But to the wicked God says:
“What right have you to recite my statutes
or take my covenant on your lips?
17 For you hate discipline,
and you cast my words behind you.
18 If you see a thief, you are pleased with him,
and you keep company with adulterers.
19 “You give your mouth free rein for evil,
and your tongue frames deceit.
20 You sit and speak against your brother;
you slander your own mother’s son.
21 These things you have done, and I have been silent;
you thought that I was one like yourself.
But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.
22 “Mark this, then, you who forget God,
lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!
23 The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!” (Psalm 50:16-23 ESV)
God is depicted coming into his seat of judgment to judge Israel who has grown routine in their sacrificial practice but not their godly living. He says, “don’t talk the talk if you don’t walk the walk!” There is a definite connection between “ordering your way rightly” and seeing “the salvation of God.” That is not to say that God’s salvation is a reward. The key to this connection is verse 16 which speaks of “taking God’s covenant on the lips.” This is not a judgment against the nations with whom God has not entered into covenant, but with Israel. It is for those who have been given that privilege. To be in covenant with God is to be holy and set apart in the way you live. If that “set apartness” is not apparent, then something is amiss in the heart. Either it is being lured away by the temptations of the world and needs to hear this as a warning and repent, or it means that this person is not part of God’s remnant. The point of the psalm is to speak as a warning and bring repentance.
Does any of this psalm strike you?
Chronological Reading Plan plus Psalms: Lev 19-21, Ps 50