Reading: Psalm 49:1-12
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 high, rich 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—
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.
For all can see that the wise die,
that the foolish and the senseless also perish,
leaving their wealth to others.
Their tombs will remain their houses forever,
their dwellings for endless generations,
though they had named lands after themselves.
People, despite their wealth, do not endure;
they are like the beasts that perish (NIV).*
This opening portion of Psalm 49 reminds me of that old maxim: There are only two certainties in this life: death and taxes. The same fate awaits us all; no one is spared. The Grim Reaper cuts down all without exception. The psalmist asserts the obvious: For all can see that the wise die, that the foolish and the senseless also perish, leaving their wealth to others.
But the psalmist is not entirely correct. He makes a sweeping statement that fails to account for a most unusual exception. The psalmist states: 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.
Jesus Christ is that unusual exception. He proves the psalmist wrong. Jesus paid my ransom. He redeemed my life. He went to the cross on my behalf and there he poured out his life blood so I can live forever. Then to prove Jesus’ sacrifice was accepted, God the Father raised Him from the dead. Death no longer has dominion over Him. Better still, those who put their trust in Jesus Christ will be raised to life on the last day. Praise be to God, who breaks the bonds of death.
Response: LORD, I thank you for the victory of Jesus! By faith I will live and reign through Him. Amen.
Your Turn: Jesus faced death and overcame. How can you be an overcomer too, through him?
* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA
Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, it is an ideal devotional to start you off in the New Year. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.
Alan Kearns said:
I follow the Great Shepherd of His sheep, of which I am only one. It is only by following His guidance each day I overcome the traps and pitfalls of this world. All glory to Him!
Yes, all glory to Him!
“Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe!” – He is the only exception, ’18 Therefore, as through [h]one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one[i] Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. – Romans 5:18-19 NKJV
That’s a great Scripture that compliments the devotional post very well. Thanks Wally.
DAILY BROTHERS said:
I was a little taken aback when I saw your title until I read your profound statement: ‘Jesus Christ is that unusual exception.’ One thing I love about the gospel is, that it gives a DIRECT and BOLD answer to the troubling question of sin. No other Faith gives this problem a DEATHBLOW like the Christian Faith.
Well said, my Daily Brother. Thank you.
Vincent S Artale Jr said:
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.