Psalm 50A Psalm of Asaph
1 The Mighty One, God, is the Lord; He has spoken and summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. 2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shined. 3 Our God will come, and will not keep silent; a fire consumes before Him, and a strong tempest is around Him. 4 He calls to the heavens above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people: 5 “Gather My faithful ones together to Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.” 6 The heavens will declare His righteousness, for God Himself is judge. Selah
7 “Hear, O My people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testify against you; I am God, even your God. 8 I will not reprove you for your sacrifices or for your burnt offerings that are continually before Me. 9 I will take no young bull out of your house, nor male goats out of your folds. 10 For every wild animal of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know every bird of the mountains, and the creatures that move in the field are Mine. 12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all its fullness. 13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? 14 Sacrifice a thank offering to God, and pay your vows to the Most High, 15 and call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will glorify Me.” 16 But to the wicked God says: “What right have you to declare My statutes, or take My covenant in your mouth? 17 You hate instruction, and cast My words behind you. 18 When you see a thief, you are pleased, and have a share in those who commit adultery. 19 You let loose your mouth to evil, and your tongue is bound to deceit. 20 You sit and speak against your brother; you accuse your own mother’s son. 21 These things have you done, and I kept silent; you thought that I was indeed like you; but I will reprove you and make a case before your eyes. 22 “Now consider this, you who forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver: 23 Whoever sacrifices a thank offering glorifies Me and makes a way; I will show him the salvation of God.”
In this psalm (which we read tomorrow), God reminds us of His coming judgment upon the peoples of this world and, more specifically, of His judgment upon those who claim to be believers and take His name upon their lips.
God does not desire faithless sacrifices and rituals. He will judge those who go through the motions of sacrifice and worship but whose hearts remain impenitent and without true faith in Christ and His atoning sacrifice upon the cross.
And, indeed, those who continue on in their sinful ways, impenitent, have no right to call themselves Christian or to take God’s covenant of mercy upon their lips. Their worship and sacrifices are worthless and God does not desire them.
Rather, God desires true repentance — that we agree with God about our utter sinfulness and trust in Him to mercifully forgive our sins and accept us as His dear children for the sake of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for the sins of the world. He desires repentance which produces the fruits of repentance — thanking God for His goodness and mercy, paying our vows to the Lord, calling upon Him in times of trouble.
God will judge the wicked, but those who repent and look to Him for mercy for the sake of Christ Jesus will see the salvation of God.
And so, I ask you before God, are you truly sorry for all your sins, in thoughts, words, and actions? Do you look in faith to Christ Jesus and His cross for mercy and forgiveness? Do you desire, with the help and aid of God the Holy Spirit, to amend your sinful ways and live for Your God and Savior in accord with His Word?
If so, I, in the name of the Triune God, announce unto you the grace of God and forgive you all your sins for the sake of Jesus’ holy life and innocent sufferings and death in your stead. Go in peace! Amen.
[Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.]