Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 49 – A

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

Psalm 49

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

1    Hear this, all peoples!
Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
2 both low and high,
rich and poor together!
3 My mouth shall speak wisdom;
the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
4 I will incline my ear to a proverb;
I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre.

The psalmist begins with calling all to listen. Not only the covenant people of Israel, but people of the nations, that is, all the folks of the world. No exceptions, for this topic is universal, without exception and applicable for all. He is calling his audience to come together, specifically those who naturally separate from one another. The rich seek to be away from the poor. The sons of men find ways to clique off from others.

This call is going out to all, equally to every person in the audience, whether he hears it or not. The call is an offer to understand, to comprehend a topic that both fool and wise experience, both rich and poor, both low and high.

The psalmist has spent time, effort, concentration and a willingness to hear the voice of God, to come to a conclusion on this topic that he is willing to provide for all. He shall speak wisdom and understanding, and supply a knowledge that is not commonly listened to, either in that age or even more so in our age.

The psalmist speaks on the inclination of his ear to a proverb. Of his focus to hear, to be open to the source of truth. He is not declaring his own inherent wisdom and understanding, but only that he is a container, a vessel in which truth and understanding may reside. Better yet, considering that he speaks of opening his mouth, the image is better represented not of a vessel but of a conduit, a pipe that is used to channel wisdom and understanding to others.

The topic that the psalmist breaches in this passage is the fact of death for all, and the repercussions of this truth for the living. How is the living to understand the truth of death? What benefits or warnings are can be found in the universality of death?

Does he describe an after death experience? That is not his focus, for he is not seeking to tickle our ears but to provide wisdom and understanding for those who would listen, for those who want to live in truth, and find the benefit and blessing that listening to truth provides.

One final thought for the day. Verse 4 speaks of solving the riddle with a lyre. The psalmist is seeking to make this truth, which is a difficult truth for some of his audience, that the communication of this truth would be presented with out any unnecessary harshness, that the truth would be garbed in a velvet glove. Truth is precious, yet if presented in it’s naked power, can become a wall as opposed to a bridge for those listening.

The nature of God’s loving character is such that He seeks to provide the truth, harsh as it is at times, in a manner that may have the greatest opportunity to be accepted. In this psalm, the author speaks of music providing that vehicle in which truth arrives.

For us today, a verse that comes to mind in this regard is Colossians 4:6

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Our speech, our communication to those in our audience, is to always be gracious. Paul speaks of the salt that may be required at times, that in the speech we provide to those around us, if a stinging truth is required, we are to continue to exercise gracious speech. A difficult topic is not justification to allow our speech to be harsh, judgmental or fierce.

Play the lyre in your speech today, and be thankful for truth.

In our next posting, we shall find that the truth the psalmist provides is regarding the very enemy the Lord has provided us rescue from. Although it is a universal truth, the lives we live often obscure, distract or completely hide the impact this truth should have in our lives. The psalmist seeks to rectify this.

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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