May 11, 2022 – Psalm 49 – Aim at Heaven

Today we will read Psalm 49.  Let’s look deeper at verses 1-7:

1 Hear this, all you 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 harp.
5 Why should I fear in times of trouble,
when the iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me,
6 those who trust in their wealth
and boast of the abundance of their riches?
7 Truly, no ransom avails for one’s life;
there is no price one can give to God for it.

One of the things that we see a lot in the Psalms and that we deal with as well is comparison.  Today, the Psalmist begins this message by talking to both the low and the high, the rich and the poor; there is no price that one can pay for their life.

Rich or poor, powerful or weak, death awaits us all.  I know that sounds stark and morbid, but it is true. No amount of wealth or fame or power keeps that from happening.

That’s the word of the Psalmist today.  He sees when trouble comes, people put their trust in their wealth, but of what hope is that?  It can’t save.  Only God can save. 

I think this passage gives us a pathway to peace.  We can choose to look at others, what they have (and what we don’t have), and be jealous. Be full of envy.  Harden our hearts, think it is unfair, and begin to fill miserable about what we do not have and feel the envy of what they do have. That is not a path that leads to peace.

Or we can choose to remember that in the end, what matters is not what we have, but what matters is where our faith is.  Who do we serve?  Where is our faith?  Where is our hope?  Where is our life?   Is it in the stuff of heaven?  Or the stuff of earth? CS Lewis once said, “Aim at Heaven, and you will get earth ‘thrown in’; aim at earth, and you will get neither.”

What are you aiming at today?  What are you focusing on today?  If it is the stuff of earth, you will be miserable.  If it is the stuff of heaven, you will find life.

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