TLIC Psalms. April 15. Covenant by Sacrifice.

Read Psalm 50:1-6. 1The Mighty One, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. 2Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth. 3Our God comes; he does not keep silence; before him is a devouring fire, around him a mighty tempest. 4He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that he may judge his people: 5“Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!” 6The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge!

If you are familiar with Exodus you might get glimpses of the Israelites at Mount Sinai from this psalm. Mountain top fire and tempest storm. The people gathered round. Covenant sacrifices made. Judgments declared.

But this isn’t Mount Sinai. It’s Mount Zion.

Asaph is likely recalling the judgment of God upon Judah that led to the exile of the people of God, as the nations are summoned to watch.

The Christian is blessed to see beyond the Exodus and beyond the Exile. To see on Zion’s hill the perfection of beauty in Jesus Christ and his cruel cross. To see God’s grace shining forth on the darkest of days. To hear God’s love crying out in the silence of Calvary. To experience God’s holiness as a devouring fire sweeping away all sin. To know God’s judgment of his people was nailed into the hands and feet of his only son. And now to live within God’s New Covenant secured by the sacrifice of the Mighty One on the tree.

To live is Christ is to behold the perfection of God’s beauty in the judgment of God upon the cross, and to be gathered to God as his faithful ones trusting in the covenant by sacrifice. Not trusting our own obedience in any form, but rather trusting his judgment for our disobedience at Zion’s hill.   

Prayer. Jesus, your cross is the perfection of beauty and your covenant is only accessible by your sacrifice. Gather me to your people to celebrate these truths. Amen.


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