Thursday, July 13, 2017

You Can't Take It With You

Psalm 49
This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,
    and of their followers, who approve their sayings.[d]
14 They are like sheep and are destined to die;
    death will be their shepherd
    (but the upright will prevail over them in the morning).
Their forms will decay in the grave,
    far from their princely mansions.
15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;
    he will surely take me to himself.
16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
    when the splendor of their houses increases;
17 for they will take nothing with them when they die,
    their splendor will not descend with them.
18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed—
    and people praise you when you prosper—
19 they will join those who have gone before them,
    who will never again see the light of life.

This psalm contrasts the end of those who trust in riches, with those who trust in God. The psalmist even echoes the familiar saying, "For they will take nothing with them when they die."  Though they will seem prosperous in this life, it does not make it to the grave.   
"Voltaire was a French atheist and enemy of Christianity and his popularity made him very wealthy. “Yet when Voltaire came to die, it is reported that he cried to his doctor in pained desperation, ‘I will give you half of all I possess if you will give me six months more of life.'” Voltaire died in despair." (Boice)

By contrary to the despair when the person who loved riches dies, the psalmist trusts that God will redeem him from the dead.  Literally the psalmist trusts in faith that his body will not rot in the grave, but he will be resurrected he will be with God.  Although he might have not have known God's plan of redemption through Jesus, he knew he needed to trust in God alone.  He realized that cost of redeeming a human life was so high that only God could pay for it.   

Importantly being wealthy is not a sin.  One commentator says it this way, "Though the Bible presents several godly rich men to us (such as Abraham and King David who by modern measures would probably be billionaires), they were men who still trusted in the Lord and made their boast in Him."  (Guzik) There are plenty of similar examples today!

What are you trusting in? Are you trusting in things that you cannot take with you when you die?  Or maybe a better question, "Are you storing up a treasure here on earth or in heaven?"  I think Jesus might have said something like that!

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