June 24, 2018
PRAY: Humblyask God for wisdom. Ask Him to teach you and build your faith and obedience through this Psalm.
READ: Psalm 49
We do a lot of funerals at City Church these days. However, there is one thing I’ve never seen at one of them. As the grieving family exits our building and steps into their black limousine, I’ve never seen a U-Haul strapped to the back. Have you? Why? Because everyone knows you can’t take all your stuff or your wealth with you when you die!
“For when he dies, he will take nothing at all; his wealth will not follow him down” (Psalm 49:17, CSB).
Death is a great equalizer. Both rich and poor people alike will perish and will rise from their graves one day to stand naked before a holy and righteous God. No amount of wealth can save a soul from hell. Oh how foolish and tempting it is to trust in wealth! Psalm 49:6-8 warns us:
“They trust in their wealth and boast of their abundant riches.Yet these cannot redeem a person or pay his ransom to God — since the price of redeeming him is too costly, one should forever stop trying…”.
And yet, how much of life do we waste trying to amass huge bank accounts, Roth IRAs, comfy retirements, and bigger houses by hoarding, cheating, burning the candle at both ends. You can't take any of it with you! What you leave behind, your kids may not want anyway. Or worse, you may leave them too much money, causing them not to have to trust the Lord to provide for them. Ever consider that?
Consider the two different kinds of people this Psalm describes. (Not necessarily the rich and the poor, but the ransomed and the damned.)
1. The ransomedreject the temptation to trust in wealth and instead trust in God’s ability to ransom them from the grave.
2.The damnedfoolishly trust in their wealth (or good deeds) to give them peace in this life and to save their soul in the next.
Most people fear the future in some way; especially not having enough money to live on or retire with. The damned foolishly deal with this fear by throwing more money at it. Work harder. Build wealth. Get as much treasure as you can now because you don’t really believe in heavenly riches.
But the ransomed trust God and trust that riches in heaven are better than anything this world can offer. Remember, if God is willing to pay our ransom from hell, don’t you think He is capable of providing for your needs here on Earth? The truth is that wealth can’t fix our deepest struggles, heal our deepest hurts, alleviate our deepest fears or save us from sin, death, and Satan. But Jesus can … and did! God is asking you one simple question in every area of your life (and death) … “will you trust Me?”
Look at how the Psalmist expressed his trust in God: “But God will redeem my life from the power of Sheol, for He will take me” (v. 15).
Did you catch that? Redemption! Hope beyond Sheol. In God’s grace, He does not expect us to pay our own ransom. We can’t. God sent Jesus to rescue us by paying our ransom for us through His own precious and innocent blood shed on the cross. His death for ours. His righteousness for our wickedness. His riches for our poverty.
1. What do your spending habits reveal about what you value most? What do they reveal about God? About life? Heaven?
2. How does God want you to view money differently?
3. What do you need to stop spending your money on and what do you need to reinvest your time, money, and effort into?
MEMORIZE: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: Though He was rich, for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9
1 Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all who inhabit the world,
2 both low and high, rich and poor together.
3 My mouth speaks wisdom; my heart’s meditation brings understanding.
4 I turn my ear to a proverb; I explain my riddle with a lyre.
5 Why should I fear in times of trouble? The iniquity of my foes surrounds me.
6 They trust in their wealth and boast of their abundant riches.
7 Yet these cannot redeem a person or pay his ransom to God—
8 since the price of redeeming him is too costly, one should forever stop trying —
9 so that he may live forever and not see the Pit.
10 For one can see that the wise die;
the foolish and stupid also pass away.
Then they leave their wealth to others.
11 Their graves are their permanent homes, their dwellings from generation to generation, though they have named estates after themselves.
12 But despite his assets, mankind will not last; he is like the animals that perish.
13 This is the way of those who are arrogant, and of their followers,
who approve of their words. Selah
14 Like sheep they are headed for Sheol; Death will shepherd them.
The upright will rule over them in the morning, and their form will waste away in Sheol, far from their lofty abode.
15 But God will redeem me from the power of Sheol, for he will take me.Selah
16 Do not be afraid when a person gets rich, when the wealth of his house increases.
17 For when he dies, he will take nothing at all; his wealth will not follow him down.
18 Though he blesses himself during his lifetime— and you are acclaimed when you do well for yourself—
19 he will go to the generation of his fathers; they will never see the light.
20 Mankind, with his assets but without understanding, is like the animals that perish.