What does Psalm 50:8 mean?
ESV: Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you; your burnt offerings are continually before me.
NIV: I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
NASB: I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices, And your burnt offerings are continually before Me.
CSB: I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices or for your burnt offerings, which are continually before me.
NLT: I have no complaint about your sacrifices or the burnt offerings you constantly offer.
KJV: I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.
NKJV: I will not rebuke you for your sacrifices Or your burnt offerings, Which are continually before Me.
Verse Commentary:
It is possible to do some things in the right form and at the right time, yet still sin while doing so. The intent of one's heart is even more important than following the letter of the law. God has come to pronounce judgment on Israel (Psalm 50:1–6). He begins by noting that He will not rebuke them for failing to offer sacrifices—they are going through the motions of those rules.

The Lord had commanded the Israelites to offer various sacrifices to reflect their obedience to God's covenant (Exodus 29:38–42). The purpose of the sacrifices, however, was not merely to make smoke and forfeit resources. The sacrifices were also reminders of the nation's debt of gratitude towards the Lord, as well as their commitment to follow His words. When the people failed to obey God, yet still offered sacrifices regularly, it proved their misunderstanding (Hosea 6:6).
Verse Context:
Psalm 50:7–15 explains the judgment which God came to deliver in the prior passage. All of creation was called to witness this verdict, given to the supposedly faithful people of the Lord (Psalm 50:1–6). In this passage, God notes that Israel hypocritically participates in sacrifices and rituals—yet they ignore God in their lives. Sin and disobedience mark their habits (Psalm 50:17). Still, they assume God is pleased with them. The Lord explains that without sincerity, those rituals are meaningless.
Chapter Summary:
Asaph depicts God as an unimaginably glorious judge, calling the entire world to hear a divine verdict. Israel has offered sacrifices, but God ignores them. The nation rejects His laws. It is pervaded with blatant sin, even while they claim to be God's chosen people. The Lord's patience does not mean He does not notice. Those who continue ignoring Him will be "torn apart" without any possibility of rescue. Those who respond to God with sincerity will be rescued.
Chapter Context:
This psalm, written by Asaph, addresses the Lord's intended connection between religious rituals and daily behavior. When the people offer sacrifices, but blatantly reject God's laws, they invite judgment. This passage notes national sins mentioned directly in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:14–16). In other writings, Asaph expresses frustration over Israel's continued rebellion and God's delayed response (Psalm 73:2–3; 74:10).
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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