Psalm 49

1 Peter 1:18-19 is a great summary of what this Psalm is all about. [knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.]

  1. The author had a message for everybody in the world (v1-2)
  2. When believers see the world is chasing wealth and putting their trust in wealth (v6), how should we respond?
  3. Wealth cannot prevent death (v5-12)
    1. In Jew law, a Jew could be redeemed if he is in debt (Lev 25:47-49), but a murderer cannot be redeemed. (Num 35:31).
    2. Men put their trust on their houses, lands, wealth. They put their names on lands, give their inheritance to the next generation, but the man himself cannot escape death (v11).
    3. Jesus said His disciples: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matt 16:26)
    4. Money can buy a lot of things, but one thing for sure it cannot buy, it is life. We cannot use money to buy the life on anyone, including our own life. When it comes time to die, no matter how much money we have in our bank, it does not matter. So, why spend all our energy in earning money in our life? Our life is more meaningful then making money. God redeemed our life with the blood of Christ so that we can have a full life (John 10:11).
  4. Wealth will not determine our destiny (v13-15)
    1. Wealth cannot determine our destiny after death. If the person does not believe in Jesus, regardless of his wealth, he is like a sheep being led to the slaughterhouse by shepherd of death (v14)
    2. For believer, death is only a valley of temporary shadows, and Jesus is the Shepherd (23:4)
    3. God does not reject wealthy men from entering heaven. If we believe in Christ, we would go to heaven. However Jesus once said: “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
    4. The death in Christ will be raised when Christ returned and will share Christ glory.
    5. v14: Death is the shepherd of the wealthy. But our Lord is our Shepherd. The wealthy  puts their faith on their wealth. Christians put our faith on Jesus Christ.
    6. Wealth cannot redeem man’s soul, but Christ has redeemed our soul from the power of death. (v15)
  5. Wealth must not increase your desire (v16-20)
    1. We must not become jealous of others prospering in this world. It isn’t a sin to have wealth, provided we earned it honestly, spend it wisely, and invest it faithfully in that which pleases the Lord.
    2. However we as Christians should not spend our life pursuing wealth, instead we should spend our life pursuing Christ.
    3. If you only have two choices: rich in this life and go to hell, or poor in this life and go to heaven? The point is not that we need  to be poor to enter heaven. The point is we should not spend all our energy trying to get wealthy but ignore spiritual things.
    4. v20: When our mind is consumed with trying to get rich, we do not have time to thing about spiritual things.

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