Stewardship

Psalm 49

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all who live in this world,
both low and highrich and poor alike:
My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.
I will turn my ear to a proverb; with the harp I will expound my riddle:

Why should I fear when evil days come, when wicked deceivers surround me—[evil/malice dogs me, snipping at my heels] New Jerusalem Bible
those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches?
No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them—
the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough—
so that they should live on forever and not see decay.
10 For all can see that the wise die, that the foolish and the senseless also perish, leaving their wealth to others.
11 Their tombs will remain their houses forever, their dwellings for endless generations, though they had named lands after themselves.

12 People, despite their wealth, do not endure; they are like the beasts that perish.

13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings.
14 They are like sheep and are destined to die; death will be their shepherd (but the upright will prevail over them in the morning). Their forms will decay in the grave, far from their princely mansions.
15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself.
16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich, when the splendor of their houses increases;
17 for they will take nothing with them when they die, their splendor will not descend with them.
18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed—and people praise you when you prosper—
19 they will join those who have gone before them, who will never again see the light of life.

20 People who have wealth but lack understanding are like the beasts that perish.

Introduction

[1] First of all, the MESSAGE in this Psalm which is like a Proverb [word of wisdom] is for EVERYONE [Whole world–Jew and Gentile–High and Low–Rich and Poor. Poor people are tempted by greed–don’t kid yourself.

[2] The MESSAGE is a WARNING to those who put their trust in riches. There is a lot about death in the Psalm but this Psalm is not about death; it is about being deceived, conned or duped by riches.

[3] MONEY has A HUGE and POWERFUL influence. You can float in space but once you get into the gravitation pull of the earth, you are coming down. The world with it’s praise for riches will pull you down. Verses 16-18

Do not be overawed when others grow rich, when the splendor of their houses increases; for they will take nothing with them when they die, their splendor will not descend with them. Though while they live they count themselves blessed—and people praise you when you prosper.

Transition

The author of this Psalms appeals to our common sense. There are some things that we need to meditate on, to think about.

I. WEALTH CANNOT PREVENT DEATH

No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them—
8 the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough—
so that they should live on forever and not see decay.

[1] Wealth cannot prevent sickness

[2] Wealth cannot prevent drug abuse or solve it

[3] Wealth cannot buy you love nor happiness

There are probably a thousand other things that riches cannot do but it certainly will not prevent or delay your death. Everyone dies, rich or poor, high or low…no exceptions.

II. WEALTH CANNOT SECURE YOUR FUTURE

Financial security is a myth: there is no such thing. The greatest fool on earth is the person who believes in financial security. The story in Luke 12 about the Rich Fool is proof that it does not exist.

Just use your common sense: if someone or something does not give you power over death, you have no future. Death is the problem that has to be solved and money doesn’t solve it.

Although money is useful here and now: money as we know it doesn’t have a future. No matter how much you have, you cannot carry it beyond the grave.

Verse 10

For all can see that the wise die, that the foolish and the senseless also perish, leaving their wealth to others.

III. WEALTH CANNOT ENHANCE YOUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH

To the contrary, those who yield to the temptation to trust in money/riches/wealth become like the beast in their behavior. This is one of the pitfall of greed. The two great commandments are [1] to love God with all your heart and [2] to love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.

Both the Sadducees, Pharisees and Scribes were lovers of money. They would foreclose on a widow, put her in the streets. They refused to take care of their elderly parents. The Sadducees were so corrupt, so greedy that they turned worship into a money making scheme. This why Jesus cleansed the temple: they were cheating people right and left. They wouldn’t take Roman currency, they charged fees to convert the money, they also decided which animals were fit for sacrifice and they rejected animals that were fit so that people were forced to buy animals from them. They had turned the temple into a stock yard and a bank. They were making money hand over fist and doing it at the expense of hardworking, God fearing people.

Why would one Jew treat a fellow Jew like that? GREED, the love of money had turned them into beast, they were dog eat dog. When you care more about money than you do people, you have a problem.

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