Psalm 50 begins so beautifully:
The Mighty One, God the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth (Psalm 50:1-2).
But, what follows is terrifying:
Our God comes; he does not keep silence; before him is a devouring fire, around him a mighty tempest. He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that he may judge his people…”Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, I will testify against you. I am God, your God. (Psalm 50:3-4, 7).
The Mighty One comes to both testify against his people AND judge his people. Oh, wait! He also comes to execute his judgment:
“Mark this, then, you who forget God, lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!” (Psalm 50:22).
A righteous God who executes his justice is terrifying and real. Many people have already passed into that judgment. Thankfully, there is hope. The Psalm finishes with a reminder of where our salvation comes from – God himself:
“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!” (Psalm 50:23).
God will show the salvation of God. We who live after the cross know fully how God shows his salvation; through his Son, Jesus the Christ. No mere created thing could save us from the righteous judgment of God. Only God the Son could save us from God the Father through the work of God the Holy Spirit in our lives. Hallelujah! What a Savior!