“Why should I fear in times of trouble, when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me, those who trust in their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches? Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish. This is the path of those who have foolish confidence.” Psalm 49:5-13 ESV
As he looked at the world, the psalmist saw people who always seemed to succeed. Even in the midst of “times of trouble,” they seemed to thrive. From his point of view, he sensed that they always seemed confident. Then God gave him His perspective, and his conclusions changed.
Their flaw was that their confidence was misplaced, depending on things that were temporary. They “trust in their wealth” and “boast of the abundance of their riches.” In his translation, Moffatt described these as “self-satisfied” people “whose faith is in themselves.”
The psalmist realized that, for a season, they may seem to succeed. But ultimately their confidence was “foolish.”
God reminded the psalmist that no one lives forever, not even the rich and prominent. All their abundance and fame is just temporary. It can’t provide eternal life, or give them joy and peace. They may receive honors in this life, but in eternity their fame is of no value. When they die, they “will carry nothing away.”
How easily we can lose perspective, and focus on the things of this world, and envy the rich and famous. We can become fixated on earthly pleasures and power.
As the psalmist realized, we need to remember God’s perspective. Why we need to focus on His Word and live in ways that please Him. That we always must trust Him.
As Jesus taught, we are to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” confident that He will provide all we need (Matthew 6:33). As we trust and serve Him, He promises to guide us and give us rewards that last.
Inspired from word by Inspiration Ministries