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.
13 This is the path of those who have foolish confidence;
yet after them people approve of their boasts. Selah
14 Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
death shall be their shepherd,
and the upright shall rule over them in the morning.
Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.
15 But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
for he will receive me. Selah
In our earlier post, we spoke of the universality of death, the futile hope of the rich fool, of “those who trust in their wealth, and boast of the abundance of their riches” (Ps 49:6)
Our psalmist begins this portion of the psalm describing their path, the path of those who exercised their faith in a foolish confidence, an idol that could not deliver. The second half of verse 13 is somewhat disturbing, for I fear that many in the modern church fall under this influence. Lets read it once more
Psalm 49:13 This is the path of those who have foolish confidence; yet after them people approve of their boasts. Selah
The wealthy make boasts of influence, of their power and authority and how they trust in their possessions. And people left behind approve of their boasts.
By the way, did you hear how Beyonce is worth gazillions of bucks? How about Elon and his thoughts? He is so wealthy, so he must have good ideas. How about Lebron? He certainly has some wisdom we may tap into.
I know I am being facetious above, yet for those who do not follow after God only have these folk to find guidance from. With the family unit crumbing about us, the celebrity is fast becoming a primary influence on those who need guidance. (Help us O God, for we are desperately in trouble!).
What is most discomforting, is the reliance on the wealthy of those who claim to follow after God. Does this make any sense? We have One who has provided objective truth and the Spirit of God to help us in our discerning and application of this truth to our daily lives and relationships, yet we look to the wealthy and those who abuse the poor for guidance.
Take this test. Next time you attend a service, note the amount of time believers spend in discussing popular figures on TV or the internet. How these lost souls sphere of influence has increased, even within the body of Christ. As many of you know, I have been a believer for a bit over forty years, and have attended a number of very good churches. Some churches have actually found a way to introduce the pop culture directly into their worship service, using movies as a basis for their message.
As a reader, I am interested in your thoughts on this method of worship. Is it depending / trusting in the pop culture for topics, possibly diverting from the core of the gospel? Let me know.
Enough of my rant – Lets get back to the Psalm.
The wealthy man exchanges the Good Shepherd for death, for in following after idolatry (otherwise known as trusting in wealth) they exchange the truth for a lie (Romans 1) , and forsake the steadfast love of God for a vain idol (Jonah 2:8). The sheepfold they are assigned to is Sheol, the grave, the pit that will consume them. What a horrible end!
But let us be clear for this is the deserved end of all. We all follow after vanities and worthlessness. How often have we chased after smoke and mirrors, shadows of promises that were never realized but kept leading us on, giving us hope for some peace. How often have our eyes looked to an idol instead of God Himself. So very often, my eyes have been diverted by shiny objects, promises that were not based on the person of Christ, and of some thinking that convinced me of alternate methods of living.
Yet I am not my Savior. I am not the One who died for me. I am not the One who can satisfy the price of redemption, with my paltry earthly financial resources.
God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me.
He will receive me. The psalmist is speaking of his redemption from the power of the grave! Yet after considering this passage for a moment, I would like to clarify my thoughts somewhat. The psalmist, I believe, is not referring to himself, or by extension to you and I, but to the Christ, the One whose soul (life) was ransomed from the power of the grave. Death could not hold Him, for the resurrection defeated the power of the grave. God received Him.
4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
He has the power of an indestructible life.
16 who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life.
Death no longer has any authority over the Son of Man. He is the One to whom we need to rely on, look to, receive guidance from, trust and follow after.
1 Corinthians 15
55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have a claim on living forever, through the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not be distracted by the psalmist’s reference to God and think you may choose the name of the God you may worship. The New Testament makes it abundantly clear that the only One who has been granted power over death is the One who entered into death and came out of the grave victoriously.
He is the One we are to be “in” if we are to be received by God.
Are you “in”?
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.
2 thoughts on “Psalms for Psome – Ps 49 – D”
YES, FOR THE LORD JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH, I AM IN. DEATH COULD NOT HOLD YOU CAPTIVE. I LOVE YOU LORD.