Sunday Devotional 4th 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 50:1-4 – “1 The Mighty One, God, the LORD, has spoken, And summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. 2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shone forth. 3 May our God come and not keep silence; Fire devours before Him, And it is very tempestuous around Him. 4 He summons the heavens above, And the earth, to judge His people:”
Here we have three wonderful names for God – in the original Hebrew they are El, Elohim and Jehovah. They describe God as Almighty, the Revered one, as the only and perfect object of adoration and as the self-existent One. The passage here reveals that the dominion of Jehovah extends over the whole earth, and therefore to all humanity as His decree has directed. He moulds and shapes history to suit His own plan. He makes the whole earth His audience as He makes His decrees. They stand over all of time.
This Psalm goes on to make a statement that we all need to consider. One day each of us will stand in God’s holy courtroom as individuals to be judged! This psalm warns us about two areas in which we will be evaluated: our worship and our obedience to God’s commands.
As the writers Keil and Delitzsche state,
He cannot, He dare not keep silence, His glory will not allow it. He who gave the Law, will enter into judgment with those who have it and do not keep it.
Historically, this Psalm was addressed to the Hebrew people. God summoned them into His courtroom to judge them for their heartless worship and hypocritical lives. However, it does not stop there. It serves as a warning to all of God’s people: we need to prepare for the day when we will stand before the Lord.
The Psalm addresses this in strong speech. As the Psalm makes clear in following verses – this vehement mode of address was made in His dealing with hypocrites, that they might be roused from their complacent security, and give their serious attention to the voice and requirements of the Lord – they are not to be trifled with. All this extended further than just to Israel. It goes out to all the earth. God demands that His ways be followed and those who don’t, despite any religious ceremonies or acts of piety they may perform, will ultimately be held accountable for it.
There is something else to be emphasised here. Using the names the Psalmist does for God in these verses, identifies Him as the same God as the Hebrews had come to know when He appeared before them on Mount Sinai. Here He came with thunder, lightning, a flaming mountain, and other such happenings, giving a terrifying display of power which the people fled from and refused to engage with Him, except through Moses. God wanted to reiterate this was He, the same God, who the people were dealing with and were going to stand before at the end of the age.
This Psalm speaks to all of us, as the holy people of God. It serves as a reminder that we ought to be consistent with our walk, and not act as if we are were an exception to His patterns and requirements of godliness.
Yes, His mercies are new every morning, and yes, the blood of Jesus Christ His Son, cleanses us from all sin – but this is never to be used as an excuse to disregard the way of the Lord and willingly rebel and defy His requirements for how we should live and behave.
The statement that says, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, came from a new covenant writer (Hebrews 10:31). God is not to be trifled with, at any time, even for those who are in Christ.
God bless you.