Scripture reading – 1 Chronicles 18; Psalm 50

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Psalm 50 and 1 Chronicles 18 comprise today’s Scripture reading. You will be familiar with the latter’s narrative, which “chronicles” events we considered in our prior study of 2 Samuel 8. Therefore, Psalm 50 is the focus of today’s Bible study.

Psalm 50

The title of Psalm 50, “A Psalm of Asaph,” introduced a songwriter who was a chief musician during David’s reign (1 Chronicles 6:39; 16:7). This is one of twelve psalms attributed to Asaph. The occasion for the writing of the psalm is not given; however, I suggest a threefold purpose: First, to rejoice that the LORD is a righteous judge (Psalm 50:1-6). Secondly, to encourage the saints to worship the LORD (Psalm 50:7-15). Finally, an observation of the LORD admonishing the wicked and any who tacitly (silently, without saying a word) observe their sins (Psalm 50:16-21).

A Call for Rejoicing in the LORD, the Righteous Judge (Psalm 50:1-6)

We are again reminded that God has revealed His divine character in His name(s). For example, in the introductory verse of Psalm 50, the LORD revealed He is “the mighty God [El Elohim; Mighty Ruler; Great God; Supreme], even the Lord [Yahweh; Jehovah; Self-Existent One], hath spoken, and called [summoned] the earth [all inhabitants] from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof(Psalm 50:1).

Psalm 50:2 then declared the majesty of the LORD, saying, “Out of Zion [where the LORD is worshipped], the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.” In other words, the majesty of the LORD shines forth from Zion, where He was worshipped, and His Word was taught. Psalm 50:3 then announced His coming in judgment: “Our God shall come (Matthew 25:31), and shall not keep silence: A fire shall devour before him, And it shall be very tempestuous round about him” (1 Thessalonians 1:8).

Psalm 50:2-4 prophesied the Second Coming of Christ. Here, the LORD was pictured as coming in judgment like a fire, and God’s people were admonished to prepare for His judgment. On that day, the saints of God will be gathered, and the judgment of the LORD will be righteous (Psalm 50:5-6).

A Summons of the People to Worship the LORD (Psalm 50:7-15)

Consider with me three significant truths regarding the LORD summoning His people. First, He is God, and therefore, He has the right to judge Israel (Psalm 50:7). The LORD was pictured as pondering the judgment of His people. He acknowledged they had continually brought before Him sacrifices and burnt offerings (Psalm 50:8). Nevertheless, the people were reminded that in offering bullocks and goats to the LORD, they were giving only that which was His (Psalm 50:9). Indeed, all that has life and breath is the LORD’s (Psalm 50:10-11).

In a beautiful reminder of God’s sovereignty as Creator and LORD, He challenged the people, “If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: For the world is mine, and the fulness thereof” (Psalm 50:12). Take a moment and consider that statement (Psalm 50:12). We can give nothing to the LORD that is not His, for all the world is His! We are only stewards of the LORD’s possessions; our very being is the LORD’s. So, He has the right and authority to command that we “present [our] bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is [our] reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).

How might we honor and glorify the LORD? By giving ourselves to Him out of a heart of gratitude and presenting to Him all that is due (Psalm 50:14). When we come to the LORD with a spirit of thanksgiving, He promised: “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me” (Psalm 50:15).

God’s Judgment of the Wicked (Psalm 50:16-17)

The focus of Psalm 50 then turned from the saints (Psalm 50:7-15) to the judgment of the wicked (Psalm 50:16). Here, the hypocrisy of the wicked was considered. Some gave mouth service to the LORD, acknowledged His statutes (Laws and Commandments), and worshipped Him with sacrifices and offerings. Yet, God knows the hearts of the wicked, and He admonished them, for they hated instruction in righteousness and had contempt for the Word of God (Psalm 50:17).

Silence is Consent When it Comes to Sin (Psalm 50:18-21)

Psalm 50:18-21 may shock some who boast that they have not sinned as the wicked, and yet, by their silence, they violated the LORD’s statutes. They failed to contend for righteousness and justice.

When they observed a theft, they failed to rebuke and contend with the thief (Psalm 50:18a; Exodus 20:15). When some knew an adulterer’s ways, not only did they fail to condemn his depravity, but they gave him liberty and comfort in his sins (Psalm 50:18b; Exodus 20:14; 1 Corinthians 5:10-13). Some praised the LORD with their lips but employed their tongue to lie and slander their brother (Psalm 50:19-20; Exodus 20:16).

Notice the threat of God’s judgment rose to a crescendo in Psalm 50:21, as the LORD warned the wicked that they abused His silence and patience, and their day of judgment was at hand (Psalm 50:21b).

Conclusion: A Warning and a Promise (Psalm 50:22-23)

A Warning (Psalm 50:22)

Fail to obey the LORD and express gratitude for His blessings and longsuffering, and He will “tear you in pieces,” and none will deliver you out of His fury (Psalm 50:22). 

The Promise (Psalm 50:23)

A heart of praise and thanksgiving glorifies the LORD (Psalm 50:23). When a sinner sincerely seeks the LORD, He promises to show him the way to “the salvation of God” (Psalm 50:23). What is the way of salvation?

Ephesians 2:8–10 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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