Psalm 49: Value of Wealth

Why are some people willing to listen, but others are not?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 49:1–2 To the minister of music, a song for Korah’s people.
Listen, everyone. Let people everywhere be eager to hear, no matter whether you are rich or poor.
King James
Psalm 49:1–2 <To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.> Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world: Both low and high, rich and poor, together.

Why is the truth sometimes difficult to accept?

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Psalm 49:3 You will find wisdom in my words, for my thoughts make perfect sense.
King James
Psalm 49:3 My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.

How can we understand the deep meaning of a proverb?

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Psalm 49:4 I will listen to proverbs and explain their meaning as I play the harp.
King James
Psalm 49:4 I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.

During troublesome times, why are Christians sometimes afraid?

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Psalm 49:5 When troublesome times bite at my heels from all directions, why should I be afraid?
King James
Psalm 49:5 Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?

Why do people buy life insurance? When might it not be worth the cost?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 49:6–9 Those who trust in wealth and brag about their financial security cannot buy life for themselves or anyone else, for life is way too valuable. Money can’t buy eternal life and keep us from the grave.
King James
Psalm 49:6–9 They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:) That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.

How much security can money buy? What will it not buy?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 49:6–9 Those who trust in wealth and brag about their financial security cannot buy life for themselves or anyone else, for life is way too valuable. Money can’t buy eternal life and keep us from the grave.
King James
Psalm 49:6–9 They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:) That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.

Why do people fear death?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 49:6–9 Those who trust in wealth and brag about their financial security cannot buy life for themselves or anyone else, for life is way too valuable. Money can’t buy eternal life and keep us from the grave.
King James
Psalm 49:6–9 They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:) That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.

How concerned should we be for the legacy we leave after we die?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 49:10–13 Obviously, the stupid, foolish, and wise all leave their wealth to others when they die. They believe their lands, houses, and monuments will bear their names forever, but they will be like animals when they die, not remembered very long. 13 This is what happens to self-confident fools and those who believe their words. Take time to meditate on that.
King James
Psalm 49:10–13 For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish. This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.

Why are people remembered after they die? Why are they forgotten?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 49:10–13 Obviously, the stupid, foolish, and wise all leave their wealth to others when they die. They believe their lands, houses, and monuments will bear their names forever, but they will be like animals when they die, not remembered very long. 13 This is what happens to self-confident fools and those who believe their words. Take time to meditate on that.
King James
Psalm 49:10–13 For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish. This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.

What is the difference between self-confidence and God-confidence?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 49:10–13 Obviously, the stupid, foolish, and wise all leave their wealth to others when they die. They believe their lands, houses, and monuments will bear their names forever, but they will be like animals when they die, not remembered very long. 13 This is what happens to self-confident fools and those who believe their words. Take time to meditate on that.
King James
Psalm 49:10–13 For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish. This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.

How important is an expensive casket and an elaborate funeral?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 49:14 Like sheep destined to die, death will be their shepherd. One morning, the righteous will walk upon the graves of those who are dead and buried with their luxury.
King James
Psalm 49:14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.

How can we be certain of God’s power over death? How are we helped by meditating on that?

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Psalm 49:15 But God will pay the price to deliver me from death’s power and take me to live with him. Pause to meditate on that for a while.
John 14:2 There are many places where you can stay in my Father’s house. I would have told you if that were not true. I must go to make the place ready for you.
King James
Psalm 49:15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.
John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Why do people covet what others have? What should we covet?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 49:16–17 When others get rich and live in luxury, don’t let their prosperity bother you. None of their riches and glory will go with them when they die.
1 Corinthians 12:31 Desire the best that God has for you, but let me show you the best approach.
King James
Psalm 49:16–17 Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.
1 Corinthians 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Why do some people think there is no life after death?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 49:18–19 While alive, they received praise because of their prosperity and thought they were doing so well, but they will be buried with their ancestors and never see the light of day.
King James
Psalm 49:18–19 Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself. He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light.

Why might wealth hinder our understanding of God?

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Psalm 49:20 Without understanding God, people with wealth are like the animals when they die.
King James
Psalm 49:20 Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.