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God Himself Is Judge

A Psalm of Asaph.

1The Mighty One, God the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth.

3Our God comes; he does not keep silence;11Or May our God come, and not keep silence
before him is a devouring fire,
around him a mighty tempest.
4He calls to the heavens above
and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
5“Gather to me my faithful ones,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
6The heavens declare his righteousness,
for God himself is judge! Selah

7“Hear, O my people, and I will speak;
O Israel, I will testify against you.
I am God, your God.
8Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
your burnt offerings are continually before me.
9I will not accept a bull from your house
or goats from your folds.
10For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
11I 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.
13Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
14Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,22Or Make thanksgiving your sacrifice to God
and perform your vows to the Most High,
15and call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

16But to the wicked God says:
“What right have you to recite my statutes
or take my covenant on your lips?
17For you hate discipline,
and you cast my words behind you.
18If 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.
20You sit and speak against your brother;
you slander your own mother's son.
21These things you have done, and I have been silent;
you thought that I33Or that the I am 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!
23The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!”


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Verses 7–15

To obey is better than sacrifice, and to love God and our neighbour better than all burnt-offerings. We are here warned not to rest in these performances. And let us beware of resting in any form. God demands the heart, and how can human inventions please him, when repentance, faith, and holiness are neglected? In the day of distress we must apply to the Lord by fervent prayer. Our troubles, though we see them coming from God's hand, must drive us to him, not drive us from him. We must acknowledge him in all our ways, depend upon his wisdom, power, and goodness, and refer ourselves wholly to him, and so give him glory. Thus must we keep up communion with God; meeting him with prayers under trials, and with praises in deliverances. A believing supplicant shall not only be graciously answered as to his petition, and so have cause for praising God, but shall also have grace to praise him.




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