Reading: Psalm 49:13-20
This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,
and of their followers, who approve their sayings.
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.
But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;
he will surely take me to himself.
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—
they will join those who have gone before them,
who will never again see the light of life.
People who have wealth but lack understanding
are like the beasts that perish (NIV).*
Throughout Psalm 49 the psalmist is establishing a contrast between those who trust in themselves and the wealth they have accumulated, and those who put their trust in God. Death is the fate of all, rich and poor, wise and foolish. The grave spares no one. This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings. They are like sheep and are destined to die; death will be their shepherd (but the upright will prevail over them in the morning).
I find great hope between the parentheses in the passage above. But the upright will prevail over them in the morning. A new day is coming—a day of resurrection—a day where justice will prevail at last. We can rest in hope that wrongs will be righted, truth will triumph over lies, and joy will snuff out sorrow. Yes, a new morning will dawn. A Redeemer is coming. Along with suffering Job believers can say, “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God” (Job 19:25-26).
The psalmist boldly declares where he has placed his faith: But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself.
Is that where you have placed your faith? Do you put your trust in Jesus, the Redeemer, who purchased your redemption with his shed blood? Death is a certainty, but so is redemption for those who put their trust in the One who died and rose again.
Response: LORD God, I thank you that Jesus, my Redeemer, lives! I put my trust in you, now and for eternity. I rest in the hope that a new day will dawn when the dead in Christ will rise. Amen.
Your Turn: Is your heart ready for that glorious day? Have you bowed before your Redeemer? How will
you respond to him when he takes you home to glory?
* 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.