PSALM 50#A covenant lawsuit stating that the sacrifice God really wants is the sacrifice of praise accompanied by genuine obedience (cf. Mi 6:1–8). It begins with a theophany and the summoning of the court (Ps 50:1–6). Then in direct address God explains what is required of the faithful (Ps 50:7–15), rebukes the hypocritical worshiper (Ps 50:16–21), and concludes with a threat and a promise (Ps 50:22–23; cf. Is 1:19–20).
The Acceptable Sacrifice
1A psalm of Asaph.
The God of gods, the Lord,
has spoken and summoned the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting.#a. [50:1] Dt 10:17; Jos 22:22.
2From Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth.#b. [50:2] Ps 48:2.
3Our God comes and will not be silent!
Devouring fire precedes him,
it rages strongly around him.#c. [50:3] Ps 97:3; Dn 7:10.
4He calls to the heavens above
and to the earth to judge his people:
5“Gather my loyal ones to me,
those who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
6The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
for God himself is the judge.#d. [50:6] Ps 19:2; 97:6.Selah
7“Listen, my people, I will speak;
Israel, I will testify against you;
God, your God, am I.
8Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
your burnt offerings are always before me.
9I will not take a bullock from your house,
or he-goats from your folds.#e. [50:9] Ps 69:32; Am 5:21–22.
10For every animal of the forest is mine,
beasts by the thousands on my mountains.
11I know every bird in the heights;
whatever moves in the wild is mine.
12Were I hungry, I would not tell you,
for mine is the world and all that fills it.#f. [50:12] Ps 24:1; 89:12; Dt 10:14; 1 Cor 10:26.
13Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of he-goats?
14Offer praise as your sacrifice to God;#g. [50:14] Heb 13:15.
fulfill your vows to the Most High.
15Then call on me on the day of distress;#h. [50:15] Ps 77:3.
I will rescue you, and you shall honor me.”
16But to the wicked God says:
“Why do you recite my commandments
and profess my covenant with your mouth?
17You hate discipline;
you cast my words behind you!
18If you see a thief, you run with him;
with adulterers you throw in your lot.
19You give your mouth free rein for evil;
you yoke your tongue to deceit.
20You sit and speak against your brother,
slandering your mother’s son.
21When you do these things should I be silent?
Do you think that I am like you?
I accuse you, I lay out the matter before your eyes.
22“Now understand this, you who forget God,
lest I start ripping apart and there be no rescuer.
23Those who offer praise as a sacrifice honor me;
I will let him whose way is steadfast
look upon the salvation of God.”#i. [50:23] Ps 91:16.