July 21, 2015

Tom Lowe




Title: “I AM GOD, THY GOD”

(A Psalm of Asaph.)


Theme: A Psalm of Judgement



Psalm 50 (KJV)


1 The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.

2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.

3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.

4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.

5 Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.

6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.

7 Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.

8 I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.

9 I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.

10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.

11 I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.

12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.

13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?

14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:

15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

16 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?

17 Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee.

18 When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.

19 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.

20 Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son.

21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.

22 Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.

23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.






Asaph is named as the author of this Psalm.  Perhaps he is the one mentioned in 1 Chronicles 15:17, 19 and in 2 Chronicles 29:30.  The psalm contains a severe rebuke of the hypocrite who contents himself with giving an outward obedience to the ritual of God’s house, but withholds the love and homage of his heart.


In the psalm’s opening verses, God is represented as coming to earth, as He did at Sinai, but now He comes to vindicate and explain the spiritual requirements of His holy law (1-6); then the failure to observe the first table of the Ten Commandments of God is discovered (7-15); after which the Psalmist indicates the violations of the second table (16-21); finally there is an impressive conclusion (22, 23).  The Psalm is very interesting, because it shows how the devout Israelites viewed the Levitical ritual as being only the vehicle and expression of the yearnings and worship of the spiritual life, but not of any value apart from a recognition of God’s claims on the devotion of His people.







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 heed 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 in a way which is morally correct, just, or honorable. 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 by God. He is true and righteous, as are His judgments; even sinners' own consciences will be forced to acknowledge the righteousness of God.


1 The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.


“The mighty God, even the Lord”—Even "Yahweh," for this is the original word instead of “the Lord.” Others render this: "The God of gods, the Lord"; "God, God Jehovah, speaks"; "The Almighty, God, Jehovah, speaks." The word "mighty" is not an adjective used to describe God. Rather, the idea is, that He who speaks is the true God; the Supreme Ruler of the universe; and He has the right to call the world to judgment, and He has power to execute His will.


“The Lord (Elohim, His name as the God of nature and creation; Jehovah, the self-revealing One, the God of the covenant and of grace), hath . . . called the earth.” God still calls the earth through the Gospel of Jesus. It is worth noting that two other names of God occur in this psalm. He is called “the Most High” (Elyôn), in His role as the Supreme Ruler of the Universe (50:14). In 50:22, He is Elôah, the singular of Elôhim.


“Hath spoken”—Or rather, "speaks." The psalmist represents Him as now speaking, and calling the world to judgment.


“And called the earth”—He addressed all the inhabitants of the world; all who dwelt upon the earth. He has given His instructions that all the inhabitants of the earth, from one end to the other, must appear before Him. All who have been obedient to His commands are now summoned to be witnesses of the proceedings in this solemn high court—between Him and His people—which is represented here poetically. For here a tribunal is set up, the judge is ready to announce the sentence—all are guilty and there is no appeal from His ruling,—the accused are all there, and at last the sentence is given.


“From the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof”—from the place where the sun seems to rise, to the place where it seems to set; that is, all the world. The call is made to all the earth; to all the human race. The psalmist employs imaginary, but it comes from a true representation of what will occur; the universal judgment, when all nations shall be summoned to appear before the “the supreme Lord of heaven and earth, the Lawgiver and Judge of men and angels; to whom the greatest kings and potentates are but subjects; the infinite, the eternal, who changes not.” See Matthew 25:32; Revelation 20:11-14.


32. And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:


11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.


12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.


13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.


14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.



2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.


“Zion” is called “the perfection of beauty,” because the Temple, the residence of Jehovah, was there and it is where he would now sit in judgment. It is the most amiable place in the whole world, because of the presence, and worship, and blessing of God (Compare Psalm 48:2; Lamentations 2:15)


2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.


15 All that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city that men call The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth?


“Out of Zion”“the perfection of beauty”“God hath shined,” or "shall shine”; the past for the future—hath manifested himself in a glorious manner, as judges do when they come to the judgment-seat; hath illustriously displayed his infinite and glorious perfections. Christ; He is “the perfection of beauty”; He is fairer than the children of men; He is more glorious than the angels in heaven: as Mediator, he is full of grace and truth, which makes Him very lovely and friendly to His people: He is the express image of His Father's person; and the glory of all the divine perfections is conspicuous in His work of salvation, as well as in Himself:


“Hath shined” denotes a natural feature of the Divine manifestation. God “hath shined,” means either that Hehas shined into the world (i.e., has shown himself in his dazzling radiance), or has caused light and splendor to appear—“O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself” (Psalm 94:1). But there is a more likely meaning than that; that the great principles which are to determine the destiny of mankind in the final judgment are those which proceed from Zion; or, those which are taught in the religion of Zion; they are those which are taught through the church of God. There God has made His law known to man; He has stated the principles on which He governs, and on which He will judge the world.



3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.


“Our God shall come”— God will undoubtedly come and call us to judgment, though now He seems to take no notice of our conduct. The prophet says this in the guise of one of God’s worshippers. It’s as if he had said, “Though He is our God, He will execute judgment upon us. This language is derived from the supposition that God "will" judge the world, and it shows that this doctrine was understood and believed by the Hebrews.


The New Testament has stated the fact that this will be done by the coming of His Son Jesus Christ to gather the nations before him, and to pronounce the final sentence on mankind (see Matthew 25:31; Acts 17:31; Acts 10:42; John 5:22).


“And shall not keep silence”—He "seems" to be silent now. No voice is heard. No sentence is pronounced. But this will not always be the case, for He will no longer ignore, or bear with, the hypocrisy and profaneness of those who profess to be followers of the true religion, and are not. The time is coming when he will manifest himself, and will no longer be silent as to the conduct and character of people, but will pronounce a sentence, arranging their destiny according to their character. He will now speak to them in His wrath, and will severely rebuke and chastise them, and “express" His judgment on the conduct of mankind.


“A fire shall devour before him— “He will not come like earthly princes, before whom march armed guards; but in a far more terrible and irresistible manner, which shall make you as aware of His dreadful presence, as your ancestors were at mount Sinai, when the devouring flames, and thunder, and lightning, which met him there, made the very mountain quake and tremble.”


Before Him there is a devouring fire and a mighty tempest—“a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.” Before it, all that is false and evil is consumed, as if by a forest fire. These two figures of speech then represent the all-righteous and unspeakably loving judgment of the Creator God who cannot be mocked. 


The "language" here is undoubtedly taken from the account of God as he manifested himself at Mount Sinai. Thus, in Exodus 19:16, 18, it is said, "And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of a trumpet exceeding loud; and Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.”


“And it shall be very tempestuous round about him.”—the word as it is used here means “to shudder, to shiver;” and then it is employed to denote the commotion and raging of a tempest.” The reference is still to the descent on Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:16), and to the storm accompanied by thunder and lightning which beat upon the mountain when God descended on it to give His law. The verse is designed to represent God as clothed with appropriate majesty when judgment is to be pronounced upon the world.


God’s love is a tempestuous, devouring love: “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire” (Luke 3:16). 



4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.


“He shall call” may be better if stated “He calls.” The psalmist actually hears the summons go out, calling heaven and earth as witnesses, or appraisers of the judgment scene. Micah, a prophet of Israel said something very similar—“Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord God be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple” (Micah 1:2). (Comp. Deuteronomy 4:26; Deuteronomy 32:1; Isaiah 1:2)


“He shall call to the heavens”—“He shall call heaven and earth (angels and men) to witness the fairness of His proceedings” (see Isaiah 1:2, below). This is evidently a prediction of the terrible manner of God’s coming to execute judgment on the apostate Jews and Israelites; partly by the kings of Assyria and Babylon, who laid waste to their country, destroyed their cities, and carried multitudes of them into captivity; and partly by their last destruction at the hands of the Romans; and partly for their hypocrisy, abuse of their privileges, and all their other sins, and especially for crucifying their own Messiah. This most terrible execution of divine wrath upon them was frequently foretold by the prophets (see Malachi 3:2; Malachi 4:1; Isaiah 66:15; Isaiah 66:17); and is often represented in the Scriptures as the coming of the kingdom of God, of the Son of man, or of Christ, because the Father has committed all judgment to Him. Now this prediction in this Psalm seems especially to regard this event. Jewish rabbis confirm the subject of the Psalm to be, “that judgment, which will be executed in the days of the Messiah.”


