New American Bible (Revised Edition)
The Acceptable Sacrifice
1 A psalm of Asaph.
The God of gods, the Lord,
has spoken and summoned the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting.(A)
2 From Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth.(B)
3 Our God comes and will not be silent!
Devouring fire precedes him,
it rages strongly around him.(C)
4 He calls to the heavens above
and to the earth to judge his people:
5 “Gather my loyal ones to me,
those who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
for God himself is the judge.(D)
7 “Listen, my people, I will speak;
Israel, I will testify against you;
God, your God, am I.
8 Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
your burnt offerings are always before me.
9 I will not take a bullock from your house,
or he-goats from your folds.(E)
10 For every animal of the forest is mine,
beasts by the thousands on my mountains.
11 I know every bird in the heights;
whatever moves in the wild is mine.
12 Were I hungry, I would not tell you,
for mine is the world and all that fills it.(F)
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of he-goats?
14 Offer praise as your sacrifice to God;(G)
fulfill your vows to the Most High.
15 Then call on me on the day of distress;(H)
I will rescue you, and you shall honor me.”
16 But to the wicked God says:
“Why do you recite my commandments
and profess my covenant with your mouth?
17 You hate discipline;
you cast my words behind you!
18 If you see a thief, you run with him;
with adulterers you throw in your lot.
19 You give your mouth free rein for evil;
you yoke your tongue to deceit.
20 You sit and speak against your brother,
slandering your mother’s son.
21 When you do these things should I be silent?
Do you think that I am like you?
I accuse you, I lay out the matter before your eyes.
22 “Now understand this, you who forget God,
lest I start ripping apart and there be no rescuer.
23 Those who offer praise as a sacrifice honor me;
I will let him whose way is steadfast
look upon the salvation of God.”(I)
- Psalm 50 A covenant lawsuit stating that the sacrifice God really wants is the sacrifice of praise accompanied by genuine obedience (cf. Mi 6:1–8). It begins with a theophany and the summoning of the court (Ps 50:1–6). Then in direct address God explains what is required of the faithful (Ps 50:7–15), rebukes the hypocritical worshiper (Ps 50:16–21), and concludes with a threat and a promise (Ps 50:22–23; cf. Is 1:19–20).