Psalm 50

True Worship and the Pleasing Sacrifice



Psalm 50 is a psalm that emphasizes the importance of true worship and the heart condition behind it. As we study this psalm from a New Covenant perspective, we will see how it points to Jesus Christ as the ultimate fulfillment of acceptable worship and the perfect sacrifice. We will explore the themes of God's rightful authority, the call to true repentance, and the offering of a contrite heart.

Section 1: God's Rightful Authority (vs 1-6)

"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."

Talking Points:

Harmony: Philippians 2:9-11, "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."


Section 2: True Repentance and the Offering of a Contrite Heart (vs 7-15)

"'Hear, my people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testify against you: 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? 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.'"

Talking Points:

Harmony: Hebrews 10:5-7 (NIV), "Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: 'Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, "Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, my God."'"


Section 3: The Consequences of Rejecting God's Word (vs 16-23)

"But to the wicked person, God says: 'What right have you to recite my laws or take my covenant on your lips? You hate my instruction and cast my words behind you. When you see a thief, you join with him; you throw in your lot with adulterers. You use your mouth for evil and harness your tongue to deceit. You sit and testify against your brother and slander your own mother's son. When you did these things and I kept silent, you thought I was exactly like you. But I now arraign you and set my accusations before you. Consider this, you who forget God, or I will tear you to pieces, with no one to rescue you: Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me, and to the blameless I will show my salvation.'"

Talking Points:

Harmony: Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV), "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"



Psalm 50, interpreted through the perspective of the New Covenant in Christ, emphasizes the true nature of worship and the call to live a life of obedience and gratitude, finding its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus.

The psalmist's declaration that God, the Mighty One, has spoken and summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting foreshadows Jesus, the Word made flesh, through whom all things were created and sustained (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16-17).

The psalmist's reminder that God does not need sacrifices and offerings aligns with Jesus' teaching on the primacy of the heart and genuine worship that is not based solely on external rituals (John 4:23-24).

The psalmist's exhortation to offer sacrifices of thanksgiving reflects our response to Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross, for which we are eternally grateful (Hebrews 13:15).

The psalmist's call to "call upon Me in the day of trouble" finds its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus, who invites us to come to Him and find rest in Him (Matthew 11:28).

The psalmist's declaration that God's salvation will show His glory points to Jesus as the embodiment of God's salvation, through whom we behold the glory of God (John 1:14, 2 Corinthians 4:6).

Psalm 50 emphasizes the true nature of worship, the call to obedience and gratitude, and finds its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ, our High Priest, and the perfect sacrifice for our sins.