Psalm 50:14 - Devotional Insights.

Psalm 50:14 - Devotional Insights.

Psalm 50:14 (NKJV) Offer to God thanksgiving, And pay your vows 
to the Most High.  

Psalm 50:14 (TNIV) Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill 
your vows to the Most High, 

Psalm 50:14 (MSG) Spread for me a banquet of praise, serve High 
God a feast of kept promises,  


   This psalm describes a courtroom scene. God is judge, witness 
and jury, and He brings an indictment against two kinds of 
"religious sinners." 
   Insincere worshipers (1-15). He calls the court to order, not 
with the rap of a gavel but with the revelation of His glory (vv. 
1-3). He indicts His people who offer sacrifices insincerely--their 
worship is just empty routine--and hope to "earn" God's blessing. God 
does not need the things we give Him (Acts 17:24-25), but we need to 
give Him spiritual sacrifices of thanksgiving, praise, and obedience 
(vv. 14-15, 23). 
   Hypocritical worshipers (18-22). Here the issue is not 
sacrifices but the covenant they made with God. They profess one thing and 
practice another (Titus 1:18); they are guilty of theft, adultery, 
deceit, and slander. They thought that God's silence meant escape from 
punishment, but they were wrong (Eccles. 8:11). 
   Judgment begins with God's people, not with the lost world (1 
Pet. 4:17). Heed the warning of verse 22 and accept the admonition of 
verse 23. [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe re 


The people were offering sacrifices as part of their worship 
ritual and forgetting their significance! The very act of sacrifice 
showed that they had once agreed to follow God wholeheartedly. But at 
this time their hearts were not in it, so their sacrifices were not 
pleasing to God, and thus were worthless. We may fall into the same 
pattern when we participate in religious activities, tithe, or attend 
church out of habit or conformity rather than out of heartfelt love and 
obedience. God wants righteousness, not empty ritual. [Life Application 

A Sacrifice Of Thanksgiving
   What does God want from us? Does he want an outward show or 
performance, attendance at a host of church meetings, or sacrificial giving 
of a certain amount of money to his work? Does he want feigned 
obedience or responses of certain words? No, he says in these verses that 
in our times of trouble he wants simple, heartfelt thanks and trust 
in him. Maybe you aren't feeling thankful today because your 
prayers haven't yet been answered. Perhaps you haven't seen the 
provision of money you need, or someone you love hasn't turned from a life 
of sin. How can we give thanks to God in light of unresolved 
difficulties that discourage us and weigh us down? How can we praise him when 
the cup looks empty? God knows how wearying these troubles are to 
us, and he finds it a sweet gift when in our brokenness we choose to 
give thanks to him and acknowledge that he will rescue us. That is 
precisely when our thanks becomes a sacrifice that his Word says truly 
honors him (v. 23) and gives him glory.  
   LORD, thank you for not being interested in outward display 
but in the condition of my heart. I want to offer that sweet 
sacrifice of thanksgiving. Help me to turn to you in times of trouble, to 
trust you, and even then to be thankful. For in this way I will bring 
you glory.  
      Thou hast given so much to me 
      Give one thing more - a grateful heart: 
      Not thankful when it pleaseth me, 
      As if thy blessings had spare days, 
      But such a heart whose pulse may be 
         Thy praise. George Herbert (1593-1633) [Praying Through 
The Bible By Fuller re Psa. 50:13-15] 

Natural-Born Whiners?
   Jill Briscoe admits that humbly submitting to God in the face 
of difficulty has been "incredibly hard for me. I just love to 
gripe and complain."  
   Ouch! Does her stark honesty resonate with you? Most people 
would never admit that.  
   Briscoe says our griping comes naturally - that it's part of 
our sinful nature. But she lays this challenge before us: "We can 
monitor our growth in grace by our willingness to stop it."  
   Stop it? But we have so many reasons to complain - so many 
things go so very, very wrong! Jill Briscoe understands that, yet she 
presents us with this stark challenge:  
   "It's as if we feel we have an inalienable right to a charmed 
life! God wants us to stop whining. He wants us to humbly submit and 
bear the difficulty patiently."  
   How does she know how God views whining? "God was constantly 
telling the children of Israel to stop it," she says. "In fact, he is 
still telling us in the New Testament how he felt about all the 
grumbling his people did in the Old Testament: 'Do not grumble, as some of 
them did - and were killed by the destroying angel' (1 Corinthians 
10:10, NIV)." Briscoe asks, "If the destroying angel meted out such 
drastic punishment today, I wonder how many of us would be left?"  
   To turn from whining to praise is to turn 180 degrees. Our 
call is to concentrate on God's compassion and mercy in the storms of 
life and on the rejoicing that will "come in the morning."  
   Are we ready for hardship and testing? From long experience, 
Briscoe says, "It comes down to a new willingness to be broken by the 
circumstances of life that God in his sovereign grace permits. When you do 
that, your faith distress becomes faith developed. You can have faith 
in the loving compassion of a merciful God who will, moment by 
moment and crisis by crisis, supply all the grace you need."  
   Father in heaven, my days are full of things to grumble 
about. Change me, I pray. Let my spirit be one of thankfulness for all 
the mercies you provide. Lord, let me turn from whining to faith and 
   Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows 
you made to the Most High. Psalm 50:14, NLT [The One Year Book of 
Encouragement by Harold Myra] 

First Love
   Billy Graham remembers the tremendous excitement he felt when 
he first saw his wife, Ruth. He recalls their first kiss as 
thrilling and says that on their honeymoon his heart was pumping and his 
blood boiling. "But the first flames of physical passion inevitably 
change," he says. "Our love has been one of commitment."  
   Graham compares the changes in romantic love with the changes 
in spiritual passion as he considers Christ's message to the church 
in Ephesus in Revelation 2:2-4: "I know all the things you do," 
Jesus declared. "I have seen your hard work and your patient 
endurance.... You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. But I have 
this complaint against you. You don't love me or each other as you 
did at first!" (NLT).  
   These words from the Savior can cut to the core. Many of us 
identify with losing spiritual steam and the authentic love that once 
burned brighter.  
   Graham, late in life, writes of sitting silently beside Ruth 
on their front porch, communicating with a depth of passion made 
possible by a lifetime of commitment, including times of great stress. 
Sadly, many marriages fail to end up with husband and wife rocking on a 
porch. Likewise, Christian discipleship is full of hazards and 
competing forces - with spiritual apathy always ready to seep in like a 
gray fog.  
   Jesus told the Ephesians that they must repent of losing 
their first love for him. Billy Graham says that Jesus wasn't asking 
them to return to their old feelings. "Love is more than feeling," 
Billy says. "Love is a commitment. Love is doing."  
   Our spiritual journeys require a constant re-igniting of our 
commitment - by doing acts of love for Christ.  
   First love cools. Spiritual passion may, too, as many 
committed Christians have experienced. Yet the call is to keep on doing 
those acts that show our love for Jesus, no matter what our feelings. 
   We may lose the emotional feeling of first love, but we can 
show greater love than at the first by our continuing commitment.  
   Loving Father, show me what you want me to do and enable me 
to do it. Only you can pour into me your love and the spiritual 
vitality to obey your guidance day by day.  
   Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows 
you made to the Most High. Psalm 50:14, NLT [The One Year Book of 
Encouragement by Harold Myra] 

Mercy In Disguise: Blessings by Laura Story: