7 “Hear, O My people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testify against you; I [am] God, your God! 8 I will not rebuke you for your sacrifices Or your burnt offerings, [Which are] continually before Me. 9 I will not take a bull from your house, [Nor] goats out of your folds. 10 For every beast of the forest [is] Mine, [And] the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field [are] Mine. 12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world [is] Mine, and all its fullness. 13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, Or drink the blood of goats? 14 Offer to God thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High. 15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”PSALM 50:7-15
GOD DOESN’T NEED ME, BUT HE WANTS ME
I’ve heard a few pastors or speakers get up and declare something that God ‘needs.’ “God needs faithful men.” “God needs his people to be consistent.” etc. etc. It’s always irritating when I hear that kind of language. First because God does NOT need anything! He is self-sufficient. He created everything. He has no need! There isn’t anything you can give God that He doesn’t already have! To think that God needs something from you is to completely misunderstand God! Indeed, it mislabels God. If God needs something from you, He is not God, you are!
God does not need so therefore He cannot be manipulated. You can’t withhold something from God in an attempt to get him to do your bidding. You can’t promise him something to get him to do what you want. There is no real bargaining with God (See the book of Jonah). You have no leverage…. on the other hand, everything you have comes from God. Your body, your life, your breath, your possessions, even your cat (I know I’m assuming your a cat person). In a very real sense weather you recognize it or not, you need God!
God does not need anything from you, that means he has no reason to manipulate you. He has no reason to tell you lies (That’s one thing by definition that God can not do). It means that everything that comes from Him, quite simply comes as a gift. There is nothing you can offer to purchase what God gives.
So if God doesn’t need anything from me, and I need everything from Him, how do I interact with God? The proper response to God is to show God gratitude (v. 14) and give Him glory (v.15). Gratitude is a recognition of His provision and gifts. Glory is a recognition of His greatness. These responses aren’t a payments (we could never repay God) they are praises. These are “offerings” from the heart, not just the flock (or checkbook). We recognize that even the offering itself comes from God, it’s the heart that expresses gratitude and gives glory.
There is much more to this psalm, especially as we contemplate sin and separation from God, but I found this section the most thought provoking as we consider our worship of God.
Father, I am grateful that you have provided all that I need. You have given me gifts great and small that are all greater than I can comprehend. I am limited in my ability to perceive the full depth of your provision. I am humbled today to think that you have no need of anything I could give you, but you should choose to hear my prayers. Forgive me for when I have thought that worship was transactional or when I misunderstood your gracious gifts as those things to which I was entitled. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.