Thursday, February 17, 2011

Psalm 49


"Riches Cannot Redeem"
Those who trust in their wealth and boast in the multitude of their riches;
None of them by any means can redeem his brother,
or give to God a ransom for him . . .    ~Ps. 49:6
Psalm 49 (and tomorrow’s Psalm 50) are not psalms of prayer or praise, but rather psalms of instruction.  In Psalm 49, the psalmist is preaching to his hearers & readers.  He is awakening a worldly people out of their security, endeavoring to convince them of their folly in doting upon the wealth of the world.  He is also reminding them that they cannot, with all their wealth, save their friends nor themselves from death. 

Written in 2002, the hymn In Christ Alone has become one of my favorites and is popular around the globe.  Part of the lyrics below reflect much of what the psalmist has written in Psalm 49:

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My comforter, my all-in-all
Here in the love of Christ I stand

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
'Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand

In Christ Alone, by Stewart Townend & Keith Getty

Verse 15 uses the phrase, “for He shall ‘receive’ me.”  This is a strong assertion of faith in a blessed afterlife for the righteous.  The same Hebrew word translated ‘receive’ was also used in Gen. 5:24 describing Enoch where it is said,” And God took him.” 
And Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.    ~ Gen. 5:24
  • God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave; He shall receive me
  • I praise the Lord that riches cannot redeem, that worldly riches mean nothing to Him, that He does not measure a man’s worth by his wealth the way the world does.
     Thank You, my God & my Father, that you will receive me from the power of the grave.  There is no fear in death ~ there is no fear anywhere!  Thank you, Lord.  I often so easily fall back into anxious thoughts, but You are sufficient for me.  Lord, there is none like You!
     May I never find my security in wealth, O Lord – may I look to You only as my security and may I never trust in anything or anyone else.  May my allegiance never fade, fail, nor turn.
     I love You, Lord – in Jesus’ name I pray ~ Amen

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