Psalms Chapter 49: 5-12

Psalms Chapter 49: 5-12 #Death #Reunion #Heaven #Hell #TheChoiceIsOurs #DeathComesToUsAll #EvenTheRich

(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.)

Everyone Dies – eventually!

The psalmist seems to be struggling with the affluence of the wicked.  They perceive their wealth to be their protection in life.  By stating a fundamental assumption about life and death, the psalmist makes it clear in verse 12 that no one lives forever, including rich people! They die just like animals Eccl. 3:18– 21 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?”.

  • Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?

“When the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about” identifies the state of human beings. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your tongue seems to be a rule of thumb in your life, even after you are saved? Thoughts come to your mind that you were sure that you had handed over to God, in the same way, that you hand over the keys to a car to a teenager and trust them to drive safely?  That is what the psalmist is talking about here.  Cayce stated’ “The enemy knows very well what our weaknesses are, and that is what he chases us with. An overweight person would be offered all types of delicate food that they thought they had stopped desiring. A person who had just stopped smoking would be constantly in the presence of someone blowing smoke in their face” (Cayce 2016, Psalm 49:5). If we who are saved struggle with our flesh can you imagine what happens to the wicked/ Psalm 94:13 states “That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.” 

  • They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;

Let us be clear about this verse, shall we? The psalmist made it clear that he is talking about people who trust in their wealth. When a person puts their trust in their wealth, it means that their wealth has become their God. 

  • Proverbs 23:4-5 states “Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven,” and
  • Luke 12:15-21  states “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:  And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

A great test to determine if one’s wealth is their identity or their God, is asking oneself this question “how do I use my wealth to further the gospel of Jesus Christ?”  If we have already accepted Christ as our personal Savior, we should be ensuring that, by all means necessary, we are supporting the spread of the gospel to those who do not know him. I know for a fact that posting the scripture or even someone’s devotional into social media every day does not change a person’s mind about their decision to accept Christ. They have got to hear the actual message of the gospel.

  •  None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:

The psalmist argues that no-one can avoid death. It is interesting that he uses the term “ransom” to describe what we cannot do to prevent death. When a person gets into debt or commits a crime, a relative used to be able to pay a ransom for the person, and they could receive a reduced penalty. Exodus 21:30  alludes to this scenario, “If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him.” However, Numbers 35:31– 32 clearly shows that there is no ransom for the crime of murder. Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death. And ye shall take no satisfaction for him that is fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come again to dwell in the land, until the death of the priest.” Death is the final sentence on a person’s life whether they are rich or poor. Simon, the sorcerer, found out that eternal life is not for sale. One cannot buy their way into heaven (Acts 8:9-24).

  • (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:

In the Old Testament times, the people did not fully understand that the Passover celebration redeemed their souls, but they fully comprehended that the Day of Atonement rendered them precious and that they could live for another year. However, Christians can lay claim to the fact that the blood of Christ redeems them and they will live forever with Him. John 8:51 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see [eternal] death.” 

  •  That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption. 10 For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.

There is a movement in many countries today that esteems a person of great wealth over a person who is wealthy, but not “filthy rich” so to speak. It is crucial that we understand that no money, no matter how much a person has in their bank account, will bet enough to cause him to live forever-without Christ. 1 Peter 1:18-19 clarifies this position “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers;” “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”  All men will die.  Hebrews 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” Human beings were created from the dust and to the dust they must return (Ecclesiastes 3:20 “All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again”). When we die we cannot take anything with us. The great wealth that we have accumulated is passed on to our children or our relatives, as dictated by our will. Only the blood of Jesus can deliver us from certain death.

  • 11 Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names.

Verse 11 describes a person who believes that they will live forever as a human being. They will name buildings and all of their physical properties themselves, to immortalize their name, but their actual bodies will return to the dust. All of this is vanity! Ecclesiastes 1:2-5 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth forever. The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.”  Cayce summarizes this verse in a precise manner, One of the worst false religions going around is the religion of self. Secular humanism is one name it is called. Since Eve in the garden, worldly people have wanted to be as God. The truth is we will never be as God. We are His servants. At the best, we are His adopted children, but we are never equal with God.”

  • 12 Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.

The psalmist concludes this section by stating that the statement “rich may have honor” in this life, but in death, they die just like an animal.” The statement ‘but in death, they die just like an animal” is used by psalmist throughout this psalm. Ecclesiastes 3:19 “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.”

Psalms 90:10 “The days of our years [are listed as] threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength [they might stretch to ] fourscore years, yet [is] their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away [or die.]” Only God determines how long a person will live.

What is the reward of the saints? 

  • Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
  • We know that the second that weshalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed [neither shall we experience the second death]” (Romans 10:9-11).
  • Hebrews 9:14 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
  • Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

https://youtu.be/wJ__W9VH9Lo

References

Cayce, Ken. 2018. “Books of the Bible.”  http://www.bible-studys.org/About%20Me.html. Accessed November 6, 2018.

Longman, Tremper, III. 2014. Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. Accessed November 6 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.

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