Verse 23. "Whoso offereth praise " - These are the very same words as those in ver. 14, hdwt jbz ; and should be read the same way independently of the points, zebach todah, "sacrifice the thank-offering." JESUS is the great eucharistic sacrifice; offer him up to God in your faith and prayers. By this sacrifice is God glorified, for in him is God well pleased; and it was by the grace or good pleasure of God that he tasted death for every man.
"Ordereth his conversation " - űrd µŤ sam derech, DISPOSETH his way.- Margin. Has his way THERE, űrd µŤ sham derech, as many MSS. and old editions have it; or makes that his custom.
"Will I show the salvation of God. " - wnara arennu, I will cause him to see [Ťyb beyesha, into the salvation of God; into God's method of saving sinners by Christ. He shall witness my saving power even to the uttermost; such a salvation as it became a God to bestow, and as a fallen soul needs to receive; the salvation from all sin, which Christ has purchased by his death. "I sall scheu til him, the hele of God"; that es JESHU, that he se him in the fairehed of his majeste. - Old Psalter.
ANALYSIS OF THE FIFTIETH PSALM
The prophet, by a prosopopaeia, brings in God prescribing rules for his own worship. The point in debate is: How God will be honoured in his own Church? And as none can teach this but God, he brings him in speaking to his people.
The Psalm has two general parts: - I. The majesty and authority of the person who is to judge this debate, ver. 1- 6.
II. The sentence which he pronounces, ver. 7-23.
The prophet begins with calling an assize. He summons a court, presents us with a judge, produces witnesses, cites those who are to answer, and, having seated the Judge on his throne, gives forth his charge.
I. First. He presents, 1. The Judge, in authority and majesty: "The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken," ver. 1.
2. The place to which he comes to hold his court-the Church: "Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty; God hath shined." To Zion the law was given; and out of Zion the law was to come, by which he would judge; and therefore it was rightly said, "Out of Zion the Lord hath shined." 3. His appearance, which is terrible. It was so when he gave his law on Mount Sinai; and it will be so when he comes to require it: "Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence; a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him." See 2 Pet. iii. 10; Luke xxi. 25, 26.
Secondly. Those who are cited to appear before him-his saints-those who had undertaken to worship him as he had appointed: "Gather my saints together; those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." Thirdly. Against these he produces his witnesses, whom he collects, 1. From heaven; 2. From earth. "He shall call the heavens from above, and the earth, that he may judge his people." Including the inhabitants of the whole earth, "from the rising of the sun until the going down thereof." And his award shall be universally approved: "The heavens shall declare his righteousness-his just method of procedure; for God himself is Judge." II. Next follows the charge given by God himself the Judge; and, to engage attention, he proclaims: "Hear, O my people, and I will speak," &c.
1. "I am God;" therefore, worship and obedience are due to me from all creatures.
2. "I am thy God; and thou art my people;" therefore, due from thee especially.
3. "I will speak." I will judge and determine this controversy about my worship.
4. "I will testify against thee," and convict thee of what thou hast done amiss.
There is a two fold worship:
1. Ceremonial and external. 2. Spiritual and moral. And I will speak and testify of both.
It was the duty of the people to bring the sacrifice, and perform the ceremonies appointed by the law: but God is not pleased with the outward act merely; nothing pleases him where the heart and affections are wanting.
1. "I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices." These thou bringest, and these I accept. But in this I reprove thee, because thou thinkest that I must be pleased with the external service, howsoever performed; and that thou hast a right to expect pardon and all other blessings.
2. Unless the heart be penitent, and the offerings be made in faith, I will not accept them: "I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he-goat," &c. And this for two reasons: - 1. I do not need them: "Every beast of the forest is mine-the cattle on a thousand hills-the fowls of the mountain-the wild beasts of the field-the world and its fullness." 2. My perfection is such that I could not use them: "Thinkest thou that I will eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?" The heathen priests taught the people that the gods fed on the odour of the sacrifices; and they represented them as complaining of being starved, when they were withheld! For these reasons the sacrifices, as you have performed them, do not please me; but I shall acquaint you with those that do please me; thanksgiving and prayer or invocation.
1. Thankfulness: "Offer unto God thanksgiving, and pay thy vows," &c.
2. Invocation: "Call upon me in the day of trouble." Which being done, he makes an indenture with us:
1. On his part, that he will save us: "I will deliver thee." 2. On our part, that we give him the glory of our salvation: "Thou shalt glorify me." 3. And yet he makes an exception to some men's prayers and; praises, hypocrites and impious men. Praise is not comely in the mouth of a sinner, and petitions offered by the profane shall not be heard.
1. "To the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes," &c.
2. The reason is: Thou professest to love me, but in works thou deniest me: for thou hatest instruction, and hast cast my words behind thee: how then can I be pleased with thee? I shall now prove this against thee.
1. Thou hast broken the eighth commandment: "Thou sawest the thief, and consentedst to him," - joinedst with him to carry off the spoil; or, when he stole, thou didst receive.
2. Thou hast broken the seventh commandment. "Thou hast been a partaker with the adulterers." 3. And the ninth: "Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit; - thou sittest and speakest against thy brother, and slanderest thy own mother's son." Thou didst do all this deliberately. Thou didst sit and speak.
4. Thou hast broken the first commandment. Because I did not execute judgment upon thy evil works, "thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself;" or, in a word, that there was no God, or none worthy of fear and reverence.
This wickedness I will not suffer to go unpunished; for the day will come when "I will reprove thee, - set thy sins in order before thee, and punish the wickedness which thou hast attempted to hide. Yet in judgment God remembers mercy; he gives warning to the wicked, and threatens that he may spare, and that they may repent and perish not.
1. Now, while you have respite, consider this, that God is not pleased with outward rites and formalities, and that they who trust in merely having performed them are far from being in a safe state.
They do the outward work, and forget God. Take heed, lest as a lion he rush out upon you, and tear you to pieces.
2. To the pure and spiritual worshippers he makes a gracious promise of defense, help, and salvation. He who sacrifices the thank-offering, with an humble, believing heart, glorifies me; and to him who places his feet in that path, and THERE determinately abides, going the right way which God's word directs, I will show the salvation of God-he shall be saved; and shall know that he worships not God in vain. See the preceding notes on this Psalm.