Psalms 49-53: The proper posture before God

Psalm 49 – The folly of those who “trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches”
Psalm 50 – God call his people to account
Psalm 51 – Humle prayer for forgiveness and cleansing
Psalm 52 – The follow of the one who “trusted in his great wealth” and those who “boast of evil”
Psalm 53 – The folly of those who live as if there is no God (repeat of Psalm 14)

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One Reply to “Psalms 49-53: The proper posture before God”

  1. Placed immediately after Psalms 46-48, these five psalms serve as a stern reminder that only those who put their trust in the Lord have reason to celebrate the security of “the city of our God” (48:1,8) [NIV Study Bible notes]

    Psalm 49 – The folly of those who “trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches”

    This psalm reminds me of Ecclesiastes and Proverbs combined. “People, despite their wealth, do not endure” (Psalm 49:12). A very wise verse is this: “Do not be overawed when others grow rich…for they will take nothing with them when they die” (49:16, 17). The psalm ends with, “people who have wealth but lack understanding are like the beasts that perish” (49:20). It’s human nature to admire the wealthy, for God does indeed bless those who are faithful. However, to equate wealth and blessing is often misplaced. Such an assumption will lead to great problems in the church. This psalm reminds us of this reality by putting wealth in perspective.

    Psalm 50 – God calls his people to account

    This psalm uses the words of God himself to compare those who honor him and those who don’t. “I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens,” (50:9) says the Lord. No need of these things to be sure, but God established ways for his people of long ago to honor him through an elaborate system of sacrifices. In particular the “Thank offering” was detailed in Leviticus as part of the fellowship offerings, “If they offer it as an expression of thankfulness, then along with this thank offering…” (Leviticus 7:12). God honors a cheerful giver, one who sacrificially offers thanks. Those who merely recite the words of the law without truly loving God will not enjoy the result: “Consider this, you who forget God, or I will tear you to pieces, with no one to rescue you” (50:22). Pretty graphic, yes?

    Psalm 51 – Humble prayer for forgiveness and cleansing

    One of my favorite psalms and one that I’ve referred to a lot this past year as we’ve read through the histories of our ancestors.  Nathan revealed King David’s horrible transgressions with Bathsheba and against Uriah (2 Samuel 11+) and David confessed. A man after God’s heart, this psalm is attributed to David as his plea for forgiveness.

    “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.” (Psalm 51:10-13)

    Such great words! The tune is still in my mind from years ago when our high school a capella choir sang these words…yes, a public high school with over 100 students in the choir singing these words in competitions throughout the state. Those were the days. Even today I reflect and request of God to restore the joy of my salvation, which he does every day as I sit and read and write these words. Thank you Lord for your love and your great desire to forgive, we would all be lost indeed without both!

    Psalm 52 – The folly of the one who “trusted in his great wealth” and those who “boast of evil”

    Psalm 53 – The folly of those who live as if there is no God (repeat of Psalm 14).  “Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one” (53:3).

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