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A Reprieve for the Guilty

This psalm describes God's courtroom and the judgment of His people, who made a covenant with Him by sacrifice. There are three stages to this trial. First, God convenes the court (vv. 1-6). God calls the earth and then comes. He comes shining and will not keep silent (v. 3; Heb. 12:29). He calls heaven and earth to witness (vv. 5,6).

Second, God presents the charges (vv. 7-21). He starts with those who bring sacrifices to Him. He doesn't rebuke their sacrifices, but He is concerned about the way they bring them. God wants spiritual sacrifices from the heart: praise, obedience and prayers (v. 15).

Then he speaks to the wicked. They declare God's statutes, yet they aren't obeying them (Matt. 7:21). They think His silence is His approval.

Third, God declares the conclusion (vv. 22,23). He could declare everyone guilty. Instead, He offers a reprieve. "Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God."

One day our lives will be judged. Let's do what God asks us to do and walk out of the courtroom free.

Someday you will be on trial at the Judgment Seat of Christ, where your works will be judged by God. Are you prepared for trial in His courtroom? Do your sacrifices come from your heart?

Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group ( Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from Baker Publishing Group.

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