On Psalm 50—Part 1

(Ps 50:1)NKJV A Psalm of Asaph.
The Mighty One, God the LORD,
Has spoken and called the earth
From the rising of the sun to its going down.

The Hebrew phrase for "The Mighty One, God the LORD" can also be translated "The God of gods, the LORD", as in the Septuagint. It appears also in Jos 22:22. It is also related to the phrase translated "God of gods" in De 10:17 and Ps 136:2. "For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe" (De 10:17)NKJV. We also read that Jesus is "Lord of lords and King of kings" (Rev 17:14, 19:16). Now, based on passages such as Is 45:6, Is 59:19, Jdg 11:18, and Jdg 20:43, the phrase "From the rising of the sun to its going down" could be interpreted "from east to west".

(Ps 50:2) Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.
(Ps 50:3) Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.

The Hebrew words for "fire" and "it shall be tempestuous" have the same gender (feminine gender). This is an indication that "it" refers to "fire". Thus, the verse states both that the fire shall devour before him and that the fire will be very tempestuous around him. The following verses refer to the same occasion.

(2Th 1:7) ... the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
(2Th 1:8) In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

(Ps 97:3) A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about.
(Ps 97:4) His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled.

(Ps 50:4) He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.
(Ps 50:5) Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.

In verse 5, the verb translated "gather together" literally means "gather". (That is, "together" does not appear in Hebrew.) Nonetheless, a verb meaning "gather together" appears in the following passage.

(Mt 24:31) And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

(Ps 50:6) And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.

(Ps 97:6) The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.

Ps 50 mentions that "our God shall come" (Ps 50:3), that he will judge his people (Ps 50:4), and that "God is judge himself" (Ps 50:6). A person who heeded these truths would also seek to live in a manner that pleases the Lord. Thus, the following verses of the psalm speak of what the Lord desires (Ps 50:8-15, 23) and warn those who do not obey him (Ps 50:16-22).

(Ps 50:7) Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.

(Ps 50:8)MKJV I will not reprove you for your sacrifices; yea, your burnt offerings are continually before Me.

(Ps 50:9) I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.
(Ps 50:10) For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
(Ps 50:11) I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.
(Ps 50:12) If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.
(Ps 50:13) Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
(Ps 50:14) Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:
(Ps 50:15) And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

In verse 14, the word translated "thanksgiving" means also "praise". In Heb 13:15 we read "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name". Since the law has "a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things" (Heb 10:1), the offerings that the Lord commanded in the law were not in themselves pleasing to him, but were rather shadows of things that please him. In verse 14, instead of asking for more animal sacrifices, the Lord asked for thanksgiving and faithfulness ("pay thy vows unto the most High"). In related passages, the Lord mentioned some other things that he is looking for.

(Mi 6:6) Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?
(Mi 6:7) Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
(Mi 6:8) He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

(Hos 6:6) For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

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