Author: Asaph – Asaph was one of David’s chief musicians. He was also the ancestor of a group of temple musicians (Ezra a 2:40,41).
Verse 1 – The Mighty One, God the Lord, has spoken and called the earth from the rising of the sun to it’s going down.
Verse 2 – Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth,
Verse 3 – Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent; a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous all around Him.
Verse 4 – He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people;
Who is this judgment directed at? As we continue to read, we will find out there was then, as there is now, people who only go through the motions with rituals out of habit, not truly thanking God for who He is. The saints, all those who believe and are saved, have already been judged. All their sin and iniquity was placed on Jesus and cleansed by His blood.
Verse 5 – “Gather my saints together to Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.”
Verse 6 – Let the heavens declare His righteousness, for God Himself is Judge. Selah
Verse 7 – “Hear, O My people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testify against you; I am God, your God!”
Verse 8 – I will not reprove (correct, admonish, to argue) you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, which are continually before Me.
Verse 9 – I will not take a bull from your house, nor goats out of your fields.
Under the law, people of Israel were commanded to offer sacrifice for their sin, but evidently their hearts were not thankful, and God saw the motive behind their actions.
We may fall into this same pattern of going to church or tithing, out of habit. God wants us to obey because we desire to, not out of a ritual or just because.
Verse 10 – For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
Verse 11 – I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine.
Verse 12 – “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all its fullness.”
Verse 13 – Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
Verse 14 – Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High.
Verse 15 – Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you shall glorify Me.”
I never want to forget what my God has done for me. Remembering how far He has brought me, will cause me to be thankful and grateful. I never want to act like a spoiled child who takes and never gives back. I want to be like my Father who teaches, corrects, and gave His only son for me to have the life He desires me to have.
Verse 16 – But to the wicked God says: “What right have you to declare My statues, or take My covenant in your mouth,
Verse 17 – seeing you hate instruction and cast My words behind you?”
verse 18 -” When you saw a thief, you consented with him, and have been a partaker with adulterers.
Verse 19 – You give your mouth to evil and your tongue frames deceit!
Verse 20 – You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son.
Verse 21 – These things you have done, and I kept silent; you thought that I was altogether like you; but I will reprove you, and set them in order before your eyes.”
You can’t be a Christian and only follow some of His ways. Neither are God’s promises for those who are not His. The promise the lost start with is, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved.” That’s what God is talking about when he says “You give your mouth to evil and your tongue to deceit.” I hear a lot of people “claim” to be a Christian but their mouths and actions don’t line up. I know people who claim to know God and wouldn’t give me or anyone else a ham sandwich if in need. When your mouth , actions, and heart do not line up, God calls that wicked.
verse 22 – “Now consider this, you who forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be no deliver:
Verse 23 Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.”
Wow! That was pretty strong and plain. God asks what right does someone have to even utter His words when they are not His. We need to be careful of what we claim to be ours. He loves us and only wants the best for us.