“He shall call to the heavens from above;” rather, “to the heavens above”; i.e. to the inhabitants of heaven—the holy angels. He will call to the entire universe. The meaning here is, not that he will gather those who are in heaven to be judged, but that He will call on the inhabitants of the universe to be His witnesses; to confirm the justice of His sentence. The phrase "from above" does not, of course, refer to the heavens as being above God, but to the heavens as they appear to human beings to be above themselves.


“He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth”; FIRST, to listen to what He has to say, when He will no longer keep silence; and SECOND, to witness the justice of His proceedings. Note what Isaiah said—“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children [Israel], and they have rebelled against me” (Isaiah 1:2).


“And to the earth,” that is, to all that dwell upon the earth; "to the whole universe." He makes this universal appeal with the confident assurance that his final sentence will be approved; that the universe will see and admit that it is just. “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints” (Revelation 15:3; also see Revelation 19:1-3”. There can be no doubt that the universe, as such, will approve the ultimate sentence that will be pronounced on mankind.


 His purpose is “That he may judge his people” in their presence and hearing. Heaven and earth are called upon to come together, and furnish a suitable audience before which the judgment may be rendered. It is not that they, the heavens and the earth, the inhabitants of either, may judge His people; but the Lord himself will be the Judge, as in Psalm 50:6. All these arrangements—His coming with fire and tempest, and making this universal appeal—will be for the purpose of preparing for the judging of His people, or in order that the judgment may be conducted with due solemnity and propriety. The idea is, that an event so momentous should be conducted in a way suited to produce an appropriate impression; so conducted, that there would be a universal conviction of the justice and impartiality of the sentence. The reference here is particularly to his professed "people," that is, to determine whether they were truly his, for that is the main subject of the psalm, though the "language" may suggest the gravity associated with the universal judgment.



5 Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.


Who is given the command—“gather.” Perhaps He is addressing the angels who are God’s ministers of judgement—And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:31)—and who appear to attend to His every need (Deuteronomy 33:2. It is probably less likely that His appeal is made to heaven and earth. But perhaps no definite reference at all is intended, and no particular messengers are in the Psalmist’s mind.


The word châsîd denotes those who are the objects of Jehovah’s lovingkindness. “Saint,” like “servant,” as applied to Israel, expresses the relation in which Jehovah has placed the nation towards Himself, without necessarily implying that its character corresponds to its calling (Psalm 79:2Isaiah 42:19). The indictment against many of the Israelites is that their conduct towards their fellow-men is entirely destitute of that ‘lovingkindness’ which ought to reflect the lovingkindness of Jehovah towards them. “But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him” (Psalm 4:3).


 “Saints” are those in the “covenant,” and that covenant was ratified by sacrifices. As often, then, as a sacrifice was offered by an Israelite, it was a witness to the existence of the covenant, and therefore we are not to gather from this psalm that outward acts of sacrifice were made “null and void” by the higher spirit taught in it; they were merely subordinated to their proper place, and those who thought more of the rites that bore testimony to the covenant than of the moral duties which the covenant commanded, are those denounced in this part of the psalm. A covenant in the time of these ancient people was ratified by dividing a sacrifice (bull or goat), and then, by the parties passing between the divided portions. A covenant made between Abram and God is described in Genesis 15:10, 17: “And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not. And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.”


Orders are issued concerning the righteous, "Gather my saints,"—those who are saved from their sins and made holy—"together unto me." And, in order that the word “saints” is not misunderstood, it is explained by the clause "those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice;" those who have entered into union with God, through the sacrificial offering of the Lord Jesus Christ. All the rest are passed over in silence. We are told who they are that shall enter into the joy of their Lord; only the “saints, those who have made a covenant with God by sacrifice.” All, therefore, who do not answer this description are excluded from glory.


“My saints” are the Israelites, whom he calls “saints”; FIRST, because they were all by heritage a holy people, as they are called in Deuteronomy 14:2; and SECOND, as an argument and evidence against them, because God had chosen and separated them from all the nations of the earth, to be a holy and peculiar people to himself, and they also had solemnly and frequently devoted themselves to God and His service; all which did greatly aggravate the guilt of their present apostasy.


“Gather my saints together!” There are times when the “saints” have to stand before God, and receive into the depths of their heart His searching scrutiny: “Behold, I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant, whom ye desire, behold, he cometh, saith Jehovah of hosts. But who can abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap: and he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi, and refine them as gold and silver; and they shall offer unto Jehovah offerings in righteousness.” (Malachi 3:1-3).


“Gather my saints together unto me.” This is a command given to the messengers engaged in assembling those who are to be judged. Similar language is used by the Savior in Matthew 24:31: "And he (the Son of Man) shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." The idea is that God will bring them together. All this is language derived from the belief in a universal judgment, "as if" the scattered people of God were gathered together by special messengers sent out for this purpose. The word "saints," as it is used here, refers to those who are truly His people. The object or purpose of the judgment is to assemble in heaven those who are truly His friends; or, as the Savior expresses it in Matthew 24:31, His "elect." Yet in order to do this, or in order to determine who "are" his true people, there will be a larger gathering—a “bringing together” of all who dwell on the earth.These words are spoken by Christ to the heavens and the earth; that is, to the angels, the ministers of the Gospel, to gather in, by the ministry of the Word, His elect ones among the Gentiles; (Matthew 24:30); called His "saints", who benefitted from His favor and lovingkindness, and were sanctified or set apart for his service and glory.


 “Those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” Even the dedication of the first covenant was not without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:18; Exodus 24:3-8); nor could any Israelite remain within the covenant without frequent sacrifice (Exodus 12:2-47).


The idea here is that they are the acknowledged people of God; that they have entered into a solemn covenant-relation with Him, or have bound themselves to Him in the most solemn manner; that they have done this in connection with the sacrifices which accompany their worship; that they have brought their sacrifices or bloody offerings as a pledge that they mean to be His, and will be His. Over these solemn sacrifices made to him, they have bound themselves to be the Lord's; and the purpose of the judgment now is, to determine whether this was sincere, and whether they have been faithful to their vows. As applied to professed believers under the Christian system, the "idea" presented here would be, that the vow to be the Lord's has been made over the body and blood of the Redeemer once offered as a sacrifice, and that by partaking of the body of that sacrifice they have entered into a solemn "covenant" to be His. Nothing more solemn can be conceived than a "covenant" or pledge entered into in such a manner; and yet nothing is more painfully certain than that the process of a judgment will be necessary to determine in what cases it is genuine, for the mere outward act, no matter how solemn, does not of necessity decide the question whether he who performs it will enter into heaven.


The reference is not merely to the original ratification of the covenant with the nation at Sinai (Exodus 24:5), but to the recognition and maintenance of it by each fresh generation that must repeat the sacrifices. The previous line refers (with the word “saints”) to the divine grace which brought about the covenant with Israel. This line refers to the human act which acknowledges that grace and the obligations which it entails. Though the Ten Commandments contained no command to offer sacrifice, the primitive institution of sacrifice was sanctioned and regulated by the Book of the Covenant—An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. (Exodus 20:24). Sacrifice had its divinely appointed place in the old Covenant, though not that which formal and hypocritical worshippers imagined. It could not be a substitute for devotion and morality; but its abuse did not repeal its use. Israel’s great mistake was in trusting their outward sacrifices, when they neglected the very life and soul of them, which was the keeping of their covenant with God. God’s purpose was to diminish that exalted opinion which they had of sacrifices, and to prepare the way for the abolition of them.



6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.


“And the heavens (the heavenly inhabitant) shall declare his righteousness”; shall make it known, or announce it—that is, will bear witness to the justness of the sentence, or will approve the sentence—for the earth is no more, it is burnt up. In obedience to the Divine summons the heavens are heard acknowledging the right of God to arraign the nations before Him by virtue of His moral authority. In the language of modern thought, order and law in the physical world are an evidence of an orderly moral government, and the obedience of the unconscious stars to that authority is a challenge to man to submit himself consciously to the same will.


