Listen to this, all you nations; listen, all you who live on earth. Listen, both great and small, rich and poor together.
What I say is wise, and my heart speaks with understanding. I will pay attention to a wise saying; I will explain my riddle on the harp. [vss 1-4]
Why should I be afraid of bad days? Why should I fear when evil people surround me? They trust in their money and brag about their riches.
No one can buy back the life of another. No one can pay God for his own life, because the price of a life is high. No payment is ever enough. [vss 5-8]
Do people live forever? Don’t they all face death? See, even wise people die. Fools and stupid people also die and leave their wealth to others. Their graves will always be their homes. They will live there from now on, even though they named places after themselves.
Even rich people do not live forever; like the animals, people die. This is what will happen to those who trust in themselves and to their followers who believe them. Selah [vss 9-13]
Like sheep, they must die, and death will be their shepherd. Honest people will rule over them in the morning, and their bodies will rot in a grave far from home.
But God will save my life and will take me from the grave. Selah [vss 14-15]
Don’t be afraid of rich people because their houses are more beautiful. They don’t take anything to the grave; their wealth won’t go down with them.
Even though they were praised when they were alive— and people may praise you when you succeed— they will go to where their ancestors are. They will never see light again. Rich people with no understanding are just like animals that die. [vss 16-20]
For the director of music. A psalm of the sons of Korah. (Psalms 49:1-20 NCV)
How much is a life worth? Life is priceless! A person's value is too high to calculate.
Yet, in wrongful-death court cases, various amounts of money are awarded to the family of the victim. The amount varies depending on the circumstances, judge, jury, or even public opinion.
But do any of these monetary awards equal the value of the life lost? No.
God is not so arbitrary, nor is He a respecter of persons swayed by someone's importance or influence on earth.
The hope of those who trust in God is not in their own goodness, but in the unchanging nature of God who is just, yet merciful.
The psalmist reminds us— "No one can buy back the life of another. No one can pay God for his own life...". Why? "...Because the price of a life is high. No payment is ever enough."
And yet, the price of redemption is not beyond God's power, nor His unbiased justice. He is merciful by nature and He redeems those who put their trust in Him.
He provided the highest payment for the redemption of humanity with the value of His own Son, Jesus.
Most of us have a short-sighted and narrow perspective on life. Many events, even catastrophic ones, take place each day, but we are ignorant of them and often untouched by them.
But everyone goes through troubles in life, some of them tragic, and all people—great and small, rich and poor—will die at some point. There's no escape.
But those who personally trust in God have a living hope secured by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. ©Word-Strong_2016
Would you like a free study guide for your study of Psalms?
I won't cover all 150 Psalms, but do selective devotionals through the rest of Psalms.
So if I skip one that you like... let me know and I'll try to cover it!