Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Reflecting on the Pslams: Chapter 50

Psalm 50

A Psalm of Asaph.

1The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.
2Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.
3Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.
4He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.
5Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.
6And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.
7Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.
8I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.
9I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.
10For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
11I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.
12If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.
13Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
14Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:
15And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
16But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?
17Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee.
18When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.
19Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.
20Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son.
21These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.
22Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.

23Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

Chapter 50

This chapter starts out by describing the judgment and how God will work in that. "The perfection of beauty" (v. 2) means to mean that Christ, or should I say Christ in the flesh, will be visible to all and He'll be easily made out since no one looks like him and since no one's flesh will compare to His beauty. Maybe that'll be discernment from God at work -- I dunno -- but I imagine that He will someone influence to His people so they know that Christ can't be missed and that He came to judge. "A fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him" (v. 3) reminds of the fact that God is an all-consuming fire. I imagine that fire will not only be something to associate with Jesus but also a sign that it'll be Him. I'm not sure what effect the all-consuming aspect will have on those who have rebelled against God, but I imagine it wouldn't be a good one. Matthew Henry comments on verses 4-5 by stating the following: "In the great day, our God shall come, and make those hear his judgement who would not hearken to his law. Happy are those who come into the covenant of grace, by faith in the Redeemer's atoning sacrifice, and show the sincerity of their love by fruits of righteousness. When God rejects the services of those who rest in outside performances, he will graciously accept those who seek him aright." I don't have anything to add to that -- I just thought I'd share Henry's insight. I don't fear being judged, though (v. 4), and I wanted to make a point about verse 5. What it means to me is that since I have accepted Christ's redemption -- His death on the cross -- I have made a covenant with Him by sacrifice. I like how that verse is phrased, I guess, and at first I didn't really know what it meant. I thought the implication was animal sacrifices, but know I now what it's talking about. That's the value of reading it again, I guess. Anyway, if I didn't accept His redemption, then I wouldn't end up being gathered with Him. He will protect me from any kind of tribulation during the last days, which is great. I believe I will have to face the tribulation on earth and it's not just something that's just saved for the non-believers, as the Left Behind series says. That verse reminds me of the fact that God will be there with me in the midst of what will be quite a trial. I will thank God for His protection (v. 6). In verse 7, God is pointing out His charges against Israel, which are described in verses 8-9. I will comment on verse 8, which reminds me of Hosea 6:6, which says, "For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings." That verse and verse 8 mean to that, as a favorite pastor of mine puts it, "God doesn't want your burnt offerings and sasrifices -- He wants your love." I'm glad I don't have to make sacrifices to God because I'd probably fail at doing so. I love God and it's cool that I express that Him in so many ways and am not limited to burnt offerings and sacrifices. I see verse 9 as a continuation of verse 8 since it seems to be talking about the animals that would be used for burnt offerings and sacrifices -- bulls and goats. I said all that had to say about verse 9, but in verses 10-13 I am reminded that God's creation belongs to Him and He doesn't want them being used for burnt offerings and sacrifices.

Now I think I'll talk about verses 14-23. God wants my love (v. 14), as I pointed out when discussing verse 8 and Hosea 6:6, so just look at my reflection on that. Verses 15-22, I think I'll talk about. In verse 15, I am reminded of my darkest moment, which I've talked about before. I can compare with the description of the burnt offereings and the sacrifices, which are described in verses 8-9 and 14. I see those verses as trying to deal with my problems my own way instead of depending on God to help me out during my tribulation period. He did help me out, though, and I think it expresses love to Him when one lets Him know he or she needs help. In a way, I see it as submitting to God and His will. God does not speak well of the wicked (vv. 16-18). I see the deceptions of the tongue that can result from one's evil nature in verses 19-20. I'd hate to get involved with anyone that says evil things to me (v. 19) and slanders against me (v. 20). Now, I don't have any bothers or sisters, but I suppose verse 20 still applies to me because there could be someone in my life who slanders against me, which God wouldn't like. I will God take care of those who slander against His people since vengeance belongs to Him. In verse 21, "thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself" means that the wicked person thought God associated with Him was OK with the actions described in verses 17-20 I thought I'd clear up that part of verse 21 in case there was any confusion. I am also reminded in verse 21 that God hates sin and He won't allow any one sin to enter heaven. So God wants those who live in sin and live a life where they think they can somehow gain an advantage over Him by living a life where they don't think they'll be held accountable for their sins to come to Him and repent and live a life for Him, which is kind of what get out of verses 22-23. I thought Henry had an interesting insight on verse 23, which says, "We must praise God, sacrifice praise, put it into the hands of the Priest, our Lord Jesus, who is also the altar: we must be fervent in spirit, praising the Lord. Let us thankfully accept God's mercy, and endeavour to glorify him in word and deed." So I'd say that verses 22-23 still apply to me even though I've already accepted Christ into me life. I must not forgot God or else there will be consequences (v. 22). I could forget God by living a life of a sin, which could happen, but isn't very likely since I have no desire to live that kind of life. I am capable of falling, though, and so is any other Christian. I continue to do things which glorify God as well as trust in Him (v. 23). Salvation is something attained by faith alone and I suppose I glorify God by putting my faith in Him, which is something I'd have to think about for another discussion.

                                                    Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 50". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <http://www.searchgodsword.org/com/mhc-con/view.cgi?book=ps&chapter=050>. 

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