.
20 You sit and testify against your brother
and slander your own mother’s son.
21 When you did these things and I kept silent,
you thought I was exactly[c] like you.
But I now arraign you
and set my accusations before you.
22 “Consider this, you who forget God,
or I will tear you to pieces, with no one to rescue you:
23 Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me,
and to the blameless[d] I will show my salvation.”
a Psalm 50:6 With a different word division of the Hebrew; Masoretic Text for God himself is judge
b Psalm 50:6 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.
c Psalm 50:21 Or thought the ‘I am’ was
d Psalm 50:23 Probable reading of the original Hebrew text; the meaning of the Masoretic Text for this phrase is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectWhat does God want from you?
When it was my birthday, the family asked for my wish list and I could honestly say I didn’t want or need anything—I am already blessed with so much! What do you give the person who has everything?
In Psalm 50, the Lord describes himself as having everything (9–12) and being able to do anything (1–4). But there is one thing missing—and so he brings charges against his people. Because this psalm is a wake-up call for God’s consecrated people, to warn them that they have ceased giving him the honor due to him as their God. Their method was correct (8), but the motive was not heartfelt. What does God ask for (14,15,23)? Sometimes it is a sacrifice to worship God—a sacrifice of praise can be costly (Heb. 13:15). As King David said, “I’m not going to offer God, my God, sacrifices that are no sacrifice” (2 Sam. 24:24, The Message).
But empty worship wasn’t the only thing worrying God. What else had they done for which they needed to repent (16–22)? Perhaps you’ve felt far from God recently; maybe you’ve said or done hurtful things (18–20). As we turn our desperate hearts to God again, he promises to help (15,23).
Sometimes Sunday worship feels like going through the motions. How can you worship God with thanksgiving and honor? Choose to worship today whether you feel like it or not.
Lord, You are my God. I choose to worship You for who You are.