Psalm 50:1-6 (NRSV)
Verse 1The mighty one, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Verse 2Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.
Verse 3Our God comes and does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire, and a mighty tempest all around him.
Verse 4He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
Verse 5"Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!"
Verse 6The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge. Selah
The psalmist declares that God has summoned the whole earth to pay attention as God sits in judgment of God’s own people. The people of Israel had seen the presence of God in the Exodus and in the ministry of prophets like Elijah and Elisha. God’s actions on behalf of and through the people meant they had a special responsibility to live faithfully as God’s people. That is the basis for God’s judgment.
We too have seen the presence of God not only through Moses and the prophets but especially through Jesus, and through the faithful witness of God’s people through the centuries. Like the people of Israel, our responsibility to live faithfully flows from our relationship with God in Jesus. God takes that responsibility seriously and calls us to do so too. God does not delight in retaliation or punishment but delights in our thanks and praise lived out in our relationship with God and others.
Holy God, we confess that we do not always take seriously what it means to be your children. Help us grow in living our faith daily in our relationships with you, the creation, and all people. Amen