Monday, October 6, 2008

Psalms 48 - 49 - God, Our Protection and True Wealth

LINK: Psalm 48 and Psalm 49

BACKGROUND/REFLECTION

Everytime I read Psalm 48 I want to break into song! The first year we were married my husband and I were part of a wonderful Bible study group. We learned so many great Scripture songs and we sang this psalm frequently. So now when I read it I want to sing it. And truly, its message is something worth singing about! It (and the two previous psalms) were written in praise of the memory of a great deliverance, probably that of Jerusalem from Assyrians. (You can read the story in 2 Kings 18-19.) God does deliver and protect His people. Look at the words of this psalm and note what is said about Him: His character and His relation to His people.

How timely Psalm 49 is for us, with all that is going on in our country with the financial crisis and the economic bailout to bring home its truth. It is foolish to trust in riches.

Riches cannot redeem a soul. I love vv. 7 – 9 and 15 for their foreshadowing of Jesus. The psalmist points out that there is no way to redeem or give a ransom for someone’s soul – no person can do that. We don’t have enough. Then the psalmist says in verse 15 “God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol,/ For He will receive me.” It is so cool to me that long before Jesus, this psalmist knew that God is the one who redeems even as He judges. God has provided a ransom, a redeemer for us in Jesus. He rescues our soul. Jesus, our Redeemer, is true wealth.

APPLICATION

I’ve already mentioned one way to apply Psalm 48. Read the psalm and as you do, list what is said about God’s character and His relation with His people. Then praise Him!

Read Psalm 49. What does it say about how people generally view wealth (6, 13,18)? Is that true of you? Do you define yourself by what you have or don’t have? Do you admire those who have acquired position and wealth?

What does this psalm say is true about wealth? What’s wealth unable to do ? What happens to the person who trusts in what he has? What perspective are we counseled to have?

PRAYER

Father God, thank you that You are our stronghold and our safety. Thank you that You have lovingkindness and are righteous. We are so grateful that You guide us. Help us to put our trust in You and You alone. Help us to desire You more than anything – more than money and things and position. Thank you that You came and paid our ransom – something we are unable to do ourselves.
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