Overview

Psalm 49 serves as a wisdom psalm that grapples with life's complexities, particularly the role and limitations of wealth and mortality. The psalmist begins by addressing all people, rich and poor alike, to consider the transient nature of life and the futility of trusting in riches. Through a series of rhetorical questions and observations, the chapter makes it clear that wealth cannot redeem a soul or offer a way out of death. The psalm contrasts the fate of the foolish, who trust in their riches, with that of the wise, who understand their limitations and place their hope in God. The chapter ends with a solemn reminder that earthly possessions can't accompany anyone into the afterlife. This poignant psalm challenges us to re-evaluate our priorities and emphasizes the transcendent wisdom that comes from acknowledging our mortality and the sovereignty of God.

Psalms 49

1  (To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.) Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world:

2  Both low and high, rich and poor, together.

3  My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.

4  I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.

5  Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?

6  They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;

7  None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:

8  (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)

9  That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.

10  For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.

11  Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names.

12  Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.

13  This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.

14  Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.

15  But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.

16  Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased;

17  For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.

18  Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself.

19  He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light.

20  Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

End of Psalms 49


1 Year Plan:  Apr 30 - 1 Sa 18, 1 Sa 19, 1 Sa 20,  Ps 48, Ps 49 [next day]

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