Foundational Guidance (Part 2) Series
Contributed by Richard Tow on Jul 18, 2017 (message contributor)
Summary: From Psalm 50 message explores basic direction for what to do. For example, we are to be thankful; we are to do what we promise to do; and in times of trouble, call on the Lord.
Richard Tow 3/13/16
Last week I spoke from Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?”1 We entitled that message “Foundational Guidance” because in that verse God tells us what to do “come what may.” This is His direction for you in any and every circumstance: do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. It always works! And when that revelation gets settled in our hearts, it gives perspective to every decision we make. It undergirds our lives in such a way that we are not disturbed by shifting circumstances. Being the seaman that I am, last week I confused the rudder on a ship with the keel on a ship. The rudder is the blade usually on the stern of a ship that is used to steer the ship. The keel is the ridge structure on the bottom of the ship running from front to back that projects down into the water and keeps the boat from bobbing side to side or capsizing. So when the ship is in a storm and the waves are hitting the sides of the boat, the keel extends down in the water and keeps the boat right side up and stabilized. Micah 6:8 serves like a keel in our lives. It enables us to endure the storms of life without being tossed to and fro by the winds and waves. Getting established in what God requires of you, brings stability in your life and enables you to make other decisions based on that foundation.
God is keeping me on that theme this morning. This message is entitle “Foundational Guidance, Part 2.”
Our text is found in Psalm 50:7-17.
"Hear, O My people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testify against you; I am God, your God! 8 I will not rebuke you for your sacrifices Or your burnt offerings, Which are continually before Me. 9 I will not take a bull from your house, Nor goats out of your folds. 10 For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. 12 "If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness. 13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, Or drink the blood of goats? 14 Offer to God thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High. 15 Call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall honor and glorify Me.”
In verse 7 we learn who God is addressing in this message. In verses 8-13 we hear what they were doing plenty of. And in verses 14-15 God tells them what He wants them to do. This is a companion text to Micah 6:8.
I. Who is God speaking to in our text?
He is speaking to His own people. “Hear, O My people, and I will speak; O Israel, I will testify against you: I am God, your God!” That is reinforced in verses 4-5 “He shall call to the heavens from above, And to the earth, that He may judge His people: 5 ‘Gather My saints together to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.’" God wants no mistake about who He is talking to here.
In contrast He speaks to a different group beginning in verse 16. Look at that transition.
Ps 50:16 “But to the wicked God says….” I would much rather be receiving the message in our text today than the one that begins in verse 16. God always makes a distinction between sheep and goats. He always distinguishes between people who are in covenant with Him and unbelievers who do not know Him. He deals with the two groups in very different ways.
Notice the terminology back in verse 7, “O Israel, I will testify against you….” As it was in Micah 6, this is similar to a courtroom setting. God is acting as both petitioner and judge. As it was last week, God is clarifying what He wants from them. Somehow God is trying to let you and me understand what is supremely important and what is secondary. He wants us, as His people, to understand what pleases Him. We do not want to get to the end of our journey and find out we had expended all our strength on the wrong thing. Amen?
II. What were they doing! What were they thinking that God wanted?
We find that in verses 8-13. In verse 8 God says, “I will not rebuke you for your sacrifices Or your burnt offerings, Which are continually before Me.” My complaint against you is not that you failed to bring sacrifices to the temple. You have been very active in the externals of religion. You have brought me plenty of sacrifices and offerings. That is not the problem.