My paraphrase of Psalm 50
The Mighty One – God – even the Lord of lords has spoken and summoned the earth to come from the East and from the West.
God shines forth in splendor from
– the most perfect of all places. Zion
Look! God approaches – He is not silent – a consuming fire goes before Him and a raging storm surrounds Him.
He summons the heavens above and the earth beneath as witnesses, so that He may judge His people.
“Gather My people together,” says the Lord, “all those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
The heavens declare that God is a fair and righteous Judge!
“Hear my people, and I will speak!
as I am about to testify against you! I
am God – your God! Listen, Israel
I am not about to find fault with your religious rituals which you practice so diligently before me.
In fact, I do not need anything from you – even that which you think is yours to give.
Because everything is not yours – it is mine – every wild and domesticated animal – every bird in the mountains and every insect in the plains.
Do you really think that I would ask you for sustenance? Even if I were hungry, why would I ask you for food? Everything in all of creation is mine to do with as I please.
Do you really think that I am dependant on you and what you give to me?
So, stop all the pretence and listen! This is what I want from you. Are you listening? The first act of worship should be thanksgiving and praise directed to me as your benevolent Sovereign King.
Then, by all means, ask, lament, or reach out to me in the emptiness of your despair, and I will gather you up in my arms, and deliver you, and vindicate you!”
Now, hear what God has to say to those who oppose Him. “How can you talk about what is right and what is wrong, seeing you hate my instruction and reject my Word?
You align yourselves with thieves and adulterers, you cut people to shreds with your speech, and you use your words to deceive. You speak slanderous things about your own family members as you plot evil against them.
You thought that I was just like you because I did not react immediately, didn’t you? Well, now the time of silence has come to an end. You will hear my judgment as I make my case against you!
Carefully consider this, all you who forget and reject me, before you are torn to pieces with no one to rescue you!
Carefully consider this: Whoever approaches me in gratitude offers true worship.
And whoever chooses to follow a godly lifestyle will live in true freedom.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.