Archive for the ‘Psalm 50’ Category

Psalm 50 – John Brown’s Notes

June 7, 2008

John Brown of Haddington writes regarding Psalm 50 (on which I blogged moments ago):

This psalm may be considered as a rebuke to the carnal Jews who rested in, and boasted of their external ceremonies in worship, to the neglect of the weightier matters of the law mercy, judgment, and faith; or as a prediction of the coming of Christ, to abolish the ceremonial worship, eject the Jews from his church, and establish a more pure and spiritual form of worship under the gospel: or, in fine, as a representation of the last judgment; in which Christ shall come, to render to every man according to his deeds.


  • (1.) The awful appearance of God our Redeemer, in the flesh, in power, or in the clouds; with the gathering of the people to him, ver. 1-6.
  • (2.) An engaging admonition to improve God’s new-covenant grant of himself to be our God, as an excitement to exchange legal ceremonies into prayer, thanksgiving and holy obedience; or, at least, to give a remarkable preference to the latter, ver. 7-15.
  • (3.) A terrible charge of hypocrisy, slander, contempt of God’s word, and of atheistical imaginations concerning God, laid against the wicked, with a fearful sentence of condemnation founded thereon, ver. 16-22.
  • (4.) An alarming warning of danger to the forgetters of God, and an encouraging promise to such as study to glorify him by a holy conversation, ver. 22-23.

John Brown also provides the following advice for singing this particular psalm (that’s a primary reason why Asaph wrote the psalm after all, to be sung):

Sing this, my soul, with solemn awe, assisted before the great Searcher of hearts, and as by faith beholding Jesus in my nature, sitting on his great white throne, gathering the nations to his bar, opening the books, and judging mankind out of the things found written therein.

Praise be to our Awesome and Majestic God!


The Mighty God Will Not Remain Silent Forever

June 7, 2008

Psalm 50 – Metrical Version (Scottish Metrical Psalter)

(Meter: SMD and the words are well set to the tune Diademata, which I promise you sounds much better sung in 4 parts than midi’d, though that’s the only “instrumental” form I could find)

1    The mighty God, the Lord,
hath spoken, and did call
The earth, from rising of the sun,
to where he hath his fall.

2 From out of Sion hill,
which of excellency
And beauty the perfection is,
God shined gloriously.

3 Our God shall surely come,
keep silence shall not he:
Before him fire shall waste, great storms
shall round about him be.

4 Unto the heavens clear
he from above shall call,
And to the earth likewise, that he
may judge his people all.

5 Together let my saints
unto me gather'd be,
Those that by sacrifice have made
a covenant with me.

6 And then the heavens shall
his righteousness declare:
Because the Lord himself is he
by whom men judged are.

7 My people Isr'el hear,
speak will I from on high,
Against thee I will testify;
God, ev'n thy God, am I.

8 I for thy sacrifice
no blame will on thee lay,
Nor for burnt-off 'rings, which to me
thou offer'dst ev'ry day.

9 I'll take no calf nor goats
from house or fold of thine:
10 For beasts of forests, cattle all
on thousand hills, are mine.

11 The fowls on mountains high
are all to me well known;
Wild beasts which in the fields do lie,
ev'n they are all mine own.

12 Then, if I hungry were,
I would not tell it thee;
Because the world, and fulness all
thereof, belongs to me.

13 Will I eat flesh of bulls?
or goats' blood drink will I?
14 Thanks offer thou to God, and pay
thy vows to the most High.

15 And call upon me when
in trouble thou shalt be;
I will deliver thee, and thou
my name shalt glorify.

16 But to the wicked man
God saith, My laws and truth
Should'st thou declare? how dar'st thou take
my cov'nant in thy mouth?

17 Sith thou instruction hat'st,
which should thy ways direct;
And sith my words behind thy back
thou cast'st, and dost reject.

18 When thou a thief didst see,
with him thou didst consent;
And with the vile adulterers
partaker on thou went.

19 Thou giv'st thy mouth to ill,
thy tongue deceit doth frame;
20 Thou sitt'st, and 'gainst thy brother speak'st,
thy mother's son dost shame.

21 Because I silence kept,
while thou these things hast wrought;
That I was altogether like
thyself, hath been thy thought;

Yet I will thee reprove,
and set before thine eyes,
In order ranked, thy misdeeds
and thine iniquities.

22 Now, ye that God forget,
this carefully consider;
Lest I in pieces tear you all,
and none can you deliver.

23 Whoso doth offer praise
me glorifies; and I
Will shew him God's salvation,
that orders right his way.

The whole psalm is rich with gospel call, but today, as I read through, verse 21 especially struck me.

Verse 21 is talking about mankind’s tendency to confuse longsuffering with apathy. God endures the heinous sins of men, not because he doesn’t care about sinfulness, but for his own higher reasons. But we, like any two year old, imagine that if God doesn’t punish us immediately for our sins, it means he doesn’t really care: he’s not really offended by them or perhaps they don’t bother him that much.

How wrong we are to think that way.

Judgment is delayed, but it is coming.

You can liken our life of sin as taking items off a grocery shelf and eating them, thinking that the grocer doesn’t see us. But guess what: the checkout line is coming, and there is going to be a tally of everything that was taken off the shelf. A mere grocer might miss kumquat here or there, but God will have a full list of everything we have done wrong.

Moreover, as a dear Christian brother pointed out to me, while I was discussing this with him, we can turn to verse 22 to see what happens next.


There will be punishment for those who sin, and yet that we may not be the recipients of the punishment due our sins. Now, while you have time, repent of your sins and trust in Christ. As 14-15 exhort, call on God in this, your time of trouble, and beg him for mercy. For there is no one more merciful than God. Thus, be one of those in verse 23 who praise and glorify God, to whom God grants salvation.


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