Psalm 50 is a perfectly linked to Matthew 23:23, the passage our pastor, Dr. Randy Wallace, preached Sunday. Jesus called out those who tithed on the tiniest amounts but left off the more important elements: justice and mercy and faith.
A thousand years earlier, Asaph was vocalizing the same thing to the people of God. He said he was not going to rebuke the people for tithing (Ps. 50:8), even though He was the creator and owner of everything, including “the cattle on a thousand hills” (50:10-13).
Bringing tithes and offerings are important, but it was almost as if the people hated the other instructions from God, which were against stealing, adultery, hurting their brothers and sisters, lying and evil talking (50:17-20). The people thought they were so godly because they brought sacrifices, “but I will rebuke you.”
I love the line where God, clarifying why His people should bring sacrifices to Him, says, “If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world is Mine and all its fullness.” God didn’t need us to “feed” Him bulls and goats. And today, tithing doesn’t add to God’s riches, it all belongs to Him, any more than our being righteous adds to His righteousness. Being godly does not add to our salvation, since Christ paid it all.
Our obedience does accomplish one thing, whether it is in giving or in godliness: it praises and glorifies God. A one-sentence summation of this psalm would be “One of the best ways to praise God is by doing what He says.”