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God’s people Israel adopted the ideas of the surrounding nations. They misunderstood who God is and the point of the sacrificial system. God summons his people to know him and understand his grace.

Hi everyone Welcome again to training for life redeemed. I’m Dan I’m with my father, David. We are going through the Psalms This is pretty much this year Really. we are looking at Psalm 50 today We did not start at Psalm 1 If you were wondering we skipped a whole bunch of them and started the book two of the Psalms. If you didn’t know that the Psalms  were split up into books then go back to the first episode where we talked about that. Basically there were five books of the Psalms to separate these hundred and fifty psalms that we have. That would be one very long scroll…

01.15 David

Psalm 50

0 A composition of Asaph.

1 God, Yahweh God, speaks,

and he calls the earth, from the rising of the sun to its setting.

2 From Zion, from the perfection of beauty he shines.

3 Our God comes, and he is not silent.

Fire consumes before him.

And there is a great whirlwind around him.

4 He summons the heavens above,

and the earth to judge his people.

5 “My faithful ones gather to me

those who cut my covenant.

by means of a sacrifice.”

6 The heavens declare his justice

for God, he is the one who judges.


7 “Hear, my people

and I will speak, Israel.

And I will testify to you.

I am God, Your God.

8 I have no dispute with you concerning your sacrifices,

nor your whole burnt offerings that are continuously before me.

9 I will not take a steer from your house,

Or billy goats from your pens.

10 For everything that lives in the bush is mine,

animals on a thousand mountains.

11 I know every bird of the mountains,

and whatever moves in the field belongs to me.

12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you,

for the world is mine and its fullness.

13 Am I one who eats the flesh of the strong?

And do I drink the blood of billy goats?

14 Sacrifice to God with thanksgiving,

and pay your vows to the Most High.

15 Call me on a day of distress and I will deliver you,

and you will glorify me.

16 But to the wicked I say,

‘What is it to you to recount my statutes

and take up my covenant with your talk?

17 But you, you hate correction,

and you throw my word behind you.

18 If you see a thief, you are pleased with him.

Your lot is with adulterers.

19 You use your mouth to send destruction,

and your tongue contrives treachery.

20 You sit with your brothers.

You speak with a son of your mother to find fault.

21 You do these things and I am silent.

You think I am like you.

I have a dispute with you.

I will set it out before your eyes.

22 Understand this, you who forget God,

lest I tear you apart and there is no deliverer.

23 The one who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honours me,

and setting a way, I will show him the salvation of God.”

03.30 Dan

Psalm 50 is a proclamation to God’s people and a call to them basically, yeah. But it’s very clear at the beginning about those who follow God and how pleased he is with them And then he talks about those who don’t follow God And why on earth are you even trying to relate anything to the covenant and blah blah blah. Yeah you dorks. basically Yeah, but let’s go to the first bit The first bit is nice It’s really lovely. You know anyone who is reading it would like to associate themselves with the first half. I’m sure. Yeah.

I think it’s interesting throughout this that the people are faithful. In this first section. It’s very clear your these are to the followers the people who, you know followed the covenant he’s made. And he talks about how he’s not going to ask sacrifices from them, even though they’re required to do sacrifices and stuff. But there’s a clear comparison he’s making between…God is the real God Yeah and it’s very clear verse one. It doesn’t say God once, Nope. It’s a very emphatic way of using language to say God Yahweh God. It’s kind of like the one and only God whose name is Yahweh.

That sort of emphasis that’s being made. And so we have that and that kind of gets compared to the other gods that are around the time who need feeding. And drink blood. You know he talks about, do I need to eat the goat that you’re bringing? Do I need to drink the blood? Aren’t all the animals or the mountain mine? And I can tell you exactly all the names of every single bird that exists. I don’t need your dove. As to me. And yet that’s really a stab at all the other surrounding middle Eastern, and a lot of yeah contemporary Eastern gods who still need people to bring them food. To serve them. Very clear contrast but it’s.

God’s using this in a way to kind of go you know, I’m not that god I don’t need that. All I care about is that you’re a faithful servant. Basically Yeah. Yeah.

05.28 David

I love the sarcasm of the Bible. It sounds terrible but God has a brilliant… You know, Winston Churchill had great sarcastic wit. And it communicated powerfully. You didn’t want to take Churchill on. But when you come up against God and he presents to you, his grace, his love his character. And then you sort of melt that away and merge it with the local views of their gods. And you end up with this mish-mash muck.

And so it was it was really powerful. We did a tour of Egypt. with some archaeologists, people from Macquarie uni. And in all of these temples, you go what on earth? It’s like this whole country is full of tombs and temples. You’d put up a tomb for your dead people. And then outside the tomb you’d build a temple.

