Psalm 50 – Worship God With Thanksgiving

“…There were some people [in Israel] who thought that when they were bringing a sacrifice, it was somehow doing God a favor. Now, in so doing, they’d made two mistakes: One, they’d misunderstood why God gave the sacrificial system. The reason the sacrificial system is there is because we need something! We need forgiveness. And that sacrifice doesn’t get us forgiveness; it reminds us that we need forgiveness.

What does the author of Hebrews says? “The blood of bulls and goats cannot forgive sin”! But they jolly well can show you that only blood can pay for sin. Only God-provided blood can pay for sin. And so the giving of the sacrifice doesn’t get you forgiveness; it reminds you that you need forgiveness. And the giving of the sacrifice doesn’t do God a favor; it reminds you that you need a favor from God. And thinking that worshiping is somehow going to do a favor for God, of course totally contorts the function of worship. Worship is giving to God the glory due His name from hearts filled with gratitude for what He has already done for you in grace. It’s not giving to God something that He lacks which only you can supply. In worship, He supplies what we cannot. He gives what we lack, and so the whole of worship is in response to what God has already given to us. When we worship, we worship as debtors to God, as needy and thus as grateful and thankful for a supply that God has given to us. You see, the Lord does not need us to give to Him the glory due His name, but we desperately need to give Him the glory due His name, because He has shown us His mercy in Jesus Christ.

And, my friends, this is yet another Bible passage that shows us that how we worship and why we worship matters to God. It’s not enough to go through the motions. We need not only to be here; we need not only to be under the means of grace–the word read, the word proclaimed, the word sung, the word prayed–but we need to know why we’re here, and we need to worship in accordance with the reasons that God has told us for worship. And apparently there are some in Israel who don’t understand this, and it’s led them to a low view of God. And isn’t it interesting that wrong worship always brings about a wrong understanding of who God is, and a wrong understanding of who God is always leads to wrong worship. Isn’t that interesting? Because everything in the Christian life flows from whom God is. And that’s why when we worship, it’s so important for us to worship in accordance with God’s word, else we end up worshiping something other than the God of His word.”

Ligon Duncan


Read Psalm 50.  The psalmist declares that true and acceptable worship of God is motivated by thanksgiving.  How can a Christian gird his worship with gratitude so that it glorifies the Father?

Come Ye Sinners – Vertical Worship

Posted on: May 7, 2021 - 12:00PM

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