The inhabitants of heaven, who were called to be witnesses (50:4), know God's character very well, so they can attest to His righteousness as a judge. The inhabitants of earth were also called to be witnesses, but here he mentions the heavens only, maybe because they were the most impartial and noteworthy witnesses in the case; for men might be false witnesses, either through ignorance and mistaken beliefs, or through prejudice, and partiality, and passion: but the angels understand things more thoroughly and certainly, and are so exactly pure and sinless, that they cannot and will not tell a lie for God; and therefore their testimony is more valuable. Or the meaning is, that God would convince the people of his righteousness, and of their own wickedness, by thunder and lightning, and storms, or other dreadful signs that cause fear to overwhelm people, and which were wrought by Him in the heavens or in the air. He had been successful in convincing His people by this method in two similar cases (see Deuteronomy 5:22, 23; 1 Samuel 12:17-19).


“For God is judge himself” The judgment is not committed to mortal men, or even to angels. Creatures, even the most glorious and pure, might get it wrong in such a work as that of judging the world. That judgment, in order to be correct, must be founded on a perfect knowledge of the heart, and on a clear and complete understanding of all the thoughts, the motives, the words, and the deeds of all people. It cannot be supposed that any created being, regardless of his degrees and awards, could possess all this knowledge, and it cannot be supposed that any created being, however pure, could be so gifted that they can guarantee that they will not make a single mistake in pronouncing judgment on the countless millions of people. But God combines all these in himself; a perfect knowledge of all that has ever occurred on earth, and of the motives and feelings of every creature, and, at the same time remain absolutely pure and impartial; therefore His judgment must be such that the universe will see that it is just. It may be added here that as the New Testament has stated (see the notes at 50:3) that the judgment of the world on the last day will be committed to the Lord Jesus Christ; the qualities just suggested prove that He is Divine. The important point in the passage before us is that the fact that "God" will preside in the judgment, demonstrates that the acts of judgment will be "right," and will be such as the "heavens"—the universe—will approve; such, that all worlds will proclaim them to be right. There is no higher evidence that a thing is right, and that it ought to be done, than the fact that God has done it. (Compare Genesis 18:25; Psalm 39:9).


Justice has been done without partiality, and without severity, nor could it be otherwise, for “God is Judge Himself,” and He cannot possibly do any unrighteous thing (Job 34:13; Romans 3:6). And he will certainly "do right" (Genesis 18:25), and therefore His judgments must be just and righteous, seeing He is just and true, loves righteousness, and is righteous in all His ways and works.


At this point, the assembly is dissolved; the righteous are received into everlasting glory, and the wicked sentenced to eternity in hell, along with all those who forget God.


“Selah” is a word used seventy-four times in the Hebrew Bible—seventy-one times in the Psalms and three times in Habakkuk. The meaning of the word is not known, though various interpreters have offered an opinion. It is probably either a musical mark or an instruction on the reading of the text, something like "stop and listen." Selah can also be used to indicate that there is to be a musical interlude at that point in the Psalm. The Amplified Bible translates Selah as "pause, and think of that."


The Psalms were sung accompanied by musical instruments and there are references to this in many chapters. Thirty-one of the thirty-nine psalms with the caption "To the choir-master" include the word Selah. Selah notes a break in the song and as such is similar in purpose to Amen in that it stresses the importance of the preceding passage. Alternatively, Selah may mean "forever," as it does in some places in the liturgy.


7–15. The trial begins. God is the accuser as well as the judge. Israel’s sacrifices are unobjectionable, but it is not slain beasts which the Lord of all the earth desires, but the devotion of the heart, exhibited in thanksgiving and trust. The people as a whole are addressed. The duty which is enforced is their duty towards God, corresponding to the first Table of the Decalogue.



7 Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.


“Hear, O my people, and I will speak.” God Himself is now introduced as the One speaking, as the One stating the principles on which the judgment will be based, and as the One who has the right to preside over the proceedings as Judge. Because Jehovah speaks, they are compelled to give Him their complete attention. "Let me speak," says the great “I Am.” The heavens and the earth are simply listeners, for the Lord is about to testify and to judge.


The previous verses are introductory; they are designed to bring the scene of the judgment before the mind. The solemn scene now opens, and God Himself speaks, rebuking those who rely on the mere forms of religion, while its spirituality and its power are denied. The purpose of the whole thing is to show how the things mentioned will appear in the judgment, the vanity of "mere" forms of religion. This particular address is made to the "people" of God, or to "Israel," whom God had chosen to be His people above all others, and who professed themselves to be His people; but now they had become "loammi"—not His people: “Then the Lord said, “Call him Lo-Ammi (which means “not my people”), for you are not my people, and I am not your God” (Hosea 1:9)—which was about to be written upon them, for they had become a people with uncircumcised hearts and ears, refusing to hear the great Prophet of the church, Him that spake from heaven; because the purpose of the psalmist was to rebuke the prevailing tendency to rely on outward forms of religion.


“O Israel, and I will testify against thee”—in the judgment. I will "now" give this solemn testimony against the views which you entertain on the subject of religion, and the practices which prevail in your worship. I will declare my charge or indictment against thee—that is, “you have failed to worship as you ought.


It was a double evil that the chosen nation should become so carnal, so unspiritual, so false, and so heartless to their God. God himself, who never slumbers nor sleeps, who is not misled by rumor, but sees for himself, and comes on the scene as a witness against His favored nation. It is Regrettable for us when God testifies to the hypocrisy, sins and transgressions of the visible church.


“I am God, even thy God”—Not only in general, but in a special manner, by that solemn covenant made at Sinai; where I declared thee to be my peculiar people, and thou didst declare me to be thy God: “You have declared this day that the Lord is your God and that you will walk in obedience to him, that you will keep his decrees, commands and laws—that you will listen to him. And the Lord has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession as he promised, and that you are to keep all his commands” (Deuteronomy 26:17, 18). He had taken them for His peculiar people above all other nations, and they had in the most solemn manner affirmed that He was their God, which is the special reason for calling them to account. He was the God who has been their Protector, and therefore He could claim the right to declare to them the great principles which pertain to true worship, and which constitute true religion. The law began with, "I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt," and now their trial which will end with their judgment opens with the same reminder of their remarkable position, privilege, and responsibility. It is not only that Jehovah is God, but He is thy God, O Israel; this is what makes thee so open to His reprimands.



8 I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.


“I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt-offerings.” Matthew 25:32 tells us: “And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.” The nation Israel is separated into two classes when brought before the bar of the Judge, and the greater part is rebuked first. In Isaiah 1:11, God says through the prophet: “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to me.” The meaning here is the same as in Isaiah, "I do not condemn or rebuke you for withholding sacrifices. I do not charge you with neglecting the offering of sacrifice or being indifferent toward the external rites or duties of religion. And had they neglected them entirely, a charge would not have been brought against them on that account, since these were not what God commanded when He brought them out of Egypt—“For I spoke not to your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices” (Jeremiah 7:22)—and now they are abolished. But when they were in force, acts of mercy, kindness, and charity, were preferred to them: “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6). It is not on account of this that you are to be blamed or condemned, for that duty is performed outwardly and publicly. I do not say that such offerings are wrong; I do not say that you have failed in the external duties of worship. The charge I make against you in connection with such offerings relates to other matters—to the absence of a proper spirit, to withholding your love, to making sacrifices without faith, and in hypocrisy—which could not take away sin, and make atonement for it


So the question is, “What purpose do your many sacrifices serve? What good are they to me? "Thinkest thou that I will eat the flesh of bulls, and drink the blood of goats?" (Psalm 1:13). God "delights not in burnt offerings." From the time of Samuel he had declared, "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams" (1 Samuel 15:22).


“To have been continually before me.” The words "to have been" were inserted by the translators, and they weaken the sense of the clause. The simple idea is that their offerings "were" continually before Him; that is, they sacrificed constantly. He could not charge them with neglect, for they offered sacrifices daily—morning and evening—“And you shall say to them, This is the offering made by fire which you shall offer to the LORD; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering” (Numbers 28:3). The morning and evening lamb offered as “a continual burnt offering” afforded a striking type of the Lamb of God offered “once for all” (Hebrews 7:3; Hebrews 10:12; Hebrews 10:14). The charge against them, as the following verses show, was that they supposed there was special "merit" in such offerings, because they supposed that they placed God under obligation by being so constant and by making offerings that were so expensive, as if they did not already belong to Him, or as if He needed them; and because, while they did this, they withheld the very offering which He required, and without which all other sacrifices would be vain and worthless—A SINCERE, HUMBLE, THANKFUL HEART.



