Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Psalm 50 NIV
A psalm of Asaph.
1 The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to where it sets. 2 From Zion, perfect in beauty,
God shines forth. 3 Our God comes and will not be silent; a fire devours before him, and around him, a tempest rages. 4 He summons the heavens above, and the earth, that he may judge his people: 5 “Gather to me this consecrated people, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” 6 And the heavens proclaim his righteousness, for he is a God of justice. 7 “Listen, my people, and I will speak; I will testify against you, Israel: I am God, your God. 8 I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me. 9 I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, 10 for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. 12 If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine and all that is in it. 13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats? 14 “Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, 15 and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” 16 But to the wicked person, God says: “What right have you to recite my laws or take my covenant on your lips? 17 You hate my instruction and cast my words behind you. 18 When you see a thief, you join with him; you throw in your lot with adulterers. 19 You use your mouth for evil and harness your tongue to deceit. 20 You sit and testify against your brother and slander your own mother’s son. 21 When you did these things and I kept silent, you thought I was exactly like you. But I now arraign you and set my accusations before you. 22 “Consider this, you who forget God, or I will tear you to pieces, with no one to rescue you: 23 Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me, and to the blameless, I will show my salvation.”
What thank-offering can you give to God?
You are the Mighty One, God the LORD, there is no one greater than You. Let the heavens declare Your righteousness, for You are the Judge of all. All have fallen short and have sinned against You. I deserve Your judgment of death and eternal damnation, but instead, You became the ultimate sacrifice out of Your great love for me and all mankind. You paid the price for my sin and disobedience. I receive You as Lord of my life and thank You. Because of Your ultimate sacrifice, the ritual of animal sacrifices is no longer required, but we are still tempted to practice Christian duties in a spirit of ritualism. Sometimes attending church becomes an empty repetition of religious ceremonies, but our hearts and lives are not engaged. We say that we are Christian, but we dishonor You with our disobedience. We have become complacent, too casual, and easy in our relationship with You and we ignore evil. This does not please You. Lord, I pray for Your forgiveness. Thank You for Your patience. Instead, You desire a thankful heart, a life of obedience, and a living trust in You. All that I am, and all that I have are Yours. You don’t need what I can offer, but out of Your desire for an intimate relationship with me, You give me the opportunity to grow in my trust in You through sacrificial living. Fill my heart with a passion for You as I worship You on Sunday. Let that passion overflow into every day of the week and in all aspects of my life. As a result, let me be bold in my conviction of Your righteousness. Let me stand against evil and declare Your Glory to the world, trusting You as I risk a backlash. Lord, receive my thank-offering as I surrender my heart and life to You today. You deserve all my honor and praise. Amen and Amen.