Money and Mortality
Father, on this Sunday after Christmas, as the year winds down, I thank You for Your many blessings this year.
Read Psalm 49:1-20
 For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Put your trust in God, and use your money. Don’t reverse the order. This psalm is relevant to our affluent times” (Alton H. McEachern).
This psalm is difficult both philosophically and linguistically. Commonly called a “wisdom psalm,” its themes of the untrustworthiness of wealth, and the death that takes us all, seem a far cry from the normal elements we find in Psalms. There is no praise, thanksgiving, intercession, awareness of the presence of God, or joyfulness of worship. The tone is bitter-sweet, closer to the suffering of Job and the skepticism of Ecclesiastes (Eccl. 3:19) than to the practical, down-to-earth wisdom of Proverbs, grounded in the fear of the Lord.
But the depths of the psalm reveal a theology of life that is rooted in the realities of creation and our God-given humanity. The values are universal. No one gets to keep what they have acquired, all of us are going to die, no one should trust in what they have achieved. How much we need to hear that! All life is a gift from God; all life belongs to God; and even the physical blessings of our lives on earth are to be gratefully received from our Maker.
There are hints of life after death in this psalm, which muses on the inevitability of our fate. Do we know what will happen after life? Can we imagine the eternal realities of death and resurrection? The note of assurance (15) seems the only silver lining to the dark cloud, but that silver lining is enough to change our vision of everything, giving us hope, purpose and sufficient reason to praise our Maker and Redeemer (8).
The psalmist does not address God, but speaks of his redemption (8,15) from trouble and death. This should be a warning to us that riches are not to be trusted, death is the end of all earthly life, and only God can save.
How easy do you find it to trust God in all circumstances, for all your needs? Bring any concerns to God in prayer now.
Gracious Father, You have been with me through the days of this past year. I praise You for Your faithfulness and lessons I have learned.
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