(A psalm by Asaph.)
What Pleases God
1 From east to west,
the powerful Lord God
has been calling together
everyone on earth.
2 God shines brightly from Zion,
the most beautiful city.

3 Our God approaches,
but not silently;
a flaming fire comes first,
and a storm surrounds him.
4 God comes to judge his people.
He shouts to the heavens
and to the earth,
5 “Call my followers together!
They offered me a sacrifice,
and we made an agreement.”

6 The heavens announce,
“God is the judge,
and he is always honest.”

7 My people, I am God!
Israel, I am your God.
Listen to my charges
against you.
8 Although you offer sacrifices
and always bring gifts,
9 I won't accept your offerings
of bulls and goats.

10 Every animal in the forest
belongs to me,
and so do the cattle
on a thousand hills.
11 I know all the birds
in the mountains,
and every wild creature
is in my care.

12 If I were hungry,
I wouldn't tell you,
because I own the world
and everything in it.
13 I don't eat the meat of bulls
or drink the blood of goats.
14 I am God Most High!
The only sacrifice I want
is for you to be thankful
and to keep your word.
15 Pray to me in time of trouble.
I will rescue you,
and you will honor me.

16 But to the wicked I say:
“You don't have the right
to mention my laws or claim
to keep our agreement!
17 You refused correction
and rejected my commands.
18 You made friends
with every crook you met,
and you liked people who break
their wedding vows.
19 You talked only about violence
and told nothing but lies;
20 you sat around gossiping,
ruining the reputation
of your own relatives.”

21 When you did all this,
I didn't say a word,
and you thought,
“God is just like us!”
But now I will accuse you.
22 You have ignored me!
So pay close attention
or I will tear you apart,
and no one can help you.

23 The sacrifice that honors me
is a thankful heart.
Obey me, and I, your God,
will show my power to save.