Psalms 50

Psalm 50

God Himself Is Judge

A Psalm of Asaph.

50   The Mighty One, God the LORD,
    speaks and summons the earth
    from the rising of the sun to its setting.
  Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
    God shines forth.
  Our God comes; he does not keep silence;
    before him is a devouring fire,
    around him a mighty tempest.
  He calls to the heavens above
    and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
  “Gather to me my faithful ones,
    who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
  The heavens declare his righteousness,
    for God himself is judge! Selah
  “Hear, O my people, and I will speak;
    O Israel, I will testify against you.
    I am God, your God.
  Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
    your burnt offerings are continually before me.
  I will not accept a bull from your house
    or goats from your folds.
  For every beast of the forest is mine,
    the cattle on a thousand hills.
  I know all the birds of the hills,
    and all that moves in the field is mine.
  “If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
    for the world and its fullness are mine.
  Do I eat the flesh of bulls
    or drink the blood of goats?
  Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
    and perform your vows to the Most High,
  and call upon me in the day of trouble;
    I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
  But to the wicked God says:
    “What right have you to recite my statutes
    or take my covenant on your lips?
  For you hate discipline,
    and you cast my words behind you.
  If you see a thief, you are pleased with him,
    and you keep company with adulterers.
  “You give your mouth free rein for evil,
    and your tongue frames deceit.
  You sit and speak against your brother;
    you slander your own mother’s son.
  These things you have done, and I have been silent;
    you thought that I was one like yourself.
  But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.
  “Mark this, then, you who forget God,
    lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!
  The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
    to one who orders his way rightly
    I will show the salvation of God!”


Psalm 50 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

What does our praise look like when we face trouble and adversity? Or, do we praise at all?

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.”

Psalms 50:14-15 ESV

When we read this verse, it makes a lot of sense in theory. However, realistically, it’s not always this simple, right? For example, we may call upon the Lord today and see nothing about our circumstances change. We may praise Him tomorrow and find our situation has worsened. I personally get agitated with those who have impatient spiritual expectations for such promises.

“You just don’t have enough faith,” some will say. “There is probably a hidden sin issue somewhere,” others might remark. Those who are quick to give advice and slow to listen quite possibly only know God on a superficial level. He’s just a genie who responds accordingly to the commands. If He doesn’t, well.. it must be something we’re doing wrong (as if we can manipulate God).

And while those statements certainly *may* be true (lack of faith & sin issue), they ultimately are just a rubber stamp answer to someone’s complex and urgent life issues. Without knowing details or having a solid relationship with the individual, the statement itself is arrogant, insensitive, and quite possibly sinful. What I find interesting is that we find much deeper answers in Scripture (imagine that).

Take the life of Elisha the prophet as an example. He was a righteous man. Through the Holy Spirit, he performed unbelievable miracles including the resurrection of the Shunammite’s son (2Ki 4:34), the healing of Naaman (2Ki 5:14), and the resurrection of the man touched by his bones (2Ki 13:21). However, we also read in 2 Kings 13 that Elisha falls sick with a disease and dies. The same righteous man who healed sickness and raised people from the dead was struck with a terminal illness himself.

Did he not have enough faith to heal himself? Did he have a sin issue? The Bible gives absolutely no indication that either of these was true. His body was human just like all of us, and it was prone to disease and infection. In other words, there is no spiritual reason given for the illness and death of Elisha.

Let’s go to the New Testament and the apostle Paul. He also performed countless miracles and was no doubt a pioneer of the Christian faith. He prayed for a thorn to be removed from his flesh which was allowed by God to torment him to prevent him from being puffed up with pride. We read that God allowed this to happen because “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

So, because God considered it something that was required in order for Paul to be the follower he needed to be, Paul went on considering it a gift and a blessing. Let’s hear that again. Paul considered his weakness that God allowed a blessing. No sin issue was mentioned. No lack of faith, either. In fact, Paul boasted in this weakness because God connected His grace to His power. Paul knew that through struggle, hardship, persecution, and torment, God’s power was becoming a reality in his life.

Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of my point. He embraced God’s will for Him to become weak (crucifixion) before becoming strong (resurrection).

The Bottom Line

So, what’s the point, and how does this apply to Psalm 50? I return to my original question. What does it look like to praise and worship God in the midst of trouble and adversity? Are you hyper-focused on the solution you want rather than what God may be doing currently? Are you wrongly applying rubber stamp theology to a situation where God is asking you to dig deeper? And finally, are you spending your time slandering man or worshipping God?

He is worthy of our praise and He *has* delivered us. The promise spoken of here in Psalm 50 was accomplished at the cross.

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”

Psalms 50:23 ESV

The daily battle that you face may or may not change today. Will you worship Him? Will you praise Him for what He’s already done? Despite our current struggles, Jesus is more than enough!

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