Psalm 50:1-6

Good News Translation (GNT)

"Hebrew Title:
 A psalm by Asaph."


  1  The Almighty God, the Lord, speaks; he calls
   to the whole earth from east to west.
  2  God shines from Zion, the city perfect in its
  3  Our God is coming, but not in silence; a
   raging fire is in front of him, a furious storm
   around him.
  4  He calls heaven and earth as witnesses
   to see him judge his people.
  5  He says, "Gather my faithful people to me,
   those who made a covenant with me by
   offering a sacrifice."
  6  The heavens proclaim that God is righteous,
   that he himself is judge.


Commentary taken from 'word-on-the-web'
supplied by Scripture Union

'True Worship'

    Psalm 50:1-60

The legal language and setting in Psalm 50 are hard to miss.

The scene is a cosmic courtroom, represented by Jerusalem, and the time is all time (v 1).

A universal summons is issued by God (v. 1) and the purpose of the gathering is clear - the judgment of His people (v. 4).

The Lord makes His grand entry, (Psalm 50:2-3), as the righteous and just judge (v. 6).

The Lord describes himself as being able to do anything (vs 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 honour due to him as their God.

What does God ask for? Sometimes it is a sacrifice to worship God - a sacrifice of praise can be costly (Hebrews 13:15).

The audience consists of those who made a covenant with God. The speaker is God, calling upon them to renew their vows. He speaks with authority, for he is a God of faithfulness, one who does what is right according to his relationship with his people.

He comes to judge - not necessarily to condemn (as we often think of judging), but to decide between his people (John 3:17,18).

The temptation to seek favour with God by outward things has never gone away. Do we deceive ourselves by the value we place on 'Christian' practices?

What God wants first in our worship is faithfulness (without our neglect of these other good things). He finds this faithfulness in ears that listen to his words and hands that do them, a mind that separates itself from thieves and adulterers, lips that speak truth from the heart.

I have always loved Psalm 15, which mirrors this psalm beautifully with some specific examples that speak powerfully across the centuries.

Jesus made the same point with the story of the Pharisee and the tax-collector (Luke 18:9-14).

Other versions are available here

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