How you see God has a tremendous affect not only on your doctrine but on your behavior as well. If you see God as distant, you will likely not consider how He sees all that you do and knows everything about you. If you see God as small and weak, you will not fear Him or respect Him. If you see Him as a kindly grandfather, you may appreciate the attention He pays you but not worry about any discipline He may offer. If you see God as a tyrant, you may fear Him greatly but also despise Him in the process, growing resentful and letting anger dominate your relationships. If you see God as a mirror image of yourself, you will ultimately act like your own god, and maybe other people’s too. However, despite how easily people adopt their own view of God for their own purposes, God has not left it up to our imagination to determine who He is and what He is like, for “The Mighty One, God the LORD, Has spoken…” (Psa. 50:1).
He has shined forth to reveal Himself to man (Psa. 50:2). More than that, He has come forth to declare His will “and shall not keep silent” (Psa. 50:3), and has done so “that He may judge His people” (Psa. 50:4) “who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice” (Psa. 50:5). He has not left any man the option of judging himself, “For God Himself is Judge” (Psa. 50:6). People today who do acknowledge God’s existence often have a difficult time accepting His judgment. They want to enjoy His love without the responsibility of doing His will. But He has spoken for Himself (Psa. 50:7), and therefore has not given man the right to speak for Him.
Men are tempted to brag on all that they do for God and offer to God, forgetting that God provided both the talents and the means by which they do both (Psa. 50:8-13). Men want to bargain with God from an assumed position of strength instead of approaching God appropriately from the very real position of weakness. It is only when we realize that we have nothing to offer God of our own that we can begin to understand what He wants from us. “Offer to God thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me” (Psa. 50:14-15). We must begin with thanks for the opportunity to serve, for we do not even deserve this. We should be thankful for the opportunity for deliverance, because we do not deserve this either. We must grasp the depth of our dependence fully if we are to glorify the One on Whom we depend entirely. But all of this depends on our willingness to listen to what God says instead of insisting on our own opinions (Psa. 50:16).
We cannot reject God’s words, whether in instruction or action, without rejecting God’s covenant (Psa. 50:17-18). We cannot let evil escape our lips and still honor the words that came from God’s own heart (Psa. 50:19-20). Just because God has not struck us down with lightning from above does not mean that He approves of our behavior. While He may seem silent in the moment, He will judge us in eternity (Psa. 50:21-22). Therefore, let us all live for that moment based on the words He has delivered. For He says, “Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; And to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God” (Psa. 50:23).