Psalms 50

God the Judge of the Righteous and the Wicked.

1 1The Mighty One, God, the LORD, has spoken, And summoned the earth 2from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2 Out of Zion, 3the perfection of beauty, God 4has shone forth.
3 May our God 5come and not keep silence; 6Fire devours before Him, And it is very 7tempestuous around Him.
4 He 8summons the heavens above *, And the earth, to judge His people:
5 "Gather My 9godly ones to Me, Those who have made a 10covenant with Me by 11sacrifice."
6 And the 12heavens declare His righteousness, For 13God Himself is judge. Selah.
7 "14Hear, O My people, and I will speak; O Israel, I will testify against you; I am God, 15your God.
8 "I do 16not reprove you for your sacrifices, And your burnt offerings are continually before Me.
9 "I shall take no 17young bull out of your house Nor male goats out of your folds.
10 "For 18every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills.
11 "I know every 19bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine.
12 "If I were hungry I would not tell you, For the 20world is Mine, and all it contains.
13 "Shall I eat the flesh of 21bulls Or drink the blood of male goats?
14 "Offer to God 22a sacrifice of thanksgiving And 23pay your vows to the Most High;
15 24Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall 25rescue you, and you will 26honor Me."
16 But to the wicked God says, "What right have you to tell of My statutes And to take 27My covenant in your mouth?
17 "For you 28hate discipline, And you 29cast My words behind you.
18 "When you see a thief, you 30are pleased with him, And you 31associate with adulterers.
19 "You 32let your mouth loose in evil And your 33tongue frames deceit.
20 "You sit and 34speak against your brother; You slander * your own mother's son.
21 "These things you have done and 35I kept silence; You thought that I was just like you; I will 36reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes.
22 "Now consider this, you who 37forget God, Or I will 38tear you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver.
23 "He who 39offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; And to him who 40orders his way aright I shall 41show the salvation of God."

Psalms 50 Commentary

Chapter 50

The glory of God. (1-6) Sacrifices to be changed for prayers. (7-15) Sincere obedience required. (16-23)

Verses 1-6 This psalm is a psalm of instruction. It tells of the coming of Christ and the day of judgment, in which God will call men to account; and the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of judgement. All the children of men are concerned to know the right way of worshipping the Lord, in spirit and in truth. In the great day, our God shall come, and make those hear his judgement who would not hearken to his law. Happy are those who come into the covenant of grace, by faith in the Redeemer's atoning sacrifice, and show the sincerity of their love by fruits of righteousness. When God rejects the services of those who rest in outside performances, he will graciously accept those who seek him aright. It is only by sacrifice, by Christ, the great Sacrifice, from whom the sacrifices of the law derived what value they had, that we can be accepted of God. True and righteous are his judgments; even sinners' own consciences will be forced to acknowledge the righteousness of God.

Verses 7-15 To obey is better than sacrifice, and to love God and our neighbour better than all burnt-offerings. We are here warned not to rest in these performances. And let us beware of resting in any form. God demands the heart, and how can human inventions please him, when repentance, faith, and holiness are neglected? In the day of distress we must apply to the Lord by fervent prayer. Our troubles, though we see them coming from God's hand, must drive us to him, not drive us from him. We must acknowledge him in all our ways, depend upon his wisdom, power, and goodness, and refer ourselves wholly to him, and so give him glory. Thus must we keep up communion with God; meeting him with prayers under trials, and with praises in deliverances. A believing supplicant shall not only be graciously answered as to his petition, and so have cause for praising God, but shall also have grace to praise him.

Verses 16-23 Hypocrisy is wickedness, which God will judge. And it is too common, for those who declare the Lord's statutes to others, to live in disobedience to them themselves. This delusion arises from the abuse of God's long-suffering, and a wilful mistake of his character and the intention of his gospel. The sins of sinners will be fully proved on them in the judgment of the great day. The day is coming when God will set their sins in order, sins of childhood and youth, of riper age and old age, to their everlasting shame and terror. Let those hitherto forgetful of God, given up to wickedness, or in any way negligent of salvation, consider their urgent danger. The patience of the Lord is very great. It is the more wonderful, because sinners make such ill use of it; but if they turn not, they shall be made to see their error when it is too late. Those that forget God, forget themselves; and it will never be right with them till they consider. Man's chief end is to glorify God: whoso offers praise, glorifies him, and his spiritual sacrifices shall be accepted. We must praise God, sacrifice praise, put it into the hands of the Priest, our Lord Jesus, who is also the altar: we must be fervent in spirit, praising the Lord. Let us thankfully accept God's mercy, and endeavour to glorify him in word and deed.

