Proper Trust - Meditation on Psalm 49

Psalm 49:1-12New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Hear this, all you peoples;
    give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
both low and high,
    rich and poor together.
My mouth shall speak wisdom;
    the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
I will incline my ear to a proverb;
    I will solve my riddle to the music of the harp.

Why should I fear in times of trouble,
    when the iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me,
those who trust in their wealth
    and boast of the abundance of their riches?
Truly, no ransom avails for one’s life,
    there is no price one can give to God for it.
For the ransom of life is costly,
    and can never suffice,
that one should live on forever
    and never see the grave.
10 When we look at the wise, they die;
    fool and dolt perish together
    and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their graves are their homes forever,
    their dwelling places to all generations,
    though they named lands their own.
12 Mortals cannot abide in their pomp;
    they are like the animals that perish.

I'm not preaching this morning, but if I were I might have looked to Psalm 49. The Gospel reading for today served as the basis of my sermon for the previous Sunday (a stewardship sermon from Luke 12). 

I simply want to draw our attention to the Psalmist's reminder that we can't put our trust in wealth. Yes, in our world it takes money to survive. Whether you agree or not, the call for raising the minimum wage to a living wage is a recognition that one cannot survive on less than $8.00 an hour. Back when I was a teen, earning just above minimum wage at a grocery store, I was earning spending money, not trying to support a family. So, yes, money is important, but money can't buy God's love.

If I were to look at this passage with an eye to stewardship, that would be an important point to make. When we give offerings to the church, we're not buying our way into heaven. We can't buy immortality. Everyone will die, the wise and the unwise. Only trust in God will suffice. That is our proper trust. With that I invite you to meditate upon the words of the Psalm. 


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