Today in God’s Word
2 Samuel 1; 1 Corinthians 12; Ezekiel 10; Psalm 49
Today in Psalm 49 the Psalmist poses a riddle or a question that he evidences is rhetorical or to be answered in the form of praise to God. He essentially asks why I should (or shouldn’t) fear when circumstances are bad, like when I am injured by the wickedness of others who are more powerful or more prosperous than me. He writes this to the benefit of those with great power and influence as well as those who are of low esteem. He writes to the benefit of those with great riches and means as well as to those who are lean and poor. Let every human take heed to the teaching of God!
He unpacks his riddle first in four parts in verses 7-12
1. No man can ransom another from their guilty state before God because the price is too high (v7-8)
2.No man shall avoid the pit of death (v9)
3. No matter how wise one is, there is no way to avoid death and the time of judgment (v10)
3. No matter how rich one is and how grand were there palaces on earth, there is no way to benefit from earthly riches in the grave (v11)
4. No matter how exalted one is, like a beast he too will die (v12)
Then he explains the foolish vs wise response to our un-payable debt to God and the result of each in verses 13-14
Action- Trying to pay one’s debt to God is foolish, although it can earn the praise of men in this life (v13)
Result- The reality is that they have no power and they shall be directed to damnation (v14)
Action- God will pay my debt himself and pull me from the dominion of evil that had me on the path to hell (v15a)
Result- I will be received by God, reconciled and accepted due to no merit of my own(v15b)
Now the Psalmist comes back to a practical application and an answer to his riddle in verses 16-20.
Question- Why then should I fear the prosperity or oppression of the wicked?
Answer- I should not fear (v16)
1. When others become richer than me
2. When others become more powerful or influential than me
This is because
1. The blessing that they enjoy in this life is fleeting and he will never see the light of blessing again after his certain death.
2. Real blessing and lasting life is found in understanding that my life is in God’s hand. Reliance upon God’s mercy is the only answer.
Soli Deo Gloria!