9 I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.


Bullocks were offered regularly as the sacrifice, in the Hebrew service (Exodus 29:11, Exodus 29:36; Leviticus 4:4; 1 Kings 18:23, 1 Kings 18:33). According to the law it was right and proper to offer such sacrifices; and the intention here is not to condemn these offerings in themselves. God says in 50:8 that he had no cause to complain against them in this respect. It was only with respect to the intention and the spirit with which they did this, that the language in this verse and the following verses is used. The idea, which is the purpose of these verses to suggest, is that God did not "need" such offerings; that they were not to be made "as if" He needed them; and that if he did truly need them He was not "dependent" on them, for all the beasts of the earth and all the fowls of the mountains were His, and could be taken for that purpose; and that if he took what was claimed to be theirs—the bullocks and the goats—he did not wrong them, for all were his, and he claimed only which was his own.


“I will take no bullock out of thy house,” that is, I will accept none of them as sacrifices, for they are no longer agreeable to the will of God—“That is why, when Christ came into the world, he said to God, ‘You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given me a body to offer’” (Hebrews 10:5). The "bullock" is mentioned, because it is a principal creature used in sacrifice; as is the “he-goats.”


“Nor he-goats out of thy folds”—Goats were also offered in sacrifice (Leviticus 3:12; Leviticus 4:24; Leviticus 10:16; Numbers 15:27). The word “folds” refers to whatever is used to confine them.


The offerings of those who offer amiss will not be accepted. God declines to receive them.


10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.


“For every beast of the forest is mine,” by creation and preservation—all the beasts that roam at large in the wilderness; all that are untamed and unclaimed by man. The idea is that even if God "needed" such animals for offerings, he was not dependent on men to provide them, because He owned the countless beasts that roamed at large upon the earth, and they would provide an ample supply; therefore, only almighty and infinite God can honestly say, “Every beast of the forest is mine!” He did not need their bullocks and he-goats. God holds the keys to the commissary of the universe.  Does anyone doubt that He can supply all their needs?


“The cattle upon a thousand hills” belong to Him. (“Cattle” is sometimes rendered “oxen.”) This may mean either “the cattle that roamed by thousands on the hills,” or “the cattle on countless hills,” or “all the cattle in the whole world.” The Hebrew will bear all three constructions, but the first is most likely to be the meaning. The reference is probably to the animals that were pastured in great numbers on the hills, and that were looked after by men. The idea is that all—whether wild or tame—belonged to God, and He had a right to them, to dispose of them as He pleased. He was not, therefore, in any way dependent on sacrifices. It is a beautiful and comforting thought, that all these animals—all living things on the earth—belong to God. What man owns, he owns under God, and has no right to complain when God comes and asserts his superior claim to dispose of them at His pleasure. God has never given to man the absolute proprietorship of "anything”; nor does He invade our rights when He comes and claims what we possess, or when He takes what is most valuable to us. Job seems to have understood this principle: “And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21).


11 I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.


“I know all the fowls of the mountains;” not only tame and domestic fowls, but even those which are wild and fly up and down upon mountains; which though out of man’s reach, are at God’s command. I am fully acquainted with their numbers; their nature; their habits; their residence. God not only knows them, but takes care of them (feeds them); not a sparrow falls to the ground without His knowledge—“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father” (Matthew 10:29); and therefore He did not need their turtledoves and young pigeons, which were the only fowls used in sacrifice. I have such a knowledge of them that I could appropriate them to my own use if I were in need of them. I am not, therefore, dependent on people to offer them, for I can use them as I please. All creation is God's, known to Him, and owned by Him, to be dealt with at His pleasure. For what reason, then, should he need gifts from men?


 “And the wild beasts of the field are mine” is a peculiar phrase, found only in another Asaph Psalm (Psalm 80:13), meaning probably all that moveth in the field, including the “creeping thing: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so” (Genesis 1:24). They “are mine”; literally “They are “with me.” That is, they are before me. They are never out of my presence. At any time, therefore, I could use them as I might need them. The word rendered "wild beasts" means any moving thing; and the idea here is, whatever moves in the field, or roams abroad. Everything is His - whether on the mountains, in the forest, or in the cultivated field.



12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.


“If I were hungry, I would not tell thee;” for example, suppose that it is possible that I could be hungry, I would not appeal to man for “provisions”; “for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof,” and I would have the right to use it, as I see fit.  Furthermore, if there was anything I wanted or desired, which there is not, being the all-sufficient God,  I would not tell thee, For I do not need or want your help in that respect. I should not be dependent on you—“The earth is the LORD's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1).


“For the world is mine,” the earth and all that has been created. The whole earth, and all its fullness, is His. He made it, and He remains its sole Owner and Master. There is no inferior, as some believed, who framed it and governs it. All its marvels, all its beauty, all its richness, proceed from God alone.


“And the fulness thereof”—All that fills the world; all that exists upon it. The whole creation is at His disposal; He has a right to all that the earth produces. This language is used to show the absurdity of the supposition that He was in any way dependent on man, or that the offering of sacrifice could be supposed in any way to put Him under obligation.



13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?


“Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?” This verse shows still further the absurdity of the views which seem to have prevailed among those who offered sacrifices. They offered them "as if" they were needed by God; "as if" they placed Him under obligation; "as if" in some way they contributed to His happiness, or were essential to His welfare. The only supposition on which this could be true was that he needed the flesh of the one for food, and the blood of the other for drink; or that he was sustained (nourished) as mere creatures are; creatures that He created. But this was only a supposition, which, when it was stated in a proper manner, must be instantly seen to be absurd. It helps our understanding of this verse if we know that among the pagan people, the opinion did undoubtedly prevail that the gods ate and drank what was offered to them in sacrifice; whereas the truth was, that these things were consumed by the priests who served the pagan altars, and conducted the devotions at pagan temples, and who found that it contributed much to their own support, and did much to secure the liberality of the people, to keep up the impression that what was offered to the gods was consumed by the gods. One pagan idea was that a vapor, an odor, was thought to ascend from the victims sacrificed, and this penetrated to the Olympian abodes, and gratified, or, as some would say, "fed" the gods. But such uncivilized feeding as that suggested in the text was hardly imagined by any, unless it were by utter savages and barbarians.


God appeals here to his own people in this earnest manner because it was to be presumed that "they" had higher perceptions of Him than the pagans had; and that, enlightened as they were, they could not for a moment suppose that these offerings were necessary for Him. This, then, is the question He asks them, “Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?” But is it to be supposed, can any suppose it possible, that I, the Lord of heaven and earth, the invisible Author of all things, both visible and invisible, can need material sustenance, and can condescend to find any sustenance in bulls' flesh and goats' blood? Scarcely did even the grossest of the heathen take this view.  “Do you really believe that I would do such a thing? Do you think that I would express pleasure, take delight and satisfaction, in that kind of sacrifices, which can never take away sin: no, I will not!


This is one of the passages in the Old Testament which imply that God is a Spirit, and that, as such, he is to be worshipped in spirit and in truth—“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). God is a spirit. This is a reason why men should worship Him in spirit and in truth. By this is meant that God is without a body; that He is not material or composed of parts; that He is invisible, in every place, pure and holy. This is one of the first truths of religion, and one of the most uplifting ever presented to the mind of man.



14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:


“Offer unto God thanksgiving”; this is just as much a part of real religion as praise is. This is also the duty and the privilege of all the true worshippers of God. To do this shows where the heart is, as much as direct acts of praise and thanksgiving. The purpose of all that is said here is to show that true religion—the proper service of God—does not consist merely of “good deeds and sacrificial giving,” but that it has a spiritual nature, and that any offering is worthless unless it is accompanied by corresponding acts of spiritual religion, showing that the heart has a proper appreciation of the mercies of God, and that it truly opens up to Him. Such spirituality in religion is expressed by acts of praise. The one offering acceptable to God is praise and thanksgiving out of a pure heart. This was designed to be the accompaniment of all sacrifice, and was the ground of acceptability in every case where sacrifice was acceptable.


The word rendered "offer" is used here to mean "sacrifice." The word is used, without a doubt, to show what was the "kind" of sacrifice with which God would be pleased, and which He would approve. It was not the mere "sacrifice" of animals, which was the commonly held opinion; it was not the mere presentation of the bodies and the blood of slain beasts; it was an offering which proceeded from the heart, and which was expressive of gratitude and praise. This is not to be understood as implying that God did not require or approve of the offering of bloody sacrifices, but rather, as implying that a higher sacrifice was necessary; that these would be vain and worthless unless they were accompanied with the offerings of the heart; and that His worship, even the outward forms, was to be a spiritual worship.


