Read: Psalm 49:1 – 4; 1 Samuel 16:16; 2 Kings 3:15
In these verses the psalmist shows an awareness of the divine inspiration of his words. The call is to “listen up” to crucial truth, which is conveyed compellingly in poetic form, and originally set to music.
Think About It: Information set to music or conveyed in poetic form seems to have a greater impact and lingers in our minds. How many advertising jingles to do I remember? What does this fact say about the value of hymns and other Christian music? What part does “musical truth” play in your life?
Prayer: For the capacity and desire to remember God’s important truths.
Read: Psalm 49:5, 10-11, 18
The selected verses from Psalm 49 describe what the materialistic person does. Verse 5 says he trusts in his wealth; vv. 10-11 say he attempts to attain permanence by establishing his posterity; v. 18 says he congratulates himself on his efforts.
Think About It: What am I doing to preserve my name for posterity? Is it in a way that really counts in God’s sight?
Prayer: Thank God for the godly heritage left to me by other Christians; pray that I will leave the same for others.
Read: Psalm 49:7; Matthew 16:26, 25:8 – 9; 1 Timothy 2:5 – 6
Psalm 49:7 describes one of the limitations of wealth: it cannot buy salvation for myself or for another. Altruistic motives are not enough to save a soul– only the Gospel presented in the power of the Holy Spirit can bring anyone to eternal life.
Think About It: Am I involved in attempting to bring salvation to others in a way that is really effective– that involves the Gospel? Have I ever taken on someone else’s troubles – tried to be their salvation? What is the only way for a person’s soul to be ransomed?
Prayer: Pray for the salvation of unsaved friends and family.
Read: Psalm 49:14-15; Daniel 7:18, 22; 1 Corinthians 6:2; Revelation 2:26
When the final reckoning, the Day of the Lord, comes, the spiritual person will rule over the materialist. God will redeem the soul of the godly person from the abode of the dead (Sheol)– a clear Old Testament promise of the resurrection.
Think About It: The final triumph of the spiritual over the material is one example of Jesus’ prediction that “the first shall be last, and the last first.” What are some other examples of this principle?
Prayer: That I never feel “put down” because of the material success of others but rather value the development of the soul and spiritual life.
Read: Psalm 49:10-14, 17; Luke 12:16 – 21; Matthew 6:19 – 21
The wealth of the materialist passes on to others when he dies. His pomp perishes; his soul goes to the abode of the dead. Verse 17 is the psalmist’s way of saying, “You can’t take it with you.”
Think About It: What can I take with me into the next life? How can I “store up treasure in heaven?”
Prayer: For the wisdom to invest in eternity and not to be dazzled by the splendor of this world.
Read: Psalm 49:16- 20; Psalm 37:7
Psalm 49 closes with a warning to those who are spiritual not to fear when they see the prosperity of the wicked. This topic was also addressed in Psalm 37, and is a major theme in the book of Job.
Think About It: What is the message of Psalm 49 concerning the prosperity of the wicked?
In what ways can prosperity may be more of a trap than a blessing?
Prayer: Thank God for His justice.
Read: Psalm 49
Psalm 49 presents a contrast between the spiritual person and the materialistic person.
Think About It: Read through Psalm 49 and pick out characteristics of the materialistic person. What is his ultimate destiny? What characteristics of the spiritual person are stated or implied by Psalm 49? What is the ultimate destiny of the spiritual person?
Prayer: Praise God for the spiritual blessings that are mine in Christ.