See the God Who Judges All – Psalm 50:1-6
Psalm 50, a psalm written by Asaph, a choir director and music composer in King David’s day, speaks of who God is as Judge. He gives us six very distinguished attributes of this Judge. First, God is the Almighty One. This exordium of names for God: Elohim, El, YHWH or Yehovah, speaks of who God is. Elohim means “Almighty” and is the same word used in Genesis 1:1. El means “revered One” and He is the only One for whom we should show absolute reverence. YHWH or Yehovah means “Being” and His being is sure and true. This points to the One who is perfect and just to be Judge of all.
Second, God is the beauty of Zion. God is the glorious One who is the bright spot from whence the brighteness of the Divine manifestation spreads forth like the rising sun. Wherever God is, beauty resides. He is the most aesthetically pleasing beauty there is or ever will be. Yes, we see beauty in nature, in people, in crreation, but no beauty like the One who is the Creator of all of these.
Third, God is a consuming fire. God’s glory goes before Him. Fire and storm are harbingers of the Lawgiver of Sinai who now appears as Judge. As His glory goes before Him, fire threatens to consume the evildoers and the storm threatens to drive them away like chaff. His glory shows the consuming power He holds within Himself.
Fourth, God is above all as Sovereign. God summons all people from everywhere, both the good and the evil, the righteous and the unrighteous, and all of the heavenly hosts to come and witness His judgment. He is going to judge His people along with those who do not belong to Him.
Fifth, God gathers His covenant people to Himself. God has made a covenant with His people and they have honored Him by keeping the covenant through the sacrificial laws of the Old Testament. However, He must punish, and first by words in order to warn them against the punishment by deeds. They are gathered before Him–the accused, His godly ones–to answer this Divine tribunal. They are named as His “godly ones.” And He is going to express to them His reproof and His testimony against them.
Sixth, God’s righteousness is exalted by the heavens. Now, while the accused are gethered to Him, the poet hears the heavens solmenly acknowledge the righteousness of God the Judge. They cry out the praises of their Maker while reiterating the difference between man and God. God is righteous and man suffers with unrighteousness in their hearts. Therefore, God is now sitting in judgment, the heavens declaring that He is the Righteous One who is Judge. Nothing further is now wanting to the completeness of the judgment scene; the action now begins.
See Who God Judges – Psalm 50:7-21
God judges His people first. God is the One who speaks and testifies against His own people. He commands His people to listen to Him speak, and when God speaks, He commands, Hear! In other words, He says, You better pay attention! He has this right to call His people to listen to Him and to stand face to face with them. He has given them all things as Elohim, God Almighty! He is God of His people and there is no other.
But God does not judge them for their sacrifices. They are following through with their duty to continually offer burnt sacrifices thereby making atonement for their sin. They continually, without intermission, give sacrifices. God, however, does not have need of animals. He is never hungry like man is hungry. He has no carnal desires as we do. Rather, what God desires is for His people to see Him and to worship Him with their whole heart! What He desires is not mere animal sacrifices, but a sacrifice of thankfulness. The burnt offerings are an outward expression of what the inward expression of thankfulness should be. His people are merely going through the motions and this is the indictment that God is making against His people.
God desires for His people to call out to Him in their time of trouble. They are going through the motions, and therefore, He says that He is willing to rescue them if they repent of their sinfulness. And when we call out to Him, He does rescue! We in turn then glorify Him and bring thankfulness to Him for His rescuing.
God judges the wicked. God does not just look to the sinfulness of His own people, but He also knows the hearts of the wicked. He has summoned all peoples–righteous and unrighteous–so now the wicked are also in His courtroom. They have no desire for discipline or instruction. They are religious perhaps, but nothing concerns them when it comes to a right relationship with God. Rather then live immorally and thievery is a part of their lives. They use words to cut and frame deceit. They delight in adultery and speaking gossip and immoral things about and to others. They even go against their own families by bringing reproach to them. And why is this? Because they first cast behind them the word of God, thereby casting God away from themselves. They are far away from Him. They may be religious, but their piety means nothing as even with His own people. The difference is that the wicked are evildoers and they are not God’s people–His godly ones, His faithful ones. They are sinners who are far away from God.
Yet, these evildoers believe that God is just like them. They project on God what they believe He is like. They believe He is like them and therefore dismiss their sin as if God delights in them and in their deeds. They never give mind to the reality that He is nothing like them. They are unrighteous, He is righteous. They think they are sovereign over their own lives while God is Sovereign over all. They delight when others join them in their sin while He takes no delight in fools to sin against Him. And in thinking that God is like them, this allows them to do under the cloak of their dead knowledge whatever they believe. For just as a man is in himself, such is his conception also of his God. But God does not nor will He ever encourage this foolishness, this idea. God will set before the eyes of the evildoers, who practically and also in theory deny the Divine holiness, the real state of his heart and life, so that he shall be terrified at the indictment just handed to them by Almighty God.
See How God Judges According to Thankfulness – Psalm 50:22, 23
The wicked will not be delivered from the judgment of God. Those who forget God rely upon outward works. They forget God and sink into licentiousness. They are warned of the final execution of the sentence which they deserve. They think their works will earn them points with Holy God, but it does not. However, their works are as dead as their faith. James 2:17, 22, 24, 26 says, Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself…You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected…You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone…For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. This means that the dead knowledge that produces dead works comes from a dead faith. This is the way of the evildoer. Conversely, living knowledge of the godly ones, God’s people, produce good works that come from a righteous faith by the grace of God.
The righteous will be delivered and will be shown salvation. God delights in our thanksgiving. He loves when we give honor to Him. His desire is for His people to live their lives in righteousness. And when we live for His honor and for His glory, then He give the full reality of His salvation to us and to all who believe! He delights in Himself and delights in us delighting in Him. He expects our hearts, not just our actions. Our actions–our outward expressions–come from hearts of thankfulness–the inward expression. This is God’s delight, this is God’s desire.
Have you called out to God to rescue you from your sin? Have you called out to Him to take you from the troubles of your sin? When you call out to Him, believing that Jesus Christ died according to the Scriptures, was buried, and was raised again accorind to the Scriptures, then the Bible tells us that He shall certainly save us.
What you godly ones: Have you given thanks to God for the salvation He has given you? He has given us His salvation which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). We have believe, therefore, from our hearts, let us give thanks continually for all that He has done, what He is doing, and what He intends to do.