And in the temple you’d have pictures of all the dead people. And you would, underneath the picture of the dead people, you’ve got this like a strip, a long cartoon strip along the bottom, with all these slaves bringing platters of food and flowers and beer and wine and all this stuff. And so we had this long conversation with the archaeologist/Egyptologist.

And they’re telling us well, If you think of the gods and your dead grandmother as having a battery inside them. And if you don’t recharge the battery it goes flat. And if it goes flat, well, you know their spirit that’s living in the afterlife in the land of the gods sort of shrinks down and goes poof and it’s gone. So if you want your grandmother to continue to live in the land of the happy place you’ve got to keep bringing her food and beer and all the rest. And anywhere where her picture appears, she’s there. Her spirit lives in her picture. My mind goes to, you know, your mother walking into your room when you’re three years old,  putting her photograph on the wall and saying I’m watching you…

It’s that silly. But here you are bringing food to the gods so that they don’t fade away and go poof. And that’s the way people thought of sacrifice. They’re feeding the gods there. You know, Let me bring you another feast and you’ll do me a favour.

I actually wonder. Whether our custom  of bringing flowers to a grave  is linked to that…

08.05 Dan

Yeah Yeah. I did think that when you started talking.

08.09 David

We’re keeping grandma’s memory alive by turning up on mother’s day and doing the flower thing Yeah. You know, what sort of belief system is behind that? And so what this song is doing, I think is much like… You’ve studied … The book of Judges is on my mind at the minute where you’re looking at what they call the Canaanisation of Israel. God’s covenant people just gradually absorbed the culture of the people around.

08.40 Dan

Assimilating themselves into Canaanites.

08.43 David

And Yahweh sort of fades away and disappears and they take on these ridiculous gods. And they turn his temple his altar, into you know we’re feeding Yahweh to keep him alive. And this song is saying ”Fellas. You know I’m the creator God Yeah? I created all this food in the first place. And I don’t have a body. I don’t need it. I did it for you. Hmm. and for my glory. Just get out there and enjoy. One of the things I love about this. Which I think in church history we’ve totally missed, is that God is a party God…

He absolutely loves when his people gather and celebrate and feast and sing and even dance Yeah. no comments from you…

09.32 Dan

I dance. We had a wedding the other week. I Dance.

09.40 David

That’s the whole thing you know, do you celebrate with Yahweh? Are you. Do you realize what he’s done for you? That he provides the sacrifice, you don’t. You just sit there and go Thank you. Yeah…

09.57 Dan

But Dad the psalm then switches, Cause it’s basically 50% good to the people who are lovely and follow me here, my people type stuff. And then we’re going to switch in verse 16 to the wicked. He’s going to say. I love as I was reading through this just before we started this.

I love your little translation here where it says in verse 21. “You do these things and I’m silent You think I am like you.” I just think that’s so what modern even modern Christians do this. We would chatting with mum around the table earlier we were talking about judges stuff and it’s like, Yeah churches. We so frequently just think of God like us. and it’s the way that a lot of people, particularly people who you come across who don’t, who aren’t into going to church but they’re Christians and they read their own Bible Then they’re just like, oh I don’t think God is like that. And normally that’s a reflection more reflection of the person than it is about what God has actually told us about himself in scripture. And…

I think it’s it’s a typical like, I just like. That’s what Israel are doing. Right That’s what he’s accusing them of doing is just going. God’s  not going to punish me for that you know? There’s my sacrifice that I’ve done And then God’s like I don’t care about your sacrifice.

Okay About your heart. And your heart is very clearly not where it needs to be And you’re changing your picture of me to match up with whatever you want whether it be through an assimilation process like in judges. Where they’re going to take God’s who rescued them from Egypt Can they do it straight away though? The God who rescued us from Egypt, worshiped the cow that I just made out of gold.

You like…the cow that you made out of gold is linking with Canaan stuff that’s coming or possibly even back to Israel, to Egypt stuff. But yeah they’ve linked God to that. Yeah So they say they’re worshiping Yahweh. Let’s doing it a very wrong way.


11.46 David

They call the golden calf Yahweh… And did you go, you idiot. How did you do that?

11.50 Dan

but apparently he just threw it into the. To the fire and it came out…

11.54 David

Like Yahweh believes that…

It’s. Look. This happens at micro level. When we sin and we think we can get away with so you think, you know God is. You know bolt of lightning isn’t happening. The roof didn’t fall in. therefore God didn’t notice and therefore I got away with it and it’s okay. And we, we convince ourselves of that.

