Sunday Devotional 9th 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 50:5-6 – “5Gather My godly ones to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice. 6 And the heavens declare His righteousness, For God Himself is judge. Selah.”
Note how God clearly distinguishes who are truly His. It is those who have made a covenant with Him. Covenants were serious commitments and were taken extremely seriously in Biblical times. The covenant was ratified by the slaying of victims which was symbolised by the cutting and dividing of offerings. It was a symbol of death for those who fail to keep it.
Ultimately God will gather all those who have made a commitment to Him to be tried and tested on their sincerity and their heart to pursue His ways and truth. All things done for outward appearance alone, which Jesus confronted the Pharisees and Sadducees with, will fail the test when it is revealed they were more interested in public acclamation than embracing His truth.
Verse 6 says that the heavens shall declare his righteousness. Men and women in places of authority may well be deceived by the actions and selfish motives of some people – but God will not be. He is all discerning and He will, at this time, not be represented by anyone. He will be sitting in the judgment seat Himself. He will reveal what was in the heart of each person when their life is judged. All truth shall be revealed.
When God comes forth to judge His people, His presence will not be calm and quiet. Asaph used two fearful images to describe God’s appearance in judgment: a consuming fire and a raging storm (Exodus 24:17; Hebrews 12:29). Both heavenly and earthly beings will be summoned to witness His judgment. It should be noted that all those who are truly in Christ do not have any threat to their issue of salvation, but their works will be judged and put to test with fire. They will be rewarded only for the works that stand these judgements (those things done truly as according to the Way of the Lord).
What this tells us is that everything we have done as believers will be inspected and evaluated by Him. If we have been faithful to Him, we will be gloriously rewarded. If we have been unfaithful, we will suffer the devastating loss of the rewards we could have received (1 Corinthians 3:8–15).
The best thing we can do during our time on earth is prepare for this evaluation by ensuring that we remain ever faithful to Him, in all that we do and speak.
The POSB Bible commentary gives us some excellent advice regarding this. It tells us to,
- Walk in holiness, resisting temptation and obeying God’s commands (Romans 6:19; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:13).
- Give the Lord first place in our lives above the temporary things of this world (Matthew 6:33).
- Offer ourselves as living sacrifices to Him, pursuing, and following His will rather than our own (Hebrews 12:1–2).
- Practice discipline and self-control so we might be qualified to be used by the Lord (2 Corinthians 9:24–27).
- Patiently and faithfully endure trials, temptations, and tribulations (Jas. 1:12; Revelation 2:10).
- Labour to bring others to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 2:19)
- Look for the return of Christ (2 Timothy 4:8).
What a joy that the Scriptures warn us of this time to come, ensuring that we can face it with much joy and expectation rather than fear and trepidation.
Let’s truly embrace this today.
God bless you.