Tuesday 6th June 2017
This morning, we continue our devotions by looking at the foundational Biblical definition of worship.
We ask the question – What does God require of us?
Imagine you are invited to a birthday party – the most amazing party in a huge mansion on the outskirts of town. The hosts of the party are multi billionaires and it is going to be the party of the century. This couple have all the best cars that will be parked outside the mansion. The best food will be served and there will be, nothing you can think of, that will not be on the menu. All the distinguished people of the town will be there but here is the dilemma – What do you buy a person that has everything?
Psalm 50 could be entitled, “What do you give a God who has everything?”
Psalm 50 v 1 – 13
The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to where it sets. From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth. Our God comes and will not be silent; a fire devours before him, and around him a tempest rages. He summons the heavens above, and the earth, that he may judge his people:
“Gather to me this consecrated people, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
And the heavens proclaim his righteousness, for he is a God of justice.
“Listen, my people, and I will speak; I will testify against you, Israel: I am God, your God. I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me. I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it. Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?”
The figurative setting of Psalm 50 is a courtroom, where God has summoned His people to respond to His charges. He summons heaven and earth as His witnesses – as witnesses of the covenant, they would be witnesses concerning Israel’s violation of that covenant.
Israel has some reason to be nervous; God is not only the offended party in the case, but the Judge, not to mention the accusing witness! Testifying against them, God declares, “I am your God” – reminding them of the covenant He had made with them. They had not broken faith against Him by failing to offer sacrifices — in fact, God has little concern about these sacrifices. “I don’t need your animal sacrifices,” he declares, “for all the animals belong to Me, including the cattle on a thousand hills. I don’t eat animal flesh, but if I did, would I tell you if I were hungry? Since I own these creatures, wouldn’t I just take them if I wanted them?”
The violation of the covenant was in their behaviour.
So if God needs nothing what does God require?
The sacrifice which God really requires is thanksgiving and obedience.
Psalm 50 v 14 – 15
“Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
Worship is allowing God to take centre stage in our lives – wherever we are.