"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:
- For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine.
- If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?
- Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High,
and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.
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:
- If you just received a divorce settlement of $317000 at age 64, receive disability and retirement funds, should you be confident of living on this settlement amount?
- If you use a card that pays out 1.75% on everything and pay that card every month, should you use this card for very small, incidental purchases?
- If you're in 60's, still working and have a traditional IRA, is there an advantage to converting to a Roth IRA?
- Are Home Equity Line of Credits still tax deductible?
- If 43, with no substantial debt, want to live 401(k) until your Social Security and pension start at age 65 and are uncomfortable with investing in the stock market, what should you do with money in your savings to prepare?
- If you have no debt, just paid off a car loan 6 months early and your credit score just dropped 40 points, why would this happen if you've always maintained good credit? annualcreditreport.com
- How often should you compare home and auto insurance companies and is there a good way to do the comparing?
- If you've invested in a pension but the company has since terminated it, will cashing the pension out and moving to another job affect your Social Security?
- If you've had a time-share since 1980 that your really don't use that you have to pay ongoing maintenance fees, what are the options for selling it?
Be sure to check out our new website at MoneyWiseLive.org to connect with a MoneyWise Coach or access our books, videos, or any of our free helpful resources. Thanks for your prayerful and financial support that helps keep MoneyWise Live on the air. And if you'd like to help, just click the Donate tab at the top of the page.