Watch out sinners (Isa 33:13-33:14)

“Hear!

You who are far away!

What I have done!

You who are near!

Acknowledge my might!

The sinners in Zion

Are afraid.

Trembling has seized the godless.

‘Who among us can live

With the devouring fire?

Who among us can live

With these everlasting flames?’”

Isaiah has Yahweh ask the Israelites to listen, just as he had done. If they are far away, can they see what he has done? If they are near, then they should acknowledge Yahweh’s might. The sinners at Mount Zion are afraid. The godless are trembling. They seem to ask how they can live with this devouring fire and these everlasting flames.

The power of God (Ps 50:1-50:6)

A psalm of Asaph

“The Mighty One,

God,

Yahweh,

Speaks.

He summons the earth

From the rising of the sun

To its setting.

Out of Zion,

The perfection of beauty,

God shines forth.

Our God comes.

He does not keep silence.

Before him is a devouring fire.

A mighty tempest is all around him.

He calls to the heavens above.

He calls to the earth.

Thus he may judge his people.

‘Gather to me!

My faithful ones!

You made a covenant with me

By sacrifice!’

The heavens declare his righteousness.

God himself is judge!”

Selah

This Psalm 50 is the first of 12 psalms ascribed to Asaph. Asaph was a transcriber or author of psalms at the time of David and Solomon. This may also refer to the group named after him that were musicians at the Temple. This Asaph is described in 1 Chronicles, chapter 6, as one who could trace his ancestors directly back to Levi. In 2 Chronicles, chapter 5, he is listed as a Temple singer at the time of Solomon during the transport of the Ark of the Covenant. This is a song of praise to the power of God, who is in charge of the earth. He has control of the rising and the setting of the sun. His beauty shines from Mount Zion. He has appeared as a devouring fire and a tempest. He has come to judge the people of earth from on high in heaven. He wanted the faithful ones who had made sacrifices to him to come closer to him. He was coming to judge them. With that it was time for another musical interlude pause, the Selah.