God owns the cattle on a thousand hills! This thought (from Psalm 50:10) is one of the most common thoughts from the Psalms. And usually the application associated with it is this: “Praise the Lord—He can provide whatever we need.” This is not a wrong application. However, does this fit the context of the Psalm?
Who is this Psalm about?
V1—The Mighty God, even the LORD, the One Who speaks from sunrise to sunset
V2—The One Who shines
V3—The God Who is coming loudly with a devouring fire
V4—The Sovereign over heaven and earth Who will judge His people
V6—The Righteous Judge
With such an introduction in this Psalm, could it be said that the theme is “God should be glorified as the Great Omnipotent Judge”?
The remainder of the Psalm explains why this Great Judge should be glorified:
V7-15—Since God is the sovereign Judge and not a mere man, He therefore is not dependent on human offerings.
V16-23—Since God is the sovereign Judge and not a mere man, He therefore does not overlook human wickedness.
Indeed, some people may find the above two divisions to be a bit verbose. So, here is a simplification:
V7-15—God is not impressed with your goodness.
V16-23—God cannot overlook your wickedness.
Bearing this in mind, how should we respond to this great God?
Verses 15 and 23 both say that we should glorify God. That is, we ought to recognize Him to be Who He is. The applications are endless. How should our concept of God affect the things we say or do or think?
Have we acknowledged that we cannot save ourselves and that our own goodness is not good enough to save us? We must ask Christ to be our Savior since our goodness does not impress God. Have we acknowledged that God does not need our tithe or Faith Promise Missions money or other giving? Have we acknowledged that we should give our offerings because God is worthy—and NOT because God is needy? Of course, no Christian would say God is needy! But could it be possible that I could have an inward attitude that a ministry would be greatly hurt if it were not for my generosity? God is not dependent on human offerings. He is bigger than that—He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. We still give to the LORD but with an attitude of praise to humbly glorify Him.
Have we acknowledged God’s greatness so that we stop our sinful practices and habits of immorality, dishonesty, slander, and gossip?
Let us offer praise to God and order our conversation aright that we might glorify the Great Judge because He is worthy.