The Message

Psalm 50

An Asaph Psalm

11-3 The God of gods—it’s God!—speaks out, shouts, “Earth!”
    welcomes the sun in the east,
    farewells the disappearing sun in the west.
From the dazzle of Zion,
    God blazes into view.
Our God makes his entrance,
    he’s not shy in his coming.
Starbursts of fireworks precede him.

4-5 He summons heaven and earth as a jury,
    he’s taking his people to court:
“Round up my saints who swore
    on the Bible their loyalty to me.”

The whole cosmos attests to the fairness of this court,
    that here God is judge.

7-15 “Are you listening, dear people? I’m getting ready to speak;
    Israel, I’m about ready to bring you to trial.
This is God, your God,
    speaking to you.
I don’t find fault with your acts of worship,
    the frequent burnt sacrifices you offer.
But why should I want your blue-ribbon bull,
    or more and more goats from your herds?
Every creature in the forest is mine,
    the wild animals on all the mountains.
I know every mountain bird by name;
    the scampering field mice are my friends.
If I get hungry, do you think I’d tell you?
    All creation and its bounty are mine.
Do you think I feast on venison?
    or drink draughts of goats’ blood?
Spread for me a banquet of praise,
    serve High God a feast of kept promises,
And call for help when you’re in trouble—
    I’ll help you, and you’ll honor me.”

16-21 Next, God calls up the wicked:

“What are you up to, quoting my laws,
    talking like we are good friends?
You never answer the door when I call;
    you treat my words like garbage.
If you find a thief, you make him your buddy;
    adulterers are your friends of choice.
Your mouth drools filth;
    lying is a serious art form with you.
You stab your own brother in the back,
    rip off your little sister.
I kept a quiet patience while you did these things;
    you thought I went along with your game.
I’m calling you on the carpet, now,
    laying your wickedness out in plain sight.

22-23 “Time’s up for playing fast and
    loose with me.
I’m ready to pass sentence,
    and there’s no help in sight!
It’s the praising life that honors me.
    As soon as you set your foot on the Way,
I’ll show you my salvation.”

New International Reader's Version

Psalm 50

Psalm 50

A psalm of Asaph.

The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks.
    He calls out to the earth
from the sunrise in the east
    to the sunset in the west.
From Zion, perfect and beautiful,
    God’s glory shines out.
Our God comes, and he won’t be silent.
    A burning fire goes ahead of him.
    A terrible storm is all around him.
He calls out to heaven and earth to be his witnesses.
    Then he judges his people.
He says, “Gather this holy people around me.
    They made a covenant with me by offering a sacrifice.”
The heavens announce that what God decides is right.
    That’s because he is a God of justice.

God says, “Listen, my people, and I will speak.
    I will be a witness against you, Israel.
    I am God, your God.
I don’t bring charges against you because of your sacrifices.
    I don’t bring charges because of the burnt offerings you always bring me.
I don’t need a bull from your barn.
    I don’t need goats from your pens.
10 Every animal in the forest already belongs to me.
    And so do the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I own every bird in the mountains.
    The insects in the fields belong to me.
12 If I were hungry, I wouldn’t tell you.
    The world belongs to me. And so does everything in it.
13 Do I eat the meat of bulls?
    Do I drink the blood of goats?
14 Bring me thank offerings, because I am your God.
    Carry out the promises you made to me, because I am the Most High God.
15 Call out to me when trouble comes.
    I will save you. And you will honor me.”

16 But here is what God says to a sinful person.

“What right do you have to speak the words of my laws?
    How dare you speak the words of my covenant!
17 You hate my teaching.
    You turn your back on what I say.
18 When you see a thief, you join him.
    You make friends with those who commit adultery.
19 You use your mouth to speak evil.
    You use your tongue to spread lies.
20 You are a witness against your brother.
    You always tell lies about your own mother’s son.
21 When you did these things, I kept silent.
    So you thought I was just like you.
But now I’m going to bring you to court.
    I will bring charges against you.

22 “You who forget God, think about this.
    If you don’t, I will tear you to pieces.
    No one will be able to save you.
23 People who sacrifice thank offerings to me honor me.
    To those who are without blame I will show my power to save.”