>No Salvation in Socialism (Psalm 50)

>Since my last blog (on Psalm 49) some significant things have happened in my life and in our country.

I’ve been experiencing a health struggle and our nation is just beginning what I am convinced will be a major health care reform struggle.

Will God use this new socialization as judgment on our nation? It’s possible, but it’s also possible that this will be a catalyst for turning people’s hearts to God. We need to pray for godly leaders to be put into positions of influence within the government, academia, the media, and the church. We need to pray and work for renewed hearts in every area and on every level of our country.

The internet has some interesting observations about health care reform. Over at Big Hollywood, Greg Gutfield’s “Daily Gut” talks about how “Daddy Got Us a Pony!” AP writer Liz Sidoti believes the “Dems’ celebration may be short.” Jane Hamsher presents a fascinating “Fact Sheet: The Truth About the Health Care Bill.” Mike Adams believes the “Health care reform bill dooms America to Pharma-dominated sickness and suffering.” A Washington Times editorial “Democrats’ death by suicide” is sub-titled “Obamacare is an historic moment–like the Black Plague.” One of my favorites is “Riders on the storm” by everyone’s hero: Chuck Norris. And finally, there’s this insightful “Ask Chuck” webcast by another Chuck: Iowa’s Senator Chuck Grassley.

Following on the heels of this weekend, it’s reassuring to be reminded from Psalm 50 that God is in control of the whole earth.

The Mighty One, God the LORD,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting (verse 1, ESV).

God summons the entire earth and all its people to acknowledge Him as Lord.

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth.
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:
“Gather to me my faithful ones,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
The heavens declare his righteousness,
for God himself is judge! (2-6)

God’s beauty shines forth in creation and in the church. He does not sit silently in heaven, wringing his hands over the mess people make in the world. He will come to judge with his mighty power. But believers will not be swept away by his fierce judgments. They will be gathered to him. We need not fear the wrath of the Almighty Judge!

Psalm 50 continues with several verses showing that everything belongs to God. We must thank him by offering “a sacrifice of thanksgiving” and performing “vows to the Most High” (14). Sacrifices and service are meaningless without a heart that is truly broken for sin and thankful for blessing. That broken and thankful heart can call upon God “in the day of trouble” and God promises: “I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me” (15).

But it’s a different story for the wicked: who “hate discipline” and “cast” God’s words behind them (17), who are pleased with thieves and keep company with adulterers (18), who give their mouths “free rein for evil” and whose tongues frame deceit (19), slandering their own brothers! (20).

Mark this, then, you who forget God,
lest I tear you apart,
and there by none to deliver!
The one who offers thanksgiving
as his sacrifice glorifies me;
to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God! (22-23)

We are not to trust in government or socialized medicine as our saviors. We must offer heartfelt sacrifices of thanksgiving to God and live righteously. Those that do this will see God’s salvation.

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