Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Genuine Worship

Psalm 50

I. God Is Coming

A. God [El, Elohim, Jehovah] has spoken to the entire world; the Judge is ready to pass sentence. 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)

B. God consumes as He comes. “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.” (Psalm 50:3) “And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” (Exodus 33:19)

C. God will settle accounts. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.” (Psalm 50:4)

D. All doubt about God’s authority above everything will disappear when He gathers the world to stand judgment. 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 50:5-6) “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:31)

II. God Demands Appropriate Worship

A. God has a charge to bring against His people. “Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.” (Psalm 50:7) To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” (Proverbs 21:3) “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6)

B. God did not object to the offerings being made but to the implications in which they were cloaked; God does not need offerings in the form of bribes. 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.” (Psalm 50:8-11)

C. God needs nothing and, if He did, He would not ask His creatures for it. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.” (Psalm 50:12) “Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth. The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.” (Psalm 115:15-16)

D. God prefers sacrifices of genuine thanks and integrity to bloody offerings. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:” (Psalm 50:13-14)

E. The faithful can expect help from God for simply asking but unrepentant evil people can sacrifice all they want without interesting God. “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. 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?” (Psalm 50:15-16) [Literally—But to the evildoer Elohim saith: How doest thou dare to tell My statutes, And that thou takest My covenant into thy mouths].

F. When people refuse to be corrected and then side with evildoers, their worship provokes rather than pleases God. Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.” (Psalm 50:17-18)

III. When People Ignore God, He Notices and Acts

A. People are always ready to distort the truth. “Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.” (Psalm 50:19) “Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.” (Psalm 31:18)

B. The closest human bonds count for nothing. “Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son.” (Psalm 50:20)

C. When people do these things, they imply that God has a shadowy character and approves what they do, but He will not. 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.” (Psalm 50:21)

D. Consider this when you forget God: He will destroy anyone who ignores Him and no one will be able to stop Him. “Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.” (Psalm 50:22)

E. People who do what God requires will be gloriously saved. “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:23) “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (1 Peter 2:9)

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