1 The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks. He calls out to the earth from the sunrise in the east to the sunset in the west. 2 From Zion, perfect and beautiful, God’s glory shines out. 3 Our God comes, and he won’t be silent. A burning fire goes ahead of him. A terrible storm is all around him. 4 He calls out to heaven and earth to be his witnesses. Then he judges his people. 5 He says, “Gather my holy people around me. They made a covenant with me by offering a sacrifice.” 6 The heavens announce that what God decides is right. He himself is the Judge. Selah 7 God says, “Listen, my people, and I will speak. Listen, Israel, and I will give witness against you. I am God, your God. 8 I don’t find fault with you because of your sacrifices. I don’t find fault with the burnt offerings you always bring me. 9 I don’t need a bull from your barn. I don’t need goats from your pens. 10 Every animal in the forest already belongs to me. And so do the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I own every bird in the mountains. The creatures of the field belong to me. 12 If I were hungry, I wouldn’t tell you. The world belongs to me. And so does everything in it. 13 Do I eat the meat of bulls? Do I drink the blood of goats? 14 Bring me thank offerings, because I am your God. Carry out the promises you made to me, because I am the Most High God. 15 Call out to me when trouble comes. I will save you. And you will honor me.” 16 But here is what God says to sinful people. “What right do you have to speak the words of my laws? How dare you speak the words of my covenant! 17 You hate my teaching. You turn your back on what I say. 18 When you see a thief, you join him. You make friends with those who commit adultery. 19 You use your mouth to speak evil. You use your tongue to spread lies. 20 You always speak against your brother. You always tell lies about your own mother’s son. 21 You have done those things, and I kept silent. So you thought I was just like you. But now I’m going to correct you. I will bring charges against you. 22 “You who forget God, think about this. If you don’t, I will tear you to pieces. No one will be able to save you. 23 Anyone who sacrifices thank offerings to me honors me. He makes it possible for me to show him that I am the God who saves.”
Our God sure knows how to make an entrance! He comes with the noise of thunder, is surrounded by a devastating fire and a storm rages around Him. This all happens at the same time. “Awesome” is an overused word but this is exactly the word to describe God in this Psalm.
God will judge His people fairly. He may have been quiet and patient for a long time but the day has come! God wants His people to be thankful and to praise Him. He wants us to fulfill the promises we make to Him. God also wants his people to trust Him. To believe that the rescue or salvation will come and we will give God all the glory.
To those that have forgotten God or just pay Him lip service ie. those not walking in God’s ways He gives one last chance to repent before punishment.
This passage of Scripture encourages us to examine our hearts and ask some tough questions. Am I claiming God’s promises while not really doing His will or accepting his discipline? How do I regard God’s word? Am I honouring it by putting it into practice or do I say one thing and do another? Whatever the answer to these questions may be we can repent! We serve the God of the last chance. He wants us to repent and be saved not to be cut off and punished.
Dear God, thank you for being just. Thank you for the opportunity to repent and be right with you. Please help me to be grateful and praise you no matter what I face. Please also help me to honour you with my words and actions. Amen.
Written by Ainslie Woods