Psalms Chapter 49:1-4

Psalms Chapter 49    (Unless otherwise cited this devotional is from the King James Version-Psalms 49 mainly because it is public domain.) But read this Psalm in the NIV for clarity of the Genre.)

Context

Psalm 49 is considered by many to be a wisdom psalm because it embodies many features of wisdom literature. Most importantly the psalmist addressed a question that people have asked throughout the ages. Why do the wicked people seem to prosper and the righteous appear to be in need? The psalmist iterates that the ungodly rich person does come to an unpleasant end. The statement that is a repeated refrain is evident in verses 12 and 20. Psalm 49 has several parts. Today we will look at the introduction to the Psalm! 

The Theme of this Psalm is: Only God can redeem us from death!

  Introduction Verses 1-4: Listen to These Words of Wisdom!

(To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.) Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world:

This is a universal shout out to people who live all over the world! This psalm is not isolated to the nation of Israel of King David. The phrase “incline thine ear to me is used frequently by many of God’s prophets and servants! It emphasized their belief that He hears and answers them when they pray.

  • Psalm 17:6 “I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.”
  • Isa. 55:3 “Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.”
  • Dan. 9:18 “O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.
  • Prov. 2:2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;”

Christians today can be confident that God listens to and hears their prayers.

  • I John 5:14-16And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us:  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.’
  • Ephesians 6:18 “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”
  • James 5:13 ” any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.”

 

2Both low and high, rich and poor, together.

One’s socio-economic status does not exclude them from God hearing their prayers. Neither does it eliminate them from going to Him with a humble heart. Cayce declared “God is not impressed by great riches or fame of a person. This message is not to one class of people; it is to all the people of the earth. When it says give ear, it means to listen carefully” (Cayce 2018, Psalm 49:2).

  • My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.
  • I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.

 Verses 3-4 uses wisdom terminology such as “wisdom, understanding, parable and dark saying” All these are wisdom terms are used in the following wisdom verses found in Proverbs. The book of Proverbs is known as one of the wisdom books of the Bible. 

Tour of the Bible, part 3: the Wisdom Books

  • Prov. 1:20 “Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets.”
  • Prov. 9:1″Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:”
  • Prov. 14:1 “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.”
  • Prov 24:7 “Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.”
  • Prov. 2:3 “Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;”
  • Prov. 3:13 “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.”
  • Proverb 5:1 “My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:”
    • 14:29 “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.”
    • 18:2 “A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.”
    • 19:8 “He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.”
    • 1:6 “To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.”

It is crucial that we understand the significance of this chapter and its implications. It is reaching out beyond the nation of Israel and is sharing the ‘pearl of great price” with unbelieving “heathens!” When you share your pearls of great price, you may be called all sorts of names. Just remember that you are not who you once were. You are now called a Child of The One True King! Call yourself no other name.

References

Cayce, Ken. 2018. “Books of the Bible.”  http://www.bible-studys.org/About%20Me.html. Accessed November 5, 2018.

Longman, Tremper, III. 2014. Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. Accessed November 5 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.

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