Cross References 41

  • 1. Joshua 22:22
  • 2. Psalms 113:3
  • 3. Psalms 48:2; Lamentations 2:15
  • 4. Deuteronomy 33:2; Psalms 80:1; Psalms 94:1
  • 5. Psalms 96:13
  • 6. Leviticus 10:2; Numbers 16:35; Psalms 97:3; Daniel 7:10
  • 7. Psalms 18:12, 13
  • 8. Deuteronomy 4:26; Deuteronomy 31:28; Deuteronomy 32:1; Isaiah 1:2
  • 9. Psalms 30:4; Psalms 37:28; Psalms 52:9
  • 10. Exodus 24:7; 2 Chronicles 6:11; Psalms 25:10
  • 11. Psalms 50:8
  • 12. Psalms 89:5; Psalms 97:6
  • 13. Psalms 75:7; Psalms 96:13
  • 14. Psalms 49:1; Psalms 81:8
  • 15. Exodus 20:2; Psalms 48:14
  • 16. Psalms 40:6; Psalms 51:16; Isaiah 1:11; Hosea 6:6
  • 17. Psalms 69:31
  • 18. Psalms 104:24
  • 19. Matthew 6:26
  • 20. Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 10:14; Psalms 24:1; 1 Corinthians 10:26
  • 21. Psalms 50:9
  • 22. Psalms 27:6; Psalms 69:30; Psalms 107:22; Psalms 116:17; Hosea 14:2; Romans 12:1; Hebrews 13:15
  • 23. Numbers 30:2; Deuteronomy 23:21; Psalms 22:25; Psalms 56:12; Psalms 61:8; Psalms 65:1; Psalms 76:11
  • 24. Psalms 91:15; Psalms 107:6, 13; Zechariah 13:9
  • 25. Psalms 81:7
  • 26. Psalms 22:23
  • 27. Isaiah 29:13
  • 28. Proverbs 5:12; Proverbs 12:1; Romans 2:21, 22
  • 29. 1 Kings 14:9; Nehemiah 9:26
  • 30. Romans 1:32
  • 31. 1 Timothy 5:22
  • 32. Psalms 10:7
  • 33. Psalms 36:3; Psalms 52:2
  • 34. Job 19:18; Matthew 10:21
  • 35. Ecclesiastes 8:11; Isaiah 42:14; Isaiah 57:11
  • 36. Psalms 90:8
  • 37. Job 8:13; Psalms 9:17
  • 38. Psalms 7:2
  • 39. Psalms 50:14
  • 40. Psalms 85:13
  • 41. Psalms 91:16

Footnotes 9

  • [a]. "Selah" may mean: "Pause, Crescendo" or "Musical interlude"
  • [b]. Or "to"
  • [c]. Or "in My mind;" lit "with Me"
  • [d]. Lit "its fullness"
  • [e]. Lit "strong ones"
  • [f]. Some ancient versions read "run together"
  • [g]. Lit "your part is with"
  • [h]. Lit "send"
  • [i]. Lit "sets"

Chapter Summary


\\<>\\. This psalm is called a psalm of Asaph; either because it was composed by him under divine inspiration, since he was a prophet and a seer, 1Ch 25:2, 2Ch 29:30; or because it was delivered to him to be sung in public service, he being a chief musician; see 1Ch 16:7; and so it may be rendered, "a psalm for Asaph"; or "unto Asaph" {o}; which was directed, sent, and delivered to him, and might be written by David; and, as Junius thinks, after the angel had appeared to him, and he was directed where he should build an altar to the Lord, 1Ch 21:18. The Targum, Kimchi, and R. Obadiah Gaon, interpret this psalm of the day of judgment; and Jarchi takes it to be a prophecy of the future redemption by their expected Messiah; and indeed it does refer to the times of the Gospel dispensation; for it treats of the calling of the Gentiles, of the abrogation of legal sacrifices, and of the controversy the Lord would have with the Jews for retaining them, and rejecting pure, spiritual, and evangelical worship. {o} Poal "ipsi Asaph", Tigurine version, Vatablus; "Asapho", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; so Ainsworth.

Psalms 50 Commentaries

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