Sunday Devotional 25th of June 2023
by Bruce Billington
We are continuing to explore the knowledge of God as expressed in the Psalms. This week we complete our brief look at Psalm 50 – a Psalm of Asaph.
Psalm 50:14-15 – “14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most High; 15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honour Me.”
Psalm 50:23 – “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honours Me; And to him who orders his wayaright I shall show the salvation of God.”
In the previous verses God has told His people that He did not care about their offerings if they were not given willingly from a pure heart. What He was looking for, and always will, is an internal heart of love, devotion, and gratitude before Him.
Even during the times when Israel excelled in the outward offering of visible sacrifices, God was searching or testing their hearts and only wanted anything they brought before Him, offered for the right reasons. This has never changed. It applies to all we bring before the Lord – not just our financial offerings.
The Psalmist goes to some length here to point out that God doesn’t need our sacrifices. He is self-sufficient in all things and relevant to this particular situation, could easily provide for His holy priests should the people not bring their sacrifices. He owns all the beasts of the forest and the cattle on a thousand hills (v9, 10). There is nothing we can add to His store.
From this we learn that to obey is better than sacrifice and to love God and our neighbour is the main response He is seeking from us.
What a beautiful verse, verse 15 is. Do you realise that God regards calling to Him in our days of trouble, as an offering? This really reveals His love for us. One of the reasons is obvious – in times of trouble we cry from our heart – it is a true petition with much passion in it.
God calls us to do it, with the faith that He will come to our aid and bring deliverance to us in such way and time as He thinks fit. As a result, we shall honour (glorify) Him. Our troubles, must drive us to Him, not drive us from Him. We are to acknowledge Him in ALL our ways, depend upon His wisdom, power, and goodness, and refer ourselves entirely to Him, and in such a manner, give Him glory.
So, we see an order for this here. We are first called to prayer; which is followed with a promise that God, in His time will answer; which will then result in an offering of thanksgiving from us.
The Psalmist takes a few verses to address those who are wicked, telling them that they will come to a sad end, and then concludes with a most beautiful and cherished statement to those who are sincerely His people and act in such a way.
Psalm 50:23 – “… to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God.”
If we bring our loving gratitude as a sacrifice or offering to God, we shall be instructed further and given insights to the salvation that God has for us. God is truly and properly worshipped, when His goodness is celebrated with a sincere and grateful heart.
We must bring our praise to God as a sacrifice or offering by putting it into the hands of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is also the altar. It then is made into fire, sacred fire; and kindled with the flame of holy and devout affection. As a result, we become fervent in spirit, and continue to walk in a way that brings glory to God. Matthew Henry makes a nice comment about this when he says,
Hereby we give him the glory due to his name and do what we can to advance the interests of his kingdom among men. Man’s chief end, in conjunction with this, is to enjoy God; and we are here told that those who order their conversation aright shall see his salvation. It is not enough for us to offer praise, but we must withal order our conversation aright. Thanksgiving is good, but thanks-living is better.
There is certainly so much to ponder on, as this Psalm closes off.
May God bless you.