If you want to know what sacrifices I prize the most, and what I definitely require, it is an attitude of thankfulness and praise which is proportional to my great, and glorious, and countless favors; which do not consist merely in verbal acknowledgments, but proceeds from a heart truly and deeply affected by God’s mercies, and is accompanied by a way of life which is well-pleasing to God.


Thanksgiving is a sacrifice: “Whoever offers praise glorifies me . . .” (Psalm 50:23). The Jews say that all sacrifices will cease in the future during the times of the Messiah, except for the sacrifice of praise; and this should be offered up for all mercies, temporal and spiritual; and unto God, because they all come from Him; and because such sacrifices are well-pleasing to Him, and are nothing other than our reasonable service, and agreeable to His will. They are offered up properly when they are offered up through Christ, the great High Priest, by whom they are made acceptable unto God; and by faith in Him, without which it is impossible to please God.


“And pay thy vows unto the most High”— to the true God, the most exalted Being in the universe; not ceremonial, but moral vows seem to be what’s meant here: the things required in this Psalm being opposed to sacrifices and preferred before them, as well as all ceremonial observances and offerings. He means those substantial vows, promises, and covenants, which were the very soul of their sacrifices, and to which their sacrifices were but accessories and seals; namely, the vows whereby they did affirm Jehovah to be their God, and promised to walk in His ways (Deuteronomy 26:17); and to love, serve, and obey Him according to that solemn covenant which they entered into at Sinai (Exodus 24:3-8), and which they often renewed, and indeed did implicitly repeat in all their sacrifices, which were appointed for this very purpose, to confirm this covenant.


The word "vows" means a vow or promise, a thing vowed, a prayerful offering, a sacrifice. The idea seems to be, that the true notion to be attached to the sacrifices which were prescribed and required was, that they were to be regarded as expressions of internal feelings and purposes; of penitence; of a deep sense of sin; of gratitude and love; and that the objective of such sacrifices was not fulfilled unless the "vows" or pious purposes implied in the very nature of sacrifices and offerings were carried out in the life and conduct of the sacrificers. They were not, therefore, to come merely with these offerings, and then feel that all the purpose of worship was accomplished. They were to carry out the true intention of them by living lives corresponding with the idea intended by such sacrifices—lives full of penitence, gratitude, love, obedience, submission, and devotion. Only this could be acceptable worship.


The word "vows" is not used here to represent the ceremonial ones, such as the vow of the Nazarite; and much less monastic ones, like the vow of celibacy, and abstinence from certain meats at certain times; but moral, or spiritual and evangelical vows; such as devoting one's self to the Lord and to His service and worship, under the influence and in the strength of grace; signified by saying, “I am the Lord's,” and the giving up of ourselves to Him and to His churches, to walk with them in all His commands and ordinances, to which His love and grace restrain and oblige; see Isaiah 44:5. That which may be especially meant is giving God the glory and praise for every mercy and deliverance. This Scripture does not obligate one to make vows, but we are obligated to pay them once they are made; see Ecclesiastes 5:4; and may refer to everything a man puts himself under obligation to perform, especially in religious affairs.



15 And call on me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.



“And call on me”—this is another part of spiritual sacrifice or worship, which is much more acceptable to God than sacrificing animals. Calling upon God includes all elements of religious worship, and particularly the performance of prayer, as it does here, of which God, and He only, is the object; and which should be performed in faith, in sincerity, and with emotion; and it should be made at all times, in private and in public, but, more specifically, it should be made at the time of affliction of the soul or body, whether it is a personal, family, or public kind—“Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. . .” (James 5:13). There is no uncertainty here.  God knows our troubles; but He demands that we should call.  Days of trouble are often sent to make us call. 


Everyone who loves God should be conscience of that great duty of constant and fervent prayer to Him which is an acknowledgment of their subjection to Him and of their trust and dependence upon Him, and therefore is pleasing to Him.


“in the day of trouble”—that is, when trouble comes, do not attempt to avoid it or to extricate thyself from it by sinful maneuverings and scheming, as hypocrites generally do, and do not merely or chiefly appeal to others for relief, but give glory to God, by looking to Him, relying on His promises, and expecting help from Him.


“I will deliver thee.” I will help you when you are having troubles, and deliver you out of them at the time and in the manner which will do the most for my glory and your good. This will occur (a) either in this life, in accordance with the frequent promises found in His word (compare the notes at Psalm 46:1); or (b) entirely in the future world, where all who love God will be completely and forever delivered from all forms of sorrow.


“And thou shalt glorify me”—will have good reason to do so, and shall consider it thy duty to praise and glorify me for thy deliverance. Keep in mind, dear reader, our troubles, though we may see them coming from the hand of God, should drive us to God, and not from Him. We must acknowledge Him in all our ways, depend upon His wisdom, power, and goodness, and submit ourselves entirely to Him, and let that give Him glory. This is a cheaper, easier, quicker way of seeking His favor than by a peace-offering or trespass-offering, and much more acceptable. And notice also that when He delivers us in answer to our prayers, as He has promised to do in such a way and at a time as He thinks fit and proper, we must glorify him, not only by a grateful mention of His favors, but by living a life that will bring Him praise and serving him in righteousness and true holiness continually. That’s the reason we must maintain our communion with God; meeting Him with our prayers when He afflicts us, and with our praises when He delivers us.


There is no way in which we can honor God more, or show more clearly that we truly confide in Him, than by going to him when everything seems to be dark; when His own ways and dealings are totally incomprehensible to us, and committing all into His hands. When verses 14 and 15 are taken together the meaning is, "Then, when thou shalt offer unto me a true worship (ver. 14), if thou wilt call upon me in the day of trouble, I will assuredly deliver thee, and so give thee occasion for glorifying Me."



16-23. Hypocrisy is wickedness, which God will judge. And it is too common, for those who teach the Word of God and those who preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to live in disobedience to His commands. Men suffer from the delusion that they can get away with the abuse of God's long-suffering, and deliberately misinterpreting His character and the intention of His gospel. The sins of sinners will be fully exposed and proven 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 middle age and old age, to their everlasting shame and terror. Let those who are forgetful of God (He is not relevant), and given up to wickedness, or have been in any way negligent of salvation, reflect on the extent of the great danger they have brought upon themselves. The patience of the Lord is very great. It is even more wonderful, because sinners abuse it so; but if they do not change their attitude, 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 are born again. Man's chief end is to glorify God: whosoever offers praise, glorifies Him, and His spiritual sacrifices shall be accepted. We must praise God, sacrifice praise, and 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 attempt to glorify Him in word and deed.



16 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?


With the littleword “but,” the psalm turns to address an even worse class, those who, while undeniably wicked, shelter themselves under the name of the covenant.


“But unto the wicked”—the same hypocritical crowd, whom He called saints (50:5), in regard of their profession, and here wicked, with respect to their practice.


This begins a second part of the psalm. The first part was addressed to the breakers of the first table of the law; He now addresses those who, though not openly profane sinners, had broken the second table. To this point, the psalm had reference to those who were merely external worshippers, or mere formalists (today’s “legalists”), showing that such could not be given approval and acceptance on the Day of Judgment; that spiritual religion—the offering of the "heart"—was necessary in order to be accepted by God.


In this part of the psalm the same principles are applied to those who actually "violate" the law which they profess to believe is really stipulating the rules of true religion, and which they profess to teach to others. The intent of the psalm is not merely to rebuke the mass of the people as mere formalists in religion, but especially to admonish the leaders and teachers of the people—the Scribes, Pharisees, and doctors among the Jews, their wise men—who learnt and taught the law, but did not act according to it. Who sat in Moses's chair, and said, and did not; who, under the banner of religion, gave themselves up to a course of life wholly inconsistent with the true service of God. The focus here, therefore, is on those who, while they professed to be teachers of religion, and to lead the devotions of others, gave themselves up to reckless lives. They appeared outwardly righteous before men, but inwardly they were full of wickedness, destitute of the grace of God and the righteousness of Christ;


“God saith”—through His Holy Spirit inspiring his prophets with the knowledge of his will, and commissioning them to declare it; “why do you pretend to be of my people and talk of my covenant, seeing that you are a hypocrite?”


