Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Warning Of God’s Judgment

Psalm 50:1-23

A Psalm of Asaph.

“The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.  Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.” (Psalm 50:1-2)

This Psalm is a prophetic warning to Israel.  It appears to have been somewhat later, perhaps in Solomon’s day or one of the later kings, after Israel began to turn away from God.  It reminds them again of God’s warnings about keeping his covenant

“Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.  He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.  Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.  And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.” (Psalm 50:3-6)

God will not ignore their disobedience, but will judge them like a wildfire going through the land.  He will use the both the atmosphere and the soil itself to judge them.  Those who believe in him and all those who have adopted the Jewish faith, making the sacrifices will be called into Judgment for how they have served him.  and God will personally judge them,

“Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.  I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.  I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.  For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.  I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.  If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.  Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?” (Psalm 50:7-13)

God’s judgment will not be concerned with whether they have kept all the sacrifices.  Everything on earth ultimately belongs to God, and he doesn’t need what they have.  In Acts 17:24-25 Paul explained, ”God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.” 

Our offerings to him are to be demonstrations of our love and faith, rather than a tax to support him and keep from experiencing God’s wrath or a bribe to get his favor.  Sacrifices and offerings are not an obligation, nor does he depend on them to accomplish his work.  Hebrews 10:8 tells us “…Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law.”  God is not pleased by the things we give him but by our desire to do something for him. 

“Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” (Psalm 50:14-15)

In I Samuel 15:22-23 Saul had disobeyed God’s command, using the excuse that they wanted to make a sacrifice to the Lord.  “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”  God wants our love, not our attempts to buy him off.  When we thank him for what we have and keep our promises to him, we can expect him to respond when we cry out for his help. 
God said almost the same thing In Jeremiah 7:22-23.  “For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.”  Unfortunately, like the Jews, many people today are focused on doing something great for God rather than simply obeying him.   

“But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?  Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee.” (Psalm 50:16-17)

The wicked refuse to quote what God has said so others can know or to follow his instructions.  They ignore his words as unimportant, irrelevant and old fashioned.  They resent being reminded what he has said. 

“When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.  Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.  Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son. ” (Psalm 50:18-20)

The wicked refuse to get involved when they see people doing wrong, not trying to stop a thief, and even helping an adulterer get by with his sin, giving tacit approval.  They use their mouths to lie and deceive people, and to slander others or for verbal abuse, even against those they should love most. 
“These 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.  Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.” (Psalm 50:21-22)

Because God does not immediately wipe out those who do evil, people get the idea they have gotton by with sin.  II Peter 3:tells us, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  God gives people an opportunity to repent before he judges them because he cares about them.  Unfortunately some people decide it means he is unable to do anything and despise him, as Romans 2:4 states.  “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”  They don’t understand or appreciate the fact that the delay gives them a chance to make things right.  Their refusal to make things right further justifies their punishment. 

“Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:23)

A person who praises God shows him honor and respect, and Hebrews 13:15 defines praise as “…the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”  The original meaning of conversation was of one’s lifestyle rather than just his talk as it is now used.  A person who lives his life properly will be shown God’s salvation.  While the good works will not save the person, they guarantee he will be given the opportunity to be saved.

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