THE FUTILITY OF WORLDLINESS

Psalm 49

Sunday, 12 June 2022




“But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, For He shall receive me.” -Psalm 49: 15


The futility of worldliness— the riches, pride, fame echoes from this Psalm which contains many similarities with Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. The Psalm calls for the wise person to realize that there is nothing to fear from the oppressive rich as they too will die. There is no way a person can buy eternal life with God. The Psalmist reminds the readers not to count on wealth and other material possessions to keep us happy because we will never have enough wealth to keep from dying. But the truth is that the righteous will live forever and its nothing but the grace of God.


For the sake of a better understanding, we can divide this Psalm into 5 sections:

  1. A call for understanding (v 1- 4)

  2. A declaration of the vanity of trusting in wealth (v 5 – 9)

  3. A declaration of worthlessness of possessions after death (v 10 – 12)

  4. A description of God’s redemption (v 13 -15)

  5. The conclusion that there is no need to fear the rich (v 16 – 20)

The teaching of Jesus is very clear in Mark 10:24-25 that wealth can achieve nothing of lasting value in this life or the life to come. The rich and the poor have one thing in common; when they die, they leave all they owned in this earth. At the moment of death, both rich and the poor are naked and empty handed before God. They will be stripped off everything except their character. That is why the Scripture exhorts us to pursue character development – God’s law, holiness, wisdom and knowledge more than anything else.

The Law of Priorities: When Activity becomes Achievement (Excerpts/Quotes from the Maxwell Leadership Bible)

God encourages us to fix our eyes on what endures. In the light of eternity, we cannot become consumed with the temporary nor allow the pursuit of wealth or power to move us (v 12 – 13). Instead we need a vision that outlives them, a vision connected to eternity which can bring fulfilment. This calls for building a legacy! -something of worth to leave behind when we die. Psalm 49:17 reminds us we will take nothing with us, no matter how rich we are! So what will we leave behind, that really counts?

A huge difference exists between a legacy and an inheritance. Anyone can leave an inheritance. An inheritance is something you leave to your family or loved ones, and it also fades. A legacy is something you leave in your family and loved ones. Consider the differences between the two:

Inheritance

  1. Something tangible you give to others

  2. Temporarily brings them happiness

  3. Eventually fades as it is spent

  4. Your activity may or may not pay off

Legacy

  1. Something tangible you place in others

  2. Permanently transform them

  3. Lives on long after you die

  4. Your activity becomes achievement


To have treasure in heaven, one must place his/her faith in God and commit one’s life to Him- for it is HE who will redeem one’s life (V.15) – through His Son Jesus Christ! Then he can wisely dispose a good portion of his resources for the good of God’s Kingdom. This is a good time to do a check on our investments and see where we have invested the most.

Blessed are those who, by a living faith in a living God, know that their soul shall be received by their Maker in the end. But woe to those whose confidence lies in the treasure they have accumulated. The choice is ours!



For Meditation: His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, ...through these you (we) may be partakers of the divine nature

(2 Peter 1:3)

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