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Psalm 50

Talks for Growing Christians

God Indicts His People for their Hypocrisy

Psalm 50

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Lesson Number 37

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God is against insincere sacrifices.
  2. God is against unethical practices.

Practical Application

  1. Expect God’s judgment to begin in-house.
  2. What do you have that you did not receive?

Questions

  1. Who was Asaph?
  2. Why should we not be concerned, as some are, that verse 1 of this psalm is “scientifically inaccurate”?
  3. Who is the defendant in this cosmic court case?
  4. What is God’s first indictment against His people?
  5. What is God’s second indictment against His people?

Answers

  1. Asaph, the author of this psalm, was one of King David’s musicians who was put in charge of the ministry of music in the Temple (1 Chronicles 16:5). He also wrote Psalms 73-83.
  2. The rising of the sun and setting of the sun are figurative language for “from the east to the west.” We use this kind of language all the time. The Bible does contain figurative language.
  3. The defendant in this case is God’s people Israel. All of heaven and earth are called on as witness to the fact that Israel has broken its covenant with the Lord. There was no question that this case would be settled justly because God Himself, Who is omniscient, is the Judge. All of heaven testifies to His righteousness.
  4. They had the wrong motives when they brought their sacrifices and offerings before the Lord. God does not reprimand them for bringing sacrifices, because that was commanded in God’s Law, but they are rebuked for just going through the motions and thinking that they had fulfilled their obligation to God.
  5. They were giving lip service to God’s laws, but hating and breaking His commandments at the same time.

Discuss/Consider

  1. In what ways do people today just go through the motions of worship? God does not need our gifts and offerings. Discuss then what He does want from us: 1. Gratitude 2. For us to make good on our promises 3. Fellowship
  2. According to Psalm 50, the people thought that God was unconcerned with their sins because He didn’t judge them immediately. Do believers today sometimes think they are getting away with their sins? As believers, our sins are eternally forgiven, but there are still consequences for our decisions.

Challenge

  1. When we give to the Lord we are just returning what He has given us! This includes material possessions, natural talents, spiritual gifts, time – everything. Are you returning what belongs to the Lord?

Key Verses

  • "I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth - Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD." Psalm 40:1-3
  • "By this I know that You are well pleased with me, because my enemy does not triumph over me." Psalm 41:11

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