Bible Reading Blog
“He is Distinctly Different”Categories: Congregational Bible Reading
BIBLE READING: Psalm 50
“…every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hill, and all that moves in the field is mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fulness are mine.” (Psalm 50.10-12)
My toddler is in the “this is mine” phase. She takes pillows off the couch, food from pantry, or clothes from our dresser, holds them close and declares “this is mine!” Sometimes it is selfish and other times she uses it to do something nice like “give” us a present. We always laugh because we know none of it actually belongs to her… but she doesn’t understand that yet.
It appears God’s people had taken this same approach in worship. They offered sacrifices as though it were some great thing they were giving to God (Psalm 50.8-9), but He simply reminds them “I am God…” (Psalm 50.7). The sacrifices God required were not a gift from man to God, but a submission to give back to God (Psalm 50.7-11).
Even today God’s people have nothing of physical value to offer Him. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” (Psalm 24.1). The most “valuable things” in this world ultimately belong to God and therefore speak to His greater glory (Haggai 2.7-9). This does not mean we have nothing to give. However, because He is Creator and we are created, He doesn’t ask us to consider His needs. He tells us to obey his commands (Exodus 19.5-6; John 14.15). To impose our think-sos or ignore His words (Psalm 50.17; 2 Thessalonians 1.8) are an affront to His existence.
“you thought that I was one yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.” (Psalm 50.21)
God is relationally similar to us, which makes it is easy to humanize God. Like a child with limited understanding, we assume because we get hungry, tired, frustrated, annoyed etc. God feels the same things we do, in the same ways. But He is distinctly different, and we must not treat Him as our contemporary.
“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and perform our vows to the Most High and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” (Psalm 50.14-15)
Although He doesn’t exist as we do, we are designed as vehicles of His goodness and holiness (Psalm 50.5-6; Ephesians 1.4). He gives to us so we will benefit and bless Him in this world. We only know about God what He has revealed to us. We must be cautious not to impose on Him our characteristics and rationale. Rather, in humility, we ought to be thankful for what we are given and take it seriously.
“Mark this, then, you who forget God, lest I tear you apart and there be none to deliver! The one who offers thanksgiving as a sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50.22-23)