By Terry Cheek Th.D.
The thesis of Psalm 50 can be called “The Acceptable Sacrifice” and it is written to proclaim the coming incarnate birth, life, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. We began our look into this amazing Psalm last month and we will continue until we cover the final word of the final verse. For December let’s look at just a couple of verses, Psalm 50:7-8, read with me.
“Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God. I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.”
The Lord speaks plainly as He proclaims shama’ which translates in English is to hear. Yet shama’ means much more than to simply listen. Shama’ means to listen with the intention to obey. The Lord tells us to listen and obey Him. He proclaims this not to a general audience, but to His people. In the text, He speaks to Israel. In context, the Lord speaks to all His people, including His adopted, who believe in Christ by Grace and through Faith. He tells us if we listen and obey, He will speak. The Lord will converse with us. How long has it been since you took time to hear the Lord, obey the Lord and have a conversation with the Lord? It is simple. Open your Bible, pray for understanding, allow it to speak to your heart, and listen to it. Next obey it. Then take time to reach up to the Lord through prayer, repent, renew, revive, and seek restoration. Every saint of God needs these daily. I know this because of the next few words. God tells us “I will testify against thee”. If we listen to and hear God speak he will tell us our faults and failures. Every one of God’s people has faults. Remember Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Yet, in this condition God doesn’t disown us, He says He is “even thy God.” Folks you’re not going to find a better Christmas present this holiday season. A proper relationship with God through His son Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is a relationship that has a guarantee to never go wrong. But we’re not finished.
The Lord not only shows Grace but Mercy also. Israel spent a long time going through the motions of worship while their heart was far from God. He tells them He will not hold this false worship against them. Let’s be honest for a moment. How often do we go through the motions of worship? We bow for prayer, we open the hymnal and sing along, we open our Bible and follow along with the pastor or preacher, while our heart and mind are somewhere else. I’m not trying to beat up anyone but if we all are honest, we will say that’s me, Lord. That is false worship in God’s eyes. As much as God hates false worship, He has mercy on His people.
Wow, Grace and Mercy are two gifts our God has for us this Christmas. As we think about the incarnate birth of Christ we can also think about the Grace and Mercy that is offered despite our sinfulness.
Until we meet again, in person or print, may God keep you firmly in His grip!
Bushell, M. S., Tan, M. D., & Weaver, G. L. (2008). BibleWorks 7: Software for Biblical Exegesis & ResearchVersion (7.0.012g). Norfolk, VA; BibleWorks.
Meyers, R. (2000) e-Sword version (13). Franklin Tennessee; E-Sword
Terry is the Executive Director and broadcaster of The Inspiring Word media ministry. You can contact Terry by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.