“What hast thou to do (i.e., how darest thou?) to declare my statutes?” — Having informed them of what He would not admonish them for (50:8), and why (50:9-13)—he now tells them for what He did admonish and condemn them; a vain and false profession of religion.


What right do you have to do this? How can people, who lead such lives, consistently and properly do this? The idea is, that those who profess to declare the law of a holy God should themselves be holy; that they who profess to teach the principles and doctrines of true religion should themselves be examples of purity and holiness.


“To declare my statutes”—this evidently refers to teaching others, rather than professing their own faith. The language would be applicable to the priests under the Jewish system, who were expected not only to conduct the outward services of religion, but also to instruct the people; to explain the principles of religion; to be the leaders and teachers of others. Compare to Malachi 2:7—“For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger of the LORD Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth.” There is a striking resemblance between the language used in this part of the psalm (50:16-20) and the language of the apostle Paul in Romans 2:17-23; and it would seem probable that the apostle in that passage had this portion of the psalm on his mind.


Do you dare to teach my law to others, and profane it yourselves? What impudence, what blasphemy is this! You count up your holy days, you argue for rituals, you fight for externals, and yet you despise the weightier matters of the law! “You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel” (Matthew 23:24); your hypocrisy is written on your foreheads and there for all to see.”


What right do you have “to declare my statutes”; the laws of God, which were given to the people of Israel—some of which were of a moral, others of a ceremonial, and still others of a judicial nature—and there were persons appointed to teach and explain them to the people; the priests and Levites. Now some of these laws have been abolished, and are no longer declared in the times this psalm refers to. As for the others, the ones that remained, those persons who taught and urged the observance of them, were wrong to do so when they themselves did not keep them; and especially it was wrong for them to declare them to the people, for such purposes as they did, namely, to obtain life and righteousness by keeping them.


“That thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth”—which is not to be understood as referring to the covenant of works made with Adam, and now broke; nor to the pure covenant of grace, which is in operation during the current Gospel dispensation, of which Christ is the Mediator, and the Gospel message, since both were rejected by the Jewish nation; but the covenant at Mount Sinai is meant here. It is equivalent to the "law" of God, or the principles of His religion; and the idea is, that He who undertakes to explain it to others, should himself be a holy man. He has no "right" to attempt to explain it, if he is otherwise; he cannot hope to be "able" to explain it, unless he himself sees and appreciates its truth and beauty. But now it is outdated, and ought to have ceased; and therefore these men are blamed for taking it in their mouths, and urging it on the people: “If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it” (Hebrews 8:7). The law in its morality was blameless; but in saving us it was defective, and so not faultless. This is as true now of the Gospel as it was of the law—wicked man can have no right to undertake the work of the ministry, nor can he be able to explain to others what he himself does not understand


To those who make a false profession of faith, the lord says, “How dare you mention my grace and favor in giving thee such a covenant and such statutes, pretending to embrace them, and to devote thyself to the observance of them?” This concerned not only the teachers of the people, the scribes and Pharisees, at whom it prophetically pointed, but the hypocritical and formal Israelites in general, who professed to know God, but their works denied Him. And it still concerns all those professors of the true religion, whose practice contradicts their profession, and especially those ministers of the gospel who, while they teach others, neglect to teach themselves. All such, according to the psalmist here, are guilty of attempting to usurp and take for themselves an honor which they have no right to, and from which therefore they shall soon be removed with shame and disgrace as intruders.



17 Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee.


“Seeing thou hatest instruction” is a phrase which gives the impression that he is unwilling to be taught. He will not learn the true nature of religion, and yet he dares to instruct others—bearing in mind that what you actually do contradicts your testimony (that you are a worshipper of God and obedient to His commands)—and that makes you a notorious and brazen liar. For though you say you love My statutes and guidance, yet, if you were truthful, you would have to admit that you hate them, because they oppose and hinder the gratification which comes from those sinful desires you really love, and are the basis of your just condemnation. And this, above all other parts of God’s Word, is the most unbearable to ungodly men; and, therefore, this is rightfully alleged to be an evidence of their wickedness. Ezekiel 33:31 seems to summarize this paragraph: “My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain.”


“Instruction” may also mean “correction"; that is, to be accused and admonished by the statutes and covenant they declared to others; they taught others, but not themselves—“You, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal?” (Romans 2:21). To be specific, the object may be evangelical instruction, the doctrines of grace, and of Christ; for, they were enemies of the Gospel—“As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake. . .” (Romans 11:28); and since they were haters of that, they should not have been teaching others;


“And casteth my words behind thee”—as men do with things which they abhor and despise. They treat them with contempt, or as unworthy of their attention. They did not regard them as worthy of being "retained," so they threw them away contemptuously. Contrast this with David’s behavior described in Psalm 18:22)—“I have followed all his regulations; I have never abandoned his decrees.” “My words” include all the words of the Ten Commandments—“He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets” (Deuteronomy 4:13).


During the times of Peter and Paul, up to the present day, it can be said, they “casteth my words behind thee”—because they despised, loathed and rejected the doctrines of the Gospel, with the utmost abhorrence and loathing, saying they were not fit to be read. They went from "inward alienation" to "open rejection" of the moral law. “You have done more evil than all who lived before you. You have made for yourself other gods, idols made of metal; you have aroused my anger and turned your back on me” (1 Kings 14:9). "But they were disobedient and rebelled against you; they turned their backs on your law. They killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you; they committed awful blasphemies” (Nehemiah 9:26).



18 When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.


“When thou sawest a thief,” that is to say, when you happened to come upon one who was intending to commit theft, or even worse, one who is in the process of robbing another, (instead of reporting it to the authorities, or preventing the theft yourself) you have been willing to join him in order to obtain a share of the profits. The words "when thou sawest" would seem to imply readiness and willingness to link up with them. Whenever there was an opportunity to share in the illegal gains of theft, they were ready to engage in it. The main "point" in this is that they were willing to do so even when observing the outward duties of religion, and when professing to be the true worshippers of God. A similar sentiment occurs in Romans 2:21—“You, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal?” (Romans 2:21)—Instead of reproving him, and witnessing against him, as those who declare God’s Word or profess His religion,  should do,.


“Then thou consentedst with him”—approved of His practices, and desired to share in the profits from his wicked deeds. And that leads to linking up with him in order to take part in his unrighteous acts, and to yielding to his propositions with great satisfaction and determination.


“When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him. . .” or, as some say, “You run with him.” You joined him and agreed to take part in the commission of the same wicked deeds; which was literally true of the Scribes and Pharisees: they devoured widows' houses, and robbed them of their substance, under a pretense of long prayers; they allowed the deeds of Barabbas, a robber, to go unpunished, because they preferred him to Jesus Christ; and they joined with the thieves on the cross in reviling Him: and, in a spiritual sense, they stole the word of the Lord from their neighbors, and took away the key of knowledge from the people, by NOT correctly interpreting the Scriptures.


God tests those who say they belong to Him, but are really disobedient, servants according to the second table of the Decalogue, and finds them wanting. If they do not themselves actually rob, they give their consent, they become accessories before the fact, to robbery. They probably receive some of the ill-gotten gains.


“And hast been partaker with adulterers,” by joining with them in their lewd and filthy practices. This and the two following verses are concerned with the notorious vices of the synagogue, (the Jewish Church,) which was extremely corrupt in the time of Christ.


Adultery was a common vice among the Jewish people. The idea here is that they were associated with adulterers and were themselves adulterers; they were as guilty of that crime as the others were, since they joined with them in their lewd and filthy practices. The point of the remark here is that they did this under the cloak of piety, and when they were faithful in offering sacrifices, and in performing all the external rites of religion. These teachers of the law were guilty both of theft and adultery (Romans 2:21); our Lord called them an adulterous generation, Matthew 12:39; and they were so in a literal sense (see John 8:4); and in a figurative one, polluting the word of God, and doing it deceitfully.



19 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.


“Thou givest thy mouth to evil,” that is, they used it to speak evil; they employed it in lying, in expressing hatred, deceit, slander, deception, and to belittle anyone who didn’t agree with them. an They are said to have an unbridled tongue, for they have cast off all the restraints of God’s law, and of thy own conscience.

