Todays readings.. Genesis 44&45, Psalm 49, Romans 1&2
The above words are in the opening verse of today’s Psalm 49. This is a little surprising seeing this is the Hymn Book of Israel, so it was a message, in those days, and today, for all people. It is a powerful message! It is a blunt message! It contains some very pointed questions, especially for today.
“Why should I fear in times of trouble” [v.5], but as times of trouble multiply with destructive floods, fearsome fires, terrible earthquakes, etc., those with no relationship with God do fear!! It includes “rich and poor together” [v.2]. There are also “those who trust in their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches” and “cheat” others [v.5,6].
Now note what the Psalmist observes next! “Truly no man can … give to God the price of his life … that he should live forever … even the wise die … and leave their wealth to others. Their graves are their homes forever.” [v.7,9,11] This blunt but true view of human life is summed up in v.12 & 13 “Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish.
This is the path of those who have foolish confidence.” But the Psalmist has true confidence arising from his faith in God. But God “will ransom my soul from the power of the grave for he will receive me” [v.15]. This is in contrast to the last verse of the Psalm, “Man in his pomp, yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.” We are in no better situation than the animals if we do not establish a true relationship with God. The Psalmist’s hope, in this case David, was well expressed in Psalm 17 we read earlier this month. “As for me” he says to God “I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness” [v,15]
We read the same thing today in Paul’s message to the Romans, he preached the same hope, a time for awaking from death when God “will render to each one according to his works” to these “he will give eternal life” [Ch. 2.v.6,7] It will be when “God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus” [v.16]
May all those who know Christ and as a result have a daily relationship with him remember the words in Hebrews 4 v.16 that “no creature is hidden from his (God’s) sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” .