|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
50:7-15 To obey is better than sacrifice, and to love God and our neighbour better than all burnt-offerings. We are here warned not to rest in these performances. And let us beware of resting in any form. God demands the heart, and how can human inventions please him, when repentance, faith, and holiness are neglected? In the day of distress we must apply to the Lord by fervent prayer. Our troubles, though we see them coming from God's hand, must drive us to him, not drive us from him. We must acknowledge him in all our ways, depend upon his wisdom, power, and goodness, and refer ourselves wholly to him, and so give him glory. Thus must we keep up communion with God; meeting him with prayers under trials, and with praises in deliverances. A believing supplicant shall not only be graciously answered as to his petition, and so have cause for praising God, but shall also have grace to praise him.
Verses 7-15. - "The continuance of this dramatic scene," as Professor Cheyne remarks, "scarcely answers to the commencement. The judgment seems to be adjourned, or to be left to the conscience of the defendants." The faithful are summoned, and appear, but not to receive unqualified commendation (see Matthew 25:31-40). Rather they receive a warning. The strong and prolonged depreciation of sacrifice (vers. 8-13) necessarily implies that in the religion of the time too much stress was laid upon it. We know that, in the heathen world, men sought to buy God's favour by their sacrifices, some] believing that, physically, the gods were nourished by the steam of the victims, others regarding them as laid under obligations which they could not disregard (Plato, 'Rep.,' it. § 6; Rawlinson, 'Religions of the Ancient World,' pp. 124, 125). We know, too, that, in the later monarchy, sacrifice to so great an extent superseded true spiritual worship among the Israelites themselves, that it became an offence to God, and was spoken of in terms of reprobation (Isaiah 1:11-13; Isaiah 66:3). Already, it would seem, this tendency was manifesting itself, and a warning from Heaven was needed against it. Verse 7. - Hear, O my people, and I will speak. God will not speak to deaf ears. Unless men are ready to attend to him, he keeps silence. O Israel, and I will testify against thee; or, protest unto thee (Kay, Cheyne). I am God, even thy God. And therefore am entitled to be heard.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Hear, O my people,.... This is an address to the people of the Jews, whom God had chosen to be his people above all others, and who professed themselves to be his people; but now a "loammi", Hosea 1:9, was about to be written upon them, being a people uncircumcised in heart and ears, refusing to hear the great Prophet of the church, him that spake from heaven;
and I will speak: by way of accusation and charge, and in judgment against them for their sins and transgressions;
O Israel, and I will testify against thee; or "to thee" (t); to thy face produce witnesses, and bring sufficient evidence to prove the things laid to thy charge,
I am God, even thy God; which is an aggravation of their sin against him, and is the reason why they should hearken to him; see Psalm 81:10.
(t) "tibi", V. L. Vatablus; so Ainsworth.
The Treasury of David
7 Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.
8 I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.
9 I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.
10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
11 I know all the fowls of the mountains and the wild beasts of the field are mine.
12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.
13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:
15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
The address which follows is directed to the professed people of God. It is clearly, in the first place, meant for Israel; but is equally applicable to the visible church of God in every age. It declares the futility of external worship when spiritual faith is absent and the mere outward ceremonial is rested in.
"Hear, O my people, and I will speak." Because Jehovah speaks, and they are avowedly his own people, they are bound to give earnest heed. "Let me speak," saith the great I am. The heavens and earth are but listeners, the Lord is about both to testify and to judge. "O Israel, and I will testify against thee." Their covenant name is mentioned to give point to the address; it was a double evil that the chosen nation should become so carnal, so unspiritual, so false, so heartless to their God. God himself, whose eyes sleep not, who is not misled by rumour, but sees for himself, enters on the scene as witness against his favoured nation. Alas! for us when God, even our fathers' God, testifies to the hypocrisy of the visible church. "I am God, even thy God." He had taken them to be his peculiar people above all other nations, and they had in the most solemn manner avowed that he was their God. Hence the special reason for calling them to account. The law began with, "I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt," and now the session of their judgment opens with the same reminder of their singular position, privilege, and responsibility. It is not only that Jehovah is God, but thy God, O Israel; this it is that makes thee so amenable to his searching reproofs.
"I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifice or thy burnt offerings, to have been ever before me." Though they had not failed in maintaining his outward worship, or even if they had, he was not about to call them to account for this: a more weighty matter was now under consideration. They thought the daily sacrifices and the abounding burnt offerings to be everything: he counted them nothing if the inner sacrifice of heart devotion had been neglected. What was greatest with them was least with God. It is even so today. Sacraments (so called) and sacred rites are the main concern with unconverted but religious men, but with the Most High the spiritual worship which they forget is the sole matter. Let the external be maintained by all means according to the divine command, but if the secret and spiritual be not in them, they are a vain oblation, a dead ritual, and even an abomination before the Lord.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. I will testify—that is, for failure to worship aught.
thy God—and so, by covenant as well as creation, entitled to a pure worship.
Psalm 50:7 Parallel Commentaries
Psalm 50:7 NIV
Psalm 50:7 NLT
Psalm 50:7 ESV
Psalm 50:7 NASB
Psalm 50:7 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible