Sunday, August 07, 2011

Psalm 49

1 Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world:
2 Both low and high, rich and poor, together.
3 My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.
4 I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.
5 Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?
6 They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;
7 None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:
8 (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)
9 That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.
10 For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names.
12 Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.
13 This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.
14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.
15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.
16 Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased;
17 For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.
18 Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself.
19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light.
20 Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish

Key Verse:
20 Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish

Key Observation:

Eat drink and be merry, but in all things know you are accountable to God.

Memory Verse:
15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.


There are a couple of psalms that deal with the same subject. The theme of this psalm is the prosperity of the wicked. “Man that is in honor, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.” Psalm 37 and Psalm 73 deal with similar themes. Matthew Henry points out that this psalm is a sermon, and is unlike some of the other “praise” psalms.
I have compared key verses with the three psalms below:
Psalm 37
9 For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.
10 In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.

Psalm 49
16 Be not afraid when a man becomes rich,
when the glory of his house increases.
17 For when he dies he will carry nothing away;
his glory will not go down after him.

Psalm 73
18 Truly you set them in slippery places;
you make them fall to ruin.
19 How they are destroyed in a moment,
swept away utterly by terrors

How alike these three psalms are! They all deal with wickedness, and each of them tell the end of wickedness. Remember theodicy- the problem that theologians argue about—the problem of a divine God of justice and apparent evil in the world? Theodicy is totally completely and forever solved when we consider the end of all things.

“But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me.” Here in the Old Testament, long before the doctrine is specifically taught, the psalmest looks at God and by faith knows God has even the power over the grave. How I love the old hymns- they were written by men of faith and have been tested by time to be of sound doctrine. My wife calls today’s songs 7/11 songs—meaning seven words repeated 11 times. Most will not endure the test of time and sound doctrine. But there is one old hymn which we sang in church this morning, I would like to quote to end this devotion. The psalmest by faith looked forward to the Christ who was to come; he knew him not, but by faith expected God to provide. And provide He did!
Jesus paid it all
All to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed them
White as snow

I have heard it said that we should not talk of the blood of Christ because we might offend non- Christians with our blood and gore. The cross was blood and gore. It was the necessary price for our redemption—the cost God was willing to pay to restore fellowship with his lost creatures. Take the blood of Christ away and you may as well take our Savior away too. “Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins.”

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