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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

April 27 2023

Today, Thursday April 27

“For God Himself is Judge”

Psalm 50:1-6 “The Mighty One, God the LORD, Has spoken and called the earth From the rising of the sun to its going down. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent; A fire shall devour before Him, And it shall be very tempestuous all around Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, And to the earth, that He may judge His people: “Gather My saints together to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice." Let the heavens declare His righteousness, For God Himself is Judge. Selah”

When we as believers are experiencing and enjoying the wonderful blessings of the LORD, we are so prone to wander from Him and focus on the blessings instead of the Blesser. This reminds me of the old hymn written by Robert Robinson in 1758 when he was only 22 years old, called "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing". One of verses goes like this: “O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be! Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to Thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love; Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.”

Especially in our contemporary Christian culture today we tend to sing about and think only of God as our Friend, Who loves us and we can do anything we want to do with no accountability. We forget that He is also our Judge and one day He is coming, and we must stand before Him as He sits on His Holy throne! Psalm 50 is a message Psalm to remind God’s people of that aspect of God. The chapter ends with this warning and admonition in verse 22: "Now consider this, you who forget God, Lest I tear you in pieces, And there be none to deliver”.

The Psalmist introduces this message with a reminder that God is a holy and righteous Judge (vv. 1-6). Human judges are called "The Honorable," or “Your Honor”, but this Judge is called "The Mighty One" (El), "God" (Elohim), "the Lord" (Jehovah), "the Most High" (Elyon, v. 14), and "God" (Eloah). He is Judge (vv. 4, 6), Prosecutor, and Jury—and He knows all about those who are on trial! He calls heaven and earth to witness the proceedings (vv. 1, 4, 6; see Deut. 4:26, 32; 31:28; 32:1; Isa. 1:2; Mic. 1:2 and 6:1-2).

“The Mighty One, God the LORD, Has spoken”. When a judge speaks everyone listens carefully because his word is final. No one argues with the judge! And my friend no one will argue with God on the day that sits to Judge His people.

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent; A fire shall devour before Him, And it shall be very tempestuous all around Him.” When a judge enters a courtroom, everybody stands respectfully; but God's entrance into this assembly is accompanied by the shining of His glory (80:1; 94:2) and a fiery tempest. This is not unlike the scene at Mount Sinai when He gave His law (Ex. 19:18; 24:17; Deut. 4:11-12; 33:2; Heb. 12:18, 29).

When we forget the transcendence of God, we find it easier to sin. When this Psalm was written the ark was with the people on Mount Zion ("Immanuel, God with us"). But the nation must not forget Mount Sinai where their God revealed His holiness and greatness. The Psalmist praised Zion for its beauty (v. 2; 48:2; Lam. 2:15), but he also wants us to remember "the beauty of holiness" (27:4; 90:17; 110:3).

God is a righteous Judge (vv. 4, 6; see also Psalms 7:11; 9:8; 11:4-7; 75:2; 96:10, 13; 98:9), and judgment begins with His own people (1 Peter 4:17). They are "godly ones," that is, a people set apart exclusively for the Lord because of the holy covenant (vv. 5, 16; Ex. 19:1-9; 24:4-8; Amos 2:3). Some of His people had sinned, and He had been longsuffering with them and silent about the matter (vv. 3, 21). They have misinterpreted His silence as consent (Eccl. 8:11; Isa. 42:14; 57:11), but now the time had come for the Holy God to speak.

The purpose of this "trial" was not to judge and condemn the sinners but to expose their sins and give them the opportunity to repent and return to the Lord. Remember 1 Corinthians 11:31-32: “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.”

Please take time today to let God’s Word cleanse you as you reflect on the condition of your heart and life!

God bless!

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