Observation of The Prosperity of The Wicked

A story is told of a young man who came from a poor family but later in life made a lot of money. He purchased a gold- plated Rolls Royce. He was very proud of it but just kept it in the garage and didn’t drive it anywhere. When he died he left word in his will that he … More

Riches

This Psalm is about poor rich people who have money, but that is all they have. The power of wealth only tends to make men proud and think they do not need God (vv. 1-2). The psalmist is determined to share with the world what God has taught him (vv. 3-4). His faith in God and God’s promise to sustain him is strong. Therefore when men lie in wait to ensnare him he has no fears (v. 5). They put their hope and trust in their money (v. 6). The writer tries to show that this is a foolish thing to do (vv. 7-9). Money can buy pleasure, but not peace, it can buy men but it cannot buy God. Rich or poor, wise or foolish, all men die and that which they have accumulated in this life will be left behind (v. 10).

We all must remember that, although the honor of a man may live on in his family estate bearing his name, nevertheless the man himself is like the beasts that perish (vv. 11-15). Man brings nothing into this life and he will take nothing out. Hebrews 9:27 says “It is appointed unto man once to die but after this the judgement.” All men will be laid in the grave, should the Lord not return before their death. It is truly a sad commentary on our society when those who have accumulated a great deal of wealth look on that wealth for their salvation. This Psalm does not make being rich a sin. It only warns of what riches can lead to. The sin lies in trusting in our riches. It is not money that is the root of all evil, but it is the love of it (I Tim. 6:10) and even the poor can be guilty of this.

Application

Have I ever thought of my self as being rich? Most of us who live in America are very rich in comparison to people in other parts of the world. We have many things today such as cars, refrigerators, etc. that kings of old would have loved to have had. Lord help me to me more thankful.

Psalms 49:1-15 (English Standard Version)

Hear this, all peoples! Give ear, all inhabitants of the world, both low and high, rich and poor together! My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding. I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre. Why should I fear in times of trouble, when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me, those who trust in their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches? Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, that he should live on forever and never see the pit. For he sees that even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others. Their graves are their homes forever, their dwelling places to all generations, though they called lands by their own names. Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish. This is the path of those who have foolish confidence; yet after them people approve of their boasts. 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. But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me.

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