"For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills…" Psalm 50, verse 10 is a great reminder that God owns everything and we’re His stewards— but is there a deeper meaning to this verse? On this MoneyWise Live, we take a closer look at this often cited passage because they say context is key. We cite Psalm 50: 10 to remind folks that God created the heavens and the earth and that we’re simply stewards over a tiny portion of that. Is there anything wrong with that? It's actually something we need to hear all the time and standing on its own, Psalm 50 frees us from getting too attached to our money and possessions because they’re not our money and possessions— they belong to God.
To get a deeper meaning from this verse, consider the larger passage to get its full content. Psalm 50:10-15:
The psalmist is warning Israel that they’ve become far too legalistic about their sacrifices. They had come to put value on the actual sacrifices and by extension, themselves.
God already owns the beasts of the forest and the cattle on not just a thousand, but all the hills. All creatures wild and tamed, the fowls in the mountains and beasts of the fields.
How could he possibly be impressed with the burnt offerings of the Israelites? They were just giving him back a small portion of what he already owned and then patting themselves on the back for it.
What was God really after with those ceremonial sacrifices? In verse 14, we get the context we need and puts everything in the right perspective. The passage is about giving and the attitude of our hearts. God is a spiritual being. What use does he have for earthly things? He wants our hearts. He wants us to worship him in spirit and truth. Our tithing and gifts must only be tributes of our gratitude for what He has already given us— not just material things but the priceless gift of His Son for our eternal salvation. When we give purely out of gratitude— expecting nothing and taking no pride in it— only then are we giving Him the loyalty of our hearts. We must search our hearts to make sure we’re tithing and giving for the right reason because He is the God most High. He sees right through us— and takes no pleasure in giving that isn’t joyful and done out of gratitude.
Next, Rob and Steve tackle listener questions at 800-525-7000 and via email to Questions@MoneyWiseLive.org on a variety of topics:
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