Bringing the Text to Life
Forgiveness is a fad these days, a full-fledged flavor of the month. Turn on any TV station, and the odds are good you'll witness a dramatic episode of forgiveness. Maybe a long-estranged mother and daughter will dash to embrace one another, a put-upon wife will step forward to absolve her sorry excuse of a husband, or a scandal-plagued politician will pander for pardon. Reconciliation is burning hot, hot, hot right now, and Christians are usually the ones fanning the flames of forgiveness.
But maybe not. Fretting for forgiveness can make some of our Scriptures hard to hear ... like today's. Psalm 50 insists that God is coming to judge us. Yes, JUDGE us. "Our God comes and does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire, and a mighty tempest all around him" (v. 3).
That's a little bit harsh. But not according to the psalmist. "The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge" (v. 6).
The God who summons heaven and earth that he may judge his people is clearly...