In our December 2nd (2012) sermon at Imprint Church in Woodinville we continued walking through our Portraits of God series with a look at Psalm 50. In Psalm 50, the bible describes what kind of judge God is and how that should impact our view on life as Christians.
This Psalm has the unique setting of a courtroom scene where God is addressing his people. The Psalm is broken down into three parts:
1. God calls Earth & Heaven as a jury (vs 1-6)
2. God Judges
His people e (vs 7-15)
The wicked (vs 16-22)
3. God gives the final verdict (vs 23)
This sermon recap is going to look specifically at the idea of God judging his own people.
Because God is a judge, it’s most certainly true that God is the judge of humanity. He’s the one who makes the law. He’s the one who defends the law. He’s the one who holds people accountable to the law.
I always find it interesting that God’s judgment tends to start with his own people. Many Christians think that God’s judgment is for those outsiders who live like heathens. But in stark contrast to this idea is Psalm 50 where God judges (in a righteous way) those he calls his own first.
God starts his judgment with his own people.
Psalm 50 suggests that Israel assumed that just going through religious motions, such as bringing sacrifices, was enough to please God. And they were wrong… God wants the heart of people.
The funny thing about this is that there are people out there who are religious but are not anywhere near God. Religious people look amazing. We usually judge them as spiritually superior to all of us. We look at people who seem to have it all put together – they say the right things, they do the right thing in church, they don’t have off days. But internally, some of these people are just as lost as the non-religious people.
What’s God doing in your heart? That is the question behind Psalm 50.
This is very applicable to us today. If you were standing before the righteous judge right now (and you are whether you know it or not!), what would he say to you about your heart? Is your heart connected to the Lord? Or are you just going through the motions of a religious person?
If your heart is not in it, there is nothing more tragic. God doesn’t just want the religious motions. Psalm 50 says, “Offer to God a sacrifice of Thanksgiving.” (vs 14)
Gratitude is heart level stuff. God can judge whether your heart is in it or not… don’t fake it!
The book of Psalms reveals a lot about the true nature of God. In our Portraits of God series, we will focused on one Psalm each week to see what it had to say about the character of God and how the book relates in modern ways to our lives. This series was taught at Imprint Church in late 2012.