Psalm 50

[A psalm by Asaph.]
What Pleases God

1 From east to west,
      the powerful Lord God
   has been calling together
      everyone on earth.
2 God shines brightly from Zion,
      the most beautiful city.

3 Our God approaches,
      but not silently;
   a flaming fire comes first,
      and a storm surrounds him.
4 God comes to judge his people.
   He shouts to the heavens
      and to the earth,
5 “Call my followers together!
     They offered me a sacrifice,
         and we made an agreement.”

6 The heavens announce,
   “God is the judge,
      and he is always honest.”

7 My people, I am God!
      Israel, I am your God.
   Listen to my charges
      against you.
8 Although you offer sacrifices
      and always bring gifts,
9 I won’t accept your offerings
      of bulls and goats.

10 Every animal in the forest
      belongs to me,
   and so do the cattle
      on a thousand hills.
11 I know all the birds
         in the mountains,
     and every wild creature
         is in my care.

12 If I were hungry,
         I wouldn’t tell you,
      because I own the world
         and everything in it.
13 I don’t eat the meat of bulls
         or drink the blood of goats.
14 I am God Most High!
         The only sacrifice I want
      is for you to be thankful
         and to keep your word.
15 Pray to me in time of trouble.
     I will rescue you,
         and you will honor me.

16 But to the wicked I say:
         “You don’t have the right
      to mention my laws or claim
         to keep our agreement!
17 You refused correction
         and rejected my commands.
18 You made friends
         with every crook you met,
      and you liked people who break
         their wedding vows.
19 You talked only about violence
         and told nothing but lies;
20 you sat around gossiping,
     ruining the reputation
         of your own relatives.”

21 When you did all of this,
      I didn’t say a word,
         and you thought,
      “God is just like us!”
         But now I will accuse you.
22 You have ignored me!
         So pay close attention
      or I will tear you apart,
         and no one can help you.

23 The sacrifice that honors me
         is a thankful heart.
      Obey me, and I, your God,
         will show my power to save.

The Contemporary English Version c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary