Hello, my friend. These are beautiful days, when our hearts feel liberated and our bodies refreshed. In fact, these are days when one would like just to go to some mountain range and bask in the glory of God. So PSALM 50 begins with the Psalmists effort to speak a bit about God’s glory, in vs. 1, “The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets… God shines forth, Our God comes and will not be silent…” And we are stirred with anticipation to hear what the Mighty One, God, the Lord has to say. I am reminded of Isaiah’s recurring statement about God, in chapter 45, “Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker…I am the Lord and there is no other, vs. 5 and 9, “Surely God is with you and there is no other, there is no other God” vs. 14; “I am the Lord and there is no other”, vs. 18; “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God and there is no other,” vs.22. I love these strong declarations about our Mighty One, God, the Lord.
So as we wait to hear what the Lord says in Psalm 50, we immediately notice that the writer declares emphatically that all things belong to the Lord, as God says, “Every animal of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, the creatures of the field are mine…the world is mine and all that is in it” (vss.10-12.) That, my friend, makes it clear that we belong to Him. He looks at us today and says, with such love, “You are mine!” As vs 15 says, we call upon him in the day of trouble, knowing he will deliver us, and we honor Him.
But then notice the radical change, as He speaks to unbelievers who have rejected Him. He says, “What right have you to recite my laws or take my covenant on your lips? You hate my instruction and cast my words behind you.” In other words, the Lord defines wicked people as people who quote Scripture, are familiar with the Word of God, but who refuse to be obedient, or, in effect, cast God’s words behind them. Asaph continues to describe some things that even religious people do, a series of astonishing things, dishonesty, sexual impurity, disrespect of family and slandering even a brother. And the Psalmist says, “Consider this, you who forget God…”
And he closes this great Psalm by saying, “He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way, so that he may be shown the way of God.” This is a remarkable contrast between people who are walking with God and hypocrites who think that mouthing Scripture, even quoting creeds without obedience, can help them. We all need to be reminded of this danger of pretending to be what we know we are not. God will help us, as He speaks to us.
“Thank you, Lord, for a Psalm like this that does indeed stir us to review our motives and remind us of the danger of a half-hearted walk. We are thankful that we belong to you; help us to live that way. Bless my friend who is alongside, with whatever need, there may be, especially little ones, Lord. Thank you for your presence.”
And thank you, friend, for yours. Great to be together. Cheerio!
These meditations on the Psalms were written by Village Schools of the Bible Founder, Monty Sholund and first published in book form as Monty’s Musings on the Psalms in 2000.