Psalm 50

A Psalm by Asaph.
1 The Mighty One, God, the LORD, speaks, and calls the earth from sunrise to sunset. 2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines out. 3 Our God comes, and does not keep silent. A fire devours before him. It is very stormy around him. 4 He calls to the heavens above, to the earth, that he may judge his people: 5 “Gather my saints together to me, those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” 6 The heavens shall declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge. Selah. 7 “Hear, my people, and I will speak; Israel, and I will testify against you. I am God, your God. 8 I don’t rebuke you for your sacrifices. Your burnt offerings are continually before me. 9 I have no need for a bull from your stall, nor male goats from your pens. 10 For every animal of the forest is mine, and the livestock on a thousand hills. 11 I know all the birds of the mountains. The wild animals of the field are mine. 12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it. 13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? 14 Offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Pay your vows to the Most High. 15 Call on me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” 16 But to the wicked God says, “What right do you have to declare my statutes, that you have taken my covenant on your lips, 17 since you hate instruction, and throw my words behind you? 18 When you saw a thief, you consented with him, and have participated with adulterers. 19 You give your mouth to evil. Your tongue frames deceit. 20 You sit and speak against your brother. You slander your own mother’s son. 21 You have done these things, and I kept silent. You thought that I was just like you. I will rebuke you, and accuse you in front of your eyes. 22 Now consider this, you who forget God, lest I tear you into pieces, and there be no one to deliver. 23 Whoever offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving glorifies me, and prepares his way so that I will show God’s salvation to him.”

(Previous Chapter)    •    (Next Chapter)

Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–6

This psalm is a psalm of instruction. It tells of the coming of Christ and the day of judgment, in which God will call men to account; and the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of judgement. All the children of men are concerned to know the right way of worshipping the Lord, in spirit and in truth. In the great day, our God shall come, and make those hear his judgement who would not hearken to his law. Happy are those who come into the covenant of grace, by faith in the Redeemer’s atoning sacrifice, and show the sincerity of their love by fruits of righteousness. When God rejects the services of those who rest in outside performances, he will graciously accept those who seek him aright. It is only by sacrifice, by Christ, the great Sacrifice, from whom the sacrifices of the law derived what value they had, that we can be accepted of God. True and righteous are his judgments; even sinners’ own consciences will be forced to acknowledge the righteousness of God.

Verses 7–15

To obey is better than sacrifice, and to love God and our neighbour better than all burnt-offerings. We are here warned not to rest in these performances. And let us beware of resting in any form. God demands the heart, and how can human inventions please him, when repentance, faith, and holiness are neglected? In the day of distress we must apply to the Lord by fervent prayer. Our troubles, though we see them coming from God’s hand, must drive us to him, not drive us from him. We must acknowledge him in all our ways, depend upon his wisdom, power, and goodness, and refer ourselves wholly to him, and so give him glory. Thus must we keep up communion with God; meeting him with prayers under trials, and with praises in deliverances. A believing supplicant shall not only be graciously answered as to his petition, and so have cause for praising God, but shall also have grace to praise him.

Verses 16–23

Hypocrisy is wickedness, which God will judge. And it is too common, for those who declare the Lord’s statutes to others, to live in disobedience to them themselves. This delusion arises from the abuse of God’s long-suffering, and a wilful mistake of his character and the intention of his gospel. The sins of sinners will be fully proved on them in the judgment of the great day. The day is coming when God will set their sins in order, sins of childhood and youth, of riper age and old age, to their everlasting shame and terror. Let those hitherto forgetful of God, given up to wickedness, or in any way negligent of salvation, consider their urgent danger. The patience of the Lord is very great. It is the more wonderful, because sinners make such ill use of it; but if they turn not, they shall be made to see their error when it is too late. Those that forget God, forget themselves; and it will never be right with them till they consider. Man’s chief end is to glorify God: whoso offers praise, glorifies him, and his spiritual sacrifices shall be accepted. We must praise God, sacrifice praise, put it into the hands of the Priest, our Lord Jesus, who is also the altar: we must be fervent in spirit, praising the Lord. Let us thankfully accept God’s mercy, and endeavour to glorify him in word and deed.

Back to Top