February 18
‘Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises.’ Psalm 22:3
Bible reading: Psalm 50 (Go to the Bible passage)
This psalm consists of two parts. The first part is about the believers, the second part about the godless.
‘A covenant by sacrifice’ (:5). What is this sacrifice? God speaks clearly, He has no need of ‘flesh of bulls’ or ‘blood of goats’ (:13). God does not need these sacrifices: He is not hungry (:12). God means another kind of sacrifice, that the first part of this psalm ends with, ‘Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High’ (:14). This is the sacrifice God asks from us: thank and praise. God wants to be near us! But He can only do so if our heart is fully committed to Him (2 Chronicles 16:9).
The second part of this psalm does not deal with the gentiles - who do not know about God - but with the godless who ‘recite His laws or take His covenant on their lips’, but refuse to submit to God. Does this not portray the average churchgoer? For many of us can talk very nicely about the Bible and the kingdom of God, but how few really submit to God...
In the next verses, we can read how these fake pious word peddlers live: they haggle with God, they think God is their best friend, He is surely exactly like them (:21). But this part too ends with a message: ‘Those who sacrifice thank offerings, honor Me.’ And who honors Him, understands that the blood of sacrificial animals can never bring about atonement for our sins.
The sacrifices of the Old Testament cannot be anything else than a foreshadowing of the Messiah. Devote Jews throughout the ages understood in the sacrificial service this message of the coming Messiah, and it has shaped their lives. Let us - who believe Jesus is the promised Messiah - live joyfully because of His fulfilling sacrifice for all our sins!

Share This