In Hebrew, the word translated “Thou givest,” means “thou sendest forth,” with the idea being to set them free; for the word is used by men when dismissing their wives or their servants, with the intention of granting them their freedom.


“To evil” can refer either to sinful or harmful speech—to speak evil things against Christ, his doctrines, ordinances, ministers and people—and to proclaim evil doctrines that are harmful to the souls of men.


“And thy tongue frameth deceit,” by which simple and unstable minds are beguiled. The word rendered "frameth" means to bind, to fasten, to weave—to weave snares is a common figure of speech—and then, to scheme, to frame. The idea is that it was employed in the work of deceit; that is, in devising and executing fraud and falsehood. Those who practice evil may say, “Thy tongue” is at liberty to speak whatever thou pleases, even though it is offensive and dishonors God, and is harmful to thy neighbor, or to thy own soul,” which is an evidence of their hypocrisy. But we know otherwise, for the Bible says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). If we do not receive justice here on earth, we will certainly have it in Heaven: “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men (1 Corinthians 6:9).


“Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit”; rather, thou hast loosed thy mouth to say evil things; i.e., given it liberty to utter all manner of wicked speech; and especially thou hast used mouth and tongue to beguile and deceive.


20 Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son.


“Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother”—to the typical nature of lies and slander there is now added the fact that they were guilty of this in the most exasperating manner conceivable—against their nearest relatives, the members of their own families. They were not only guilty of committing this crime against their neighbors, against strangers, against folks with whom they had no relationship of any kind; but against members of their own households—those whose characters, on that account, should have been especially dear to them. The words "Thou sittest" probably refer to the fact that they would do this at the same time they were enjoying fellowship with them; while engaged in confidential conversation; when words of love, and not of slander, might be expected. The word "brother" might be used to denote any other man, or any one of the same nation (any fellow Israelite); but the phrase which is added, "Thine own mother's son," shows that it is here to be taken in the strictest sense.


One may learn the following things from this short sentence: (1) the cruelty of hypocrites who in their talk or judgment do not spare their own mother's sons, their natural brothers; (2) they constantly and deliberately slander their brothers without provocation, but with great skill and satisfaction; (3) they may sit in the chair of Moses, or on the seat of judgment, in the great Sanhedrim of the nation; (4) they slander their brother, and pass judgment upon him—to put him to death for professing faith in Jesus Christ—“And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death” (Matthew 10:21); and (5) the Psalmist describes a state of moral degeneracy in which even the closest ties of kinship are ignored—“For the son dishonors the father, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house” (Micah 7:6).


“Thou slanderest”; literally, "Thou givest to ruin" or “Thou givest a thrust” or “dost allege a fault against.” Slander takes away a person’s good name, which is better than riches, than life itself; and which is contrary to the Lord’s express and oft-repeated commands—it often hurts worse than blows.


“Thine own mother's son,” implies that an actual brother is intended. It is one of the special characteristics of the degenerate to be "without natural affection"—“Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful” (Romans 1:31). Natural affection is the affection founded upon natural relationship—such as that between parent and child, husband and wife, brother and sister. In illustration of this particular expression, we may remember that infanticide and divorce were very common during this period. Bear in mind that where polygamy prevailed there would be many children in the same family who had the same father, but not the same mother. The nearest relationship, therefore, was where there was the same mother as well as the same father. To speak of a brother, in the strictest sense, and as implying the nearest relationship, it would be natural to speak of one as having the same parents. The idea here is that while professing to be religious, and performing its external rites with the most thorough care, they were guilty of the vilest crimes, and showed a complete lack of moral principle and of natural affection. External worship, however enthusiastically performed, could not be acceptable to a holy God, under such circumstances.


In a country where polygamy was practiced, “Thine own mother's son,” denotes a closer relationship than the more general “brother” would do. What is said here was also true of the apostles and disciples of Christ, who were their brethren and kinsmen according to the flesh; and even to our Lord Jesus Christ himself, who was bone of their bone, and flesh of their flesh.



21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.


“These things hast thou done, and I kept silence.” The meaning is that while they did these things—while they committed these abominations—He did not interfere. He did not come to them in anger to destroy them. He had endured all this with patience. He had put up with this until it was now time for Him to interpose Isaiah 18:3—“All you people of the world, you who live on the earth, when a banner is raised on the mountains, you will see it, and when a trumpet sounds, you will hear it—and state the true principles of His kingdom, and warn them of the consequences of such a path of sin and hypocrisy: “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). “He commands all men everywhere to repent”; that is, he has given orders, that the doctrine of repentance, as well as remission of sins, should be preached to all nations, to Gentiles as well as Jews; and that it becomes them to repent of their idolatries, and turn from their idols, and worship the one, only, living and true God.


“These things hast thou done,” “These evil works,” as the Targum has it; which they had done over and over again without remorse, but with the greatest pleasure, and with promises of immunity for themselves. This is a confirmation of the charge made by the omniscient God, who saw and knew all their deeds. Because God did not openly intervene to punish them for the sins they had committed, the transgressors dared to imagine Him to be indifferent to sin,


“And I kept silence.” I did not express my displeasure with thee, or I conducted myself like one who was deaf and did not hear thy sinful speech, nor see, or take any notice of thy wicked actions. I didn’t say anything about the terrible things you were doing, I deferred the execution of judgment, exercised forbearance and patience, and gave you time to repent; but you became hardened instead, and went deeper and deeper into sin—“When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people's hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong” (Ecclesiastes 8:11).


“Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself. The idea here is that they thought or imagined that God was just like themselves—no holier, no purer, no more averse to evil—in the matter under consideration, and they acted under this impression. The wicked man degrades his conception of God into a reflection of himself, and fancies that Jehovah as He reveals Himself, will prove to be only like a man. They supposed that "God" would be satisfied with any "form" of religion, as "they" were; that all He required was the proper offering of sacrifice. According to "their" views of the nature of religion, He did not concern Himself with principles, justice, pure morality, sincerity, just as they themselves did not; and that He would not be quick to punish sin, or to reprimand them for it. Either He did not see the things committed by them in secret, things mentioned before—theft, adultery, slander, and abuse—because they could not see such things when done by others; or that He took pleasure in them, as they did, and that He approved of their crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, and their contempt for His Gospel, and the persecution of His followers.


“But I will reprove thee,” that is to say,I will rebuke thee for thy sins, for your view of the nature of religion, and for your opinion of Me. I will correct thee, not verbally by the ministry of the Word, nor by the application of fatherly correction and chastisement; much less through the working of the Holy Spirit; but by severe punishments, as this word is used in Job 13:10, Psalm 6:1, 38:1, 39:11, and many other places. The severe punishments may be an allusion to the Lord sending Roman armies to burn their city and temple, and carry them away as captives.


“And set them in order”— I will bring to thy remembrance, and lay upon thy conscience, all thy sins, past and present, and put them their order, from first to last. And I will include all the circumstances that angered Me, and then you will know that I hated them all, and that none of them shall go unpunished. Thus the psalmist, serving as the mouth of God, foretells the destruction of the defiant and unrepentant Jews; who, having received the law of God, and the ordinances of His worship and service, entered into a solemn covenant with Him, but would not be reformed by the warnings and appeals of Moses or the prophets, nor by the preaching and miracles of Christ and His apostles; and, therefore, after a long series of lesser judgments and calamities, of which we have an obscure account in their history, at last suffered an infliction of wrath and vengeance sufficient to make the ears of everyone that hears it to tingle.


He will set their sins “in order” and thereby fully invalidate their vain imagination; that either He did not take notice of them, or He approved of them. This signifies a formal process, like that followed in a court of law; bringing charges against them for all the offences of which they are guilty, presenting strong evidence of the sins they have committed—such as the time, place, and circumstances that apply—and obtaining an orderly and thorough conviction of them, so that it cannot be refuted by them or anyone else.



“Before thine eyes,” so that they may be plainly seen. The meaning is that they would have a clear view of them: they would be made to see them as they really were. This might be done then, as it is done now, either:

(a)    by their being set before their minds and hearts—I will bring to thy remembrance, and lay them upon thy conscience—so that they would see and feel the enormity of sin, namely, by convicting them for it; or

(b)   by punishing them for their sins, so that they might "measure" the guilt and the number of their transgressions by the penalties which would be inflicted.


Thou shalt see and know that I have observed every sin, and that I have hated them all, and that none of them shall go unpunished. In some way all sinners will be made to see the nature and the extent of their guilt before God.



22 Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.


Verses 22 and 23 provide a practical conclusion, which is addressed to both classes: to the formal worshippers who “forget God” by ignoring the spiritual character of the worship which He desires, as well as to the hypocrites whose conduct proves that they “refuse to have Him in their knowledge.”


“Now consider this” (understand this; give attention to this; take these truths to heart)—the evils that had been committed, and repent of them—acknowledge that the Lord, was not like them, not an approver of sin, but a disapprover of it. The word "now" does not express the force of the original. The Hebrew word is not an adverb of "time," but an element denoting an "appeal," and a better rendering would be, "Oh, consider this;" or, "Consider this, I beseech you;" for the Lord is unwilling even to let the most ungodly continue on a path which leads to destruction. The matter is presented to them as that which deserved their most earnest attention.


“Ye that forget God”; you hypocritical and ungodly Israelites, who have forgotten (as Moses foretold you would do—“Of the Rock that begat you you are unmindful, and have forgotten God that formed you” (Deuteronomy 32:18) the God that formed you, and made you His people, and forgotten His mercies and judgments, of which you should have been instructed, and the covenant which you made with Him, and by which you stand obligated to worship and serve Him. How could you actually forget Him, since you claim to be actively engaged in worshipping Him? But in spite of all that, you are living in complete forgetfulness of the just claims and of the true character of God.


“Lest I tear you in pieces”; language stemming from the fury of a ravenous beast (such as a lion, a leopard, or a bear, see Hosea 5:14), tearing his victim from limb to limb. The Lord has issued a warning in the form of an awful threat—in case my patience be turned into fury, and I proceed to take vengeance on you; which was accomplished in the destruction of Jerusalem; when both their civil and ecclesiastical state were torn in pieces; their city and temple levelled to the ground, and not one stone left upon another; and the Israelites were scattered about on the earth.


“And there be none to deliver” when God rises up in His wrath to inflict vengeance. None would have the audacity, or the nerve to interfere; none "could" rescue them from His hand. There "is" a point in time in relation to all sinners when no one, not even the Redeemer—the great and merciful Mediator—will intervene to save a sinner; when the sinner will be left to be dealt with by simple, pure, unmixed and unmitigated "justice;" when mercy and kindness will have done their work in regard to them in vain; and when they will be left to the "mere desert" of their sins. At that point there is no power that can deliver them. No one can rescue you from the power of God’s righteous anger, till the time comes that they shall turn to the Lord (see Isaiah 42:22).


There is no Saviour, no refuge, and no hope for those who reject the Mediator: sinner beware, for you will truly need one in the day of wrath, and none will be near to plead for you. How terrible, how complete, how painful, how humiliating, will be the destruction of the wicked! God uses no soft words, or velvet metaphors, nor may His servants do so when they speak of the wrath to come. Dear reader, I pray that you will consider this.



“And there be none to deliver” denotes their utter and irreparable ruin. Certainly, if God, in his anger, lays hold of a man to punish him, there is no possible deliverance at the hand of any other man (Psalm 49:7, 8). Deliverance, if it comes at all, must come from the Redeemer, Jesus Christ.



23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.


“Whoso offereth praise,” or thanksgiving, or the sacrifice of thanksgiving, as in 50:14—“Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High.” Praise is the best sacrifice; true, hearty, gracious praise and thanksgiving from a renewed mind. Not the lowing of bullocks bound for the altar, but the songs of redeemed men are the music which the ear of Jehovah delights in. Sacrifice your loving gratitude, and God is honored in that way.The poet here sums up what he has previously said. External worship is a true index of the heart.


“Glorifieth me”—He, that presents the sacrifice of praise, and he only, gives me the honor which I prize and require; and not he who loads my altar with a multitude of sacrifices; whereby you vainly and falsely allege that you please and glorify me, although in the mean time you live in the gross neglect of the more important duties of piety, and justice, and charity; whereas in truth you greatly dishonor me, and my worship and service, by your wicked lives.  


“Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me;” that is, he truly honors me; he is a true worshipper; he meets with my approval. The idea is, that the worship which God requires is "praise;" it is not the mere external act of homage; it is not the presentation of a bloody sacrifice; it is not the mere bending of the knee; it is not a mere outward form: it is that which proceeds from the heart, and which shows that there is present within that heart a spirit of true thankfulness, adoration, and love. This is more gratifying and well-pleasing to Him than all burnt offerings and sacrifices;


“Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me;”—sums up the teaching of 50:7-15 on the nature of true worship: and it is natural to expect the second line to sum up the teaching of 50:16-21 on the obligations of moral duty.


“And to him, that ordereth his conversation aright” has been variously explained, so I have pulled together the clarifications that I could find, and they are listed below.

  1. “Conversation,” as used here, means “ones way or manner of life”; that is, he that lives orderly, and according to God’s rules; for sinners are said to walk disorderly (2 Thessalonians 3:6-11), and by chance (Leviticus 26:21, 23), which is opposed to order.
  2. The order of the Scriptures is what God prescribes and approves; and, therefore, it was proper to add this word, “aright,” in our translation: “and to him that ordereth his conversation aright”; according to the rule of God's word, and as becomes the Gospel of Christ; who walks inoffensively to all, circumspectly and wisely in the world, and in love to the saints; in wisdom towards them that are without, and in peace with them that are within; who is a follower of God, of Christ, and of His people; and who lives to glorify God, and cause others to glorify Him likewise: or that chooses for himself the right way, the right way to eternal life; and the sense is, he that puts or sets his heart upon it, and is in pursuit after the evangelical way of life.
  3. “To him that ordereth” or “to him who walks uprightly.” Being plainly intended for the ungodly, we want in this clause some mention of amendment, as applied to human life—we get, literally, him who has turned his way, i.e., who has changed his course of life.
  4. Or, more literally, "To him that "prepares" or "plans" his way;" that is, to him who is attentive to his going; who seeks to walk in the right path; who is anxious to go down the road that leads to a happier world; who is careful that all his conduct is in accordance with the rules which God has prescribed.
  5. Ordereth … aright—acts in a straight, right manner, opposed to turning aside (Ps 25:5). In such, pure worship and a pure life evince their true piety, and they will enjoy God's presence and favor.


Holy living is an evidence of salvation. He who surrenders his whole way to divine guidance, and is careful to honor God with his life, brings an offering which the Lord accepts through His dear Son; and such a one shall be instructed more and more from God’s Word, and made to know the Lord's salvation from personal experience. He needs salvation, for the best ordering of the life cannot save us, but salvation he shall have, for it is promised to those with grateful hearts and holy lives.


O Lord, let us stand in the judgment with those who have worshipped thee “aright” and have seen thy salvation.


“Will I show,” or a better rendering would be—I will show the salvation of God; or, "cause others to see" or "enjoy it." “I” may refer to either (1) “I” as the author of the psalm—“I” will teach the salvation of God"—“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you” (Psalm 32:8); or, (2) "I" as referring to God, for He promised that "He" (God the Spirit) would instruct His people. The latter is the probable meaning, since it is God that has been speaking in the previous verse.


 “The salvation of God,” My salvation, that true and everlasting happiness, which I have prepared for all my true and faithful servants, and for them only. Some of the Jewish rabbis were spreading falsehood when they taught that every Israelite will be welcomed into the world to come. The "salvation of God" is the salvation of which God is the author; or, which he alone can give. The "idea" here is that where there is a true desire to find the way of truth and salvation, God will impart needful instruction. He will not suffer such a one to wander away and be lost.


What a spectacle; what a victory for the holy soul!  Our way may seem dark at first; but if we dare to go on doing right, we shall certainly experience the divine deliverance.  Stand still, and see the salvation of God—Christ is the salvation of God's providing, appointing, and sending—“The LORD will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God” (Isaiah 52:10). Multitudes in all parts of the world, shall have a spiritual vision of Him, by faith, in the latter days; and all shall have a bodily sight of him, when he comes in person, or appears a second time.


There are four main points to this psalm, they are:

(1)   That there is to be a solemn judgment of mankind.

(2)  That the outcome of that judgment will not be determined by the observance of the external forms of religion.

(3)  That God will judge people impartially for their sins, though they observe those forms of religion (the external forms of religion).

(4)  That no worship of God can be acceptable which does not spring from the heart.