Monday, November 10, 2008

Meditation on Psalm 50

Joos van Cleve (Dutch artist, 1485-1540)
detail "The Last Supper"
Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
Offer unto God thanksgiving;
and pay thy vows unto the most High:
And call upon me in the day of trouble:
I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

In David, we have an exhortation against false worship and empty sacrifice. Our God is not pleased by our offerings which are so often presented with conceit and veiled in vanity – "For every beast of the forest is Mine" (Ps. 50:10) By our nature we are inclined to imagine that we can somehow appease the wrath of God on our own terms. Yet our Lord rebukes us saying, "Will I eat the flesh of bulls, Or drink the blood of goats?" Where God lacks nothing we are in need of everything. We, the elect, are the beneficiaries of the continual blessings bestowed upon us by the one and only sacrifice which grants us to stand blameless before God – by the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. It is we that eat His flesh and drink His Blood. This Psalm reminds us of our hopelessness apart from the Christ, and implores us to remain vigilant in the discipline of our first two Commandments – that we might fear, love, and trust in God above all things and continually call upon His name in every trouble – forever giving praise.

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