From my blogpost two years ago…
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 (Psalm 50:12-15 ESV).
This refers back to the heathen gods to which the pagans offered sacrifices in order to appease their hunger. God is pretty much saying here, “Don’t put Me in the same class with the heathen gods, or treat Me as a heathen god.”
Written approximately seven hundred years before Christ, this Psalm was a great warning for Israel of the judgment which will take place at Christ’s Second Coming. In her rejection of her Savior and her idol worship, Israel had taken on the spirit of the idols and the others who worshipped them. Instead, she should have been making offerings of “thanksgiving” to God, most importantly for the Great Gift of His Son. In fact, it was her obligation, or vow, to do so.
But to the wicked one, God says, “What right do you have to recite my statues or take my covenant on your lips? For you hate discipline and you cast my words behind you. If you see a thief, you are pleased with him and you keep company with adulterers. You give your mouth free reign for evil, and your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother. You slander your own mother’s son. These things you have done, and I have been silent. You thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you. Mark this then, you who forget God, lest I tear you apart and there be none to deliver. The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly, I will show the salvation of God!” (Psalm 50:16-23 ESV).
The people of Israel were filled with religious language, but their conduct was otherwise, as they worshipped idols.