Psalm 50 is a powerful Psalm, portraying the immanence of God throughout the world, particularly in the future judgment. We hear God quoted directly throughout the Psalm, beginning in verse 5 and down through the end. He speaks in judgment – first to His people, and then to the wicked starting in verse 16.
Verses 14-15 quoted above are His final exhortation to His people. They are said in contrast to a distorted emphasis in Israel’s worship. In verses 7-13, God’s rebuke to Israel implies that they adopted a wrong view of sacrifices in worship. They imagined He was pleased with them, in a very creaturely sense, because He needed them. The rebuke rings clear in verses 10-13, 10 For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. 12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine. 13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats? (cf. Acts 17:24-25). Many of the pagan religions around them would have answered verse 13, “Yes!” But it is blasphemous to think this way about the one true living God! Israel’s sacrifices weren’t wrong – God had commanded them. But their understanding of worship had been obscured by the religious culture around them.
Verses 14-15 convey the solution. An acceptable offering came with a sincere attitude of “thanksgiving.” It came with an attendant obedience to God, “perform your vows to the Most High.” And, it came with an attitude of dependence, “call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” What a wonderful description of the relational dynamic a believer is to enjoy with God! Days of trouble come. The covenanted believer “calls upon” God. He delivers us. We glorify Him!
Wasn’t this the case for the Israelites in Egypt? The whole account of their deliverance begins with days of trouble, then a cry for help, God’s determination to deliver, and then ends with a song of praise (Exodus 2:23-25, 3:7-10, 15:1-2). We see the pattern again in God’s repeated mercy in the time of the Judges. Even for salvation in the New Testament – “whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved…that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy (Rom. 10:13; 15:9).
Are you in a day of trouble? Call upon your great Savior – Jesus Christ – who stands as your mediator before His Father. He is even your Father too! You have been brought near to Him through the blood of Christ – so much more than the blood of sacrifices (Eph. 2:13; Heb. 10:19-22)! If God promised Psalm 50:14-15 to Israel, how much more certain is it to the believer who stands clothed in the very righteousness of Israel’s Messiah?! That’s you today.
Therefore, let us call upon God. This theme is akin to our current mini-series “Am I Seeking God?” The two are parallel in Isaiah 55:6-7 6 “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; 7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. We’ll see these truths reinforced in the life of King Asa in our next message.
Thanks! See you Sunday,