Beware Of Empty Treasures (Psalm 49)


1 To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. 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, And the meditation of my heart [shall give] understanding. 4 I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will disclose my dark saying on the harp. 5 Why should I fear in the days of evil, [When] the iniquity at my heels surrounds me? 6 Those who trust in their wealth And boast 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 souls [is] costly, And it shall cease forever– 9 That he should continue to live eternally, [And] not see the Pit. 10 For he sees wise men die; Likewise the fool and the senseless person perish, And leave their wealth to others. 11 Their inner thought [is that] their houses [will last] forever, Their dwelling places to all generations; They call [their] lands after their own names. 12 Nevertheless man, [though] in honor, does not remain; He is like the beasts [that] perish. 13 This is the way of those who [are] foolish, And of their posterity who approve their sayings. Selah 14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave; Death shall feed on them; The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; And their beauty shall be consumed in the grave, far from their dwelling. 15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, For He shall receive me. Selah 16 Do not be afraid when one becomes rich, When the glory of his house is increased; 17 For when he dies he shall carry nothing away; His glory shall not descend after him. 18 Though while he lives he blesses himself (For [men] will praise you when you do well for yourself), 19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers; They shall never see light. 20 A man [who is] in honor, yet does not understand, Is like the beasts [that] perish.

PSALM 49:1-20


I love going to the beach. We usually see a lot of wonderful marine life where we are. We see everything from hermit crabs, sand dollars, starfish and sea cucumbers, to sting rays, sharks, and dolphins. We also enjoy the sugar like white sands of the gulf coast. Often I see kids at the beach flying kites and building sandcastles. Sandcastles are the one thing I never really understood about beach life. You could build one today, but you know it would be gone in just a few hours when the tide comes in. It won’t matter how much work you put in, how many decorative shells you’ve placed on it, or how elaborate it all is, it will wash away in the tide.

There are a lot of our lives that are like that as well. There are things we can place our time and effort into that in the great grand scheme of things don’t really matter. When the great tide of death comes (and it comes for us all) it will wash away all that we have built with our hands. The Psalmist reminds us that to have a vast estate, a great amount of wealth, wisdom, or posterity in the end won’t really mean a whole lot when death comes for us. We won’t be able to think our way out of death. We won’t be able to buy our way out of death. We won’t be able to work our way out of death. We won’t have any influence or control over death. And when it comes it will render all of those things useless.

BUT GOD (see verse 15)…. The only one who can redeem us from death is God. So while this world pursues many worthless things, we are reminded to pursue God. He is the only treasure worth seeking after. Jesus said it this way in Matthew 6:33:“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”


Father, keep me from pursuing worthless treasure. This world values so many things that in the end will not profit me anything. Teach me to be diligent with all that you have entrusted to me. I don’t want to waste my life or my time on things that don’t even matter. I am grateful for your salvation. Let me seek my peace, my hope, my souls redemption in you today! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

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