Psalm 50

Asaph wrote this psalm.

God is our judge

50:1This psalm is a picture of a court of law, where a judge decides whether someone has done right or wrong.

1 God, the great God, the Lord, is speaking.

He is calling everybody on the earth,

from where the sun rises in the east

to where it goes down in the west.

2 God is shining out from Zion,

that most beautiful place.

3 Our God is coming,

and he does not come quietly!

A fire burns up everything that is in front of him.

There is a great storm all round him.

4 He calls to the skies above,

and to the earth below.

They must watch while he judges his people.

5 He says, ‘Bring my people to me.

They are the people who offered sacrifices to me,

to agree our covenant.’

6 The skies above show that God is righteous,

and God himself is the judge.

Selah.

7 He says, ‘Listen to me, my people,

and I will speak to you.

I have something to say against you, Israel.

I am God, your God.

8 You offer sacrifices and burnt offerings to me all the time

but that is not why I speak against you.

9 I do not need a bull from your farm,

or goats from your fields.

10 All the wild animals of the forest belong to me!

All the cows on a thousand hills belong to me!

11 I know every bird in the mountains,

as well as all the insects.

12 Even if I did become hungry,

I would not tell you.

All the world belongs to me,

and everything that is in it.

13 Do I eat the meat of bulls? No!

Do I drink the blood of goats? No!

14 Say “thank you” to me as your offering.

Do whatever you have promised to do for me,

the Most High God.

15 Pray to me when you are in trouble.

Then I will rescue you,

and you will praise me.’

50:15God says that there is nothing wrong with their sacrifices. But he does not need them. It is better to remember to say ‘thank you’ to God. Then he will answer his people when they pray to him for help.

16 But God says this to the wicked people:

‘It is useless for you to speak about my commands,

or about my covenant.

17 For you hate my teaching,

and you refuse to accept my message.

18 If you see a robber,

you run to help him!

You become friends with adulterers.

19 You speak about evil things,

and you are always telling lies.

20 You say bad things about your own brother,

and you speak against your own family!

21 You did all these things,

and I said nothing.

So you thought that I was as bad as you are.

But now I am warning you!

I will tell you clearly

what you have done wrong.

22 So think carefully about this,

all you people who have turned away from me.

If not, I will tear you into pieces,

and nobody will be able to save you.

23 If anyone wants to praise me,

they should say “thank you” to me as their offering.

If anyone obeys my commands,

I will show them my power to save people.’