Right down at the little tiny levels. But at the bigger level. But one of the things that’s happening…is that when you turn away from where God does speak to us, in the scriptures. Hmm. You end up where I think the church is going. so I had an interesting discussion with a church leader who will remain nameless.

12.46 Dan:

That’s a good way to do things…

11.46 David

And he told me that it was important for the gospel, that the church be seen to be a mainstream church not a cult. And the way he did that, was to go back to, the trappings of a mainstream church, So it was important that he wear the robes. It was important that they had a liturgy. It was important that it looked like church.

Traditional mainstream church. And I, I just make the comment, “Is that where Jesus was? Was he mainstream? Was he up in Jerusalem with the robes and the gear? Or was he out in Galilee like a, you know a reject? Yeah. where the people were?” And then let’s go back and have a look at mainstream church…

We’ve just had, I mean the Anglican church is going through this crisis. Here’s a whole bunch of the church that is now affirming things that they shouldn’t, that have “updated” church.

When I invite you to watch through the coronation of king Charles. That name is not usually associated with faithfulness…

But but here we are King Charles is going to get the thing on his head.

14.04 Dan

And he’s now the head of the Anglican church and

14.06 David

he’s the head of the Anglican church. But he doesn’t want to have anything to do with the Anglican church as defender of the faith but as the defender of all faiths. And you’re looking at this and you’re saying. And the people behind all of that.

The bishops are appointed by parliament, which is an elected representative of all faiths. And they control the Anglican church of England. And those people are putting the Bible to one side and saying, God is silent there. There are there issues coming up on which he hasn’t spoken. And when he has, and so we can just make it up as we go along. and make God do what our culture approves. And not let God rebuke our culture. The second half of this Psalm…is a warning to God’s people. Over here God says to the faithful. I have no complaint against you.


Oh that’s wonderful. I sit before the throne of God, Jesus died in my place and God says, Your slate is clean. I have nothing against you. There are no more sacrifices needed for you. You are blameless, innocent, righteous, holy. Done deal…

Over here. You people call yourself Christians, call yourself my people. But you ignore what I have to say. And you go and do your own thing. And imagine that I’m up there like just another one of you approving all of this because you want that to be the case Yeah.

You forgot me. Hmm. There’s a lot of trouble. Yeah.

15.45 Dan

Which is what comes. Yeah, that was “the spirit with you I’m going to set it before your eyes. and I understand this You who forget God lest I tear you apart or there is no deliverer.” Oh that’s the key bit here, he is the only deliverer. If you go back to our last psalm. Yeah 49 The only way you can get delivered from sheol is if God ransoms you. Yes And that’s before they have a full understanding of what we’ve got with Jesus And then we come here and it’s like, you know if you keep going down this and forget me. You have no deliverer. There’s no one else who can get you out.

16.15 David

And the end result. That phrase there. I will tear you apart.

that’s the picture of an animal tearing apart his prey. And the covenant curse is you’re going to die and I’m going to feed you to the birds Yeah. You know you’re caught. Your shame won’t be covered. You’ll be exposed to all the world.

And that’s why I mean I used to wonder. You know yes, God dying in my/ Jesus dying in my place pays for my sin That’s what I deserve. But why did he have to die such a cruel, horrendous death. Hmm. naked and full of shame naked and full of shame and exposed for the whole world to gaze on. And the answer is because, he covered my shame. He covered my guilt he covered every aspect of my corruption in sin. And exposing all of that is part of the judgement. And when we look over here, he’s saying you can either come to where I pay your debt, or you can pay it yourself in public, and the whole thing will be seen and witnessed. Where do you want to go with this? You call yourself a believer. You bear my name. And then you treat me like that. It’s a big choice. So we’ve had a call to the world that doesn’t know God, the Redeemer.

We’ve got a call to the people who are faithful. We’ve got a call to the people who call themselves his people who are unfaithful. And still it’s the same two choices…

18.00 Dan

Yeah. So…we need to make sure we actually make a proper choice I highly recommend you go for the the ones at the beginning of this psalm. Yeah. I seem to end up a lot happier. Yeah that brings us to the end of this episode.

If you would like to get the study notes for this episode please head over to make sure you hit subscribe If you’re listening on a podcast thing or watching us on YouTube with that subscribe button so that you get notified next time…

So it gets released. Do come and read the notes This is this is The light discussion. The meat is in the notes. And then I feel there’s a lot more in those notes and there’s reflective questions and all kinds of stuff. And you know there’s even books that go along, and not necessarily Psalms yet, but with a lot of the other ones. Yeah.

So make sure you go and check all that stuff out. Otherwise I will chat to you again next week, when we look at Psalm 51 which is you know David That’s one of my favourites.