A psalm of Asaph.
1 The Mighty One, God, the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to where it sets.
2From Zion, perfect in beauty,
God shines forth.
3Our God comes
and will not be silent;
a fire devours before Him,
and around Him a tempest rages.
4He summons the heavens above,
and the earth, that He may judge His people:
5“Gather to me this consecrated people,
who made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.”
6And the heavens proclaim His righteousness,
7“Listen, my people, and I will speak;
I will testify against you, Israel:
I am God, Your God.
8 I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices
or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
9I have no need of a bull from your stall
or of goats from your pens,
10for every animal of the forest is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills.
11I know every bird in the mountains,
and the insects in the fields are mine.
12 If I were hungry I would not tell you,
for the world is Mine, and all that is in it.
13Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
14 “Sacrifice thank offerings to God,
fulfill your vows to the Most High,
15 and call on Me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you will honor Me.”
16But to the wicked person, God says:
“What right have you to recite my laws
or take my covenant on your lips?
17You hate my instruction
and cast My words behind you.
18When you see a thief, you join with him;
you throw in your lot with adulterers.
19You use your mouth for evil
and harness your tongue to deceit.
20You sit and testify against your brother
and slander your own mother’s son.
21 When you did these things and I kept silent,
you thought I was exactlyc like you.
But I now arraign you
and set my accusations before you.
22“Consider this, you who forget God,
or I will tear you to pieces, with no one to rescue you:
23 Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor Me,
and to the blamelessd I will show My salvation.”
his Psalm, as the former 49, is a psalm of instruction, not of prayer or praise; it is a psalm of reproof and admonition, in singing which we are to teach and admonish one another.
In the foregoing psalm, after a general demand of attention, God by His prophet deals (v. 3) with the children of this world, to convince them of their sin and folly in setting their hearts upon the wealth of this world.
In this psalm, He deals with those that were, in profession, the church's children, to convince them of their sin and folly in placing their religion in ritual services, while they neglected practical godliness; and this is as sure a way to ruin as the other.
This Psalm is intended,
1. As a proof to the carnal Jews, both those that rested in the external performances of their religion, and were remiss in the more excellent duties of prayer and praise, and those that expounded the law to others, but lived wicked lives themselves.
2. As a prediction of the abolishing of the ceremonial law, and of the introducing of a spiritual way of worship in and by the Kingdom of the Messiah, John. 4:23-24.
3. As a representation of the Day of Judgment, in which God will call men to an account concerning their observance of those things which they have thus been taught; men shall be judged "according to what is written in the Books;" and therefore Christ is fitly represented speaking as a Judge, then when He speaks as a Lawgiver. Here is,
I. The glorious appearance of the Prince that gives law and judgment (v. 1-6).
II. Instruction given to His worshipers, to turn their sacrifices into prayers (v. 7-15).
III. A rebuke to those that pretend to worship God, but live in disobedience to His commands (v. 16-20), their doom read (v. 21, 22), and warning given to all to look to their conversation as well as to their devotions (v. 23).
The apostle Paul exhorts us;
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is your true and proper worship.”
These instructions and admonitions we must take to ourselves, and give to one another, in singing this Psalm.