Psalm 50:4-6 – “He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people: ‘Gather My saints together to Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.’ Let the heavens declare His righteousness, for God Himself is Judge.”
- There will come a day when we all will stand before the Lord. Christians will not be judged in terms of their eternal salvation because that is secure in Christ; nor will we be judged for our sins because Jesus bore those for us on the cross. However, Christians will stand before the judgment seat of Christ (Romans 14:10, 2 Corinthians 5:10); and we will be judged for how we spent our time here on earth — judged for our works and our motives behind our works. For our good works, we will receive an award. However, there will be a loss for those works that did not glorify the Lord.
Psalm 50:12-15 – “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all its fullness. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
- The Lord is rebuking His people who are just going through the motions of offering sacrifices to the Lord without a heart surrendered to Him. God is not in need of animal sacrifices or anything from us for that matter. He is not impressed with someone performing public religious displays but ignoring all His commandments in their personal life. The Lord desires for His people to give thanks to Him, obey Him, and trust that He is for them.
Psalm 50:16-23 – “But to the wicked God says: ‘What right have you to declare My statutes, or take My covenant in your mouth, seeing you hate instruction and cast My words behind you? When you saw a thief, you consented with him, and have been a partaker with adulterers. You give your mouth to evil, and your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son. These things you have done, and I kept silent; you thought that I was altogether like you; but I will rebuke you, and set them in order before your eyes. Now consider this, you who forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver: Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.”
- The people are performing the religious duty of the animal sacrifice yet living lives consenting with thieves, partaking in adultery, lying, and slandering others. This blatant neglect of God’s law exposes a heart issue. A heart that loves the Lord will desire obedience and will delight in praising Him. The idea of your heart being exposed through your obedience to the word of God is not just an Old Testament concept. We will see this same rebuke given in the New Testament:
- “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God” (John 3:20-21).
- “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36).
- “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:6-7).
- “He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:4-6).
- “Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:18-20).
Works do not save us, as Paul will explain in his letter to Titus – “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7). We are saved by grace through faith. However, our faith is exhibited through our works. And it’s not about going through the religious motions – it’s about a heart that loves the Lord and out of love for Him, our deeds are evidence to the world that we belong to Christ.
No one can fool God with religious activity. He is the one who sees the heart and knows all motives behind each action. Therefore, we can rest assured that the Lord sees the ones who truly belong to Him, and one day those who are His and who steward their time well here on earth will stand before Christ and hear these words – “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). Keep reading. (Psalm 50, Psalms 73-74)