Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Psalm 49:1-12 (ESV)
Why Should I Fear in Times of Trouble?
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.
49 Hear this, all peoples! Give ear, all inhabitants of the world, 2 both low and high, rich and poor together! 3 My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding. 4 I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre. 5 Why should I fear in times of trouble, when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me, 6 those who trust in their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches? 7 Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, 8 for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, 9 that he should live on forever and never see the pit. 10 For he sees that even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others. 11 Their graves are their homes forever, their dwelling places to all generations, though they called lands by their own names. 12 Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish.
This is a terrific psalm for helping us pray about a spiritual matter that often challenges us. When we see how other people have more than us we get jealous. Even the millionaire gets jealous and resentful of the billionaire — that’s how our sinful hearts work. The antidote is to be reminded of two things. First, whatever wealth and advantages anyone has in this life is temporary and short-lived, and we get to take none of it with us into heaven (49:10). Second, the only thing that really matters is eternal life with God. That is something that can’t be bought; it is a gift that can only be received by faith. (Psalm 49:7-8, compare to Mark 10:45). Earthly wealth is damaging when it distracts us from receiving the precious gift of a relationship with Jesus. You may want to use this Psalm as a prayer throughout the rest of the week.