“1Hear this, all peoples! Give ear, all inhabitants of the world, 2 both low and high, rich and poor together! 3 My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding. 4 I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre. 5 Why should I fear in times of trouble, when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me, 6 those who trust in their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches? 7 Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, 8 for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, 9 that he should live on forever and never see the pit.”
The psalmist is proclaiming, even prophesying, an everlasting truth that should strike at the heart of all who hear it-rich, poor, powerful, or helpless. Nobody is exempt from death. As it is written: “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27) We are surrounded by those who are powerful, who believe they can do anything they wish to whomever they wish, and their wealth, power, and influence will keep them above accountability. There are even some without wealth who manipulate, steal, and cheat others.
The psalmist is reminding us not to be ruled by fear or envious of wealth. Those who are filled with iniquity seem to be getting away with everything in this life and causing so much commotion. There will be a day of death and then judgement. There is no price a child of Adam can pay, either to ransom his own life or the life of another, to keep him out of the pit. As we’re warned, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23) and, “…the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a)
But, what if you could go ahead and get this whole death and judgement thing out of the way now, once and for all, and not have to deal with it ever again? We’re only appointed to die “once.” This is why Jesus came and did what He did. As God’s Word tells us, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4)
As Paul continues to teach in Colossians, “having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses…(Colossians 2:12-13) “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:2-4). Notice this is all past tense, post dying with Him in baptism?
Have you died with Christ? Are you born again? (John 3:3) Are you a child of God? (John 1:12) In that case, Jesus says you’ll never die (again)! (John 11:25-26) As the psalmist asks, “Why should I fear in times of trouble?” (Psalm 49:5) Your life, your soul has been raised with Christ. And no matter what you might face for the short time you’re in this world, it is the closest you’ll ever be to the pit of hell, with heaven in your eternal future. For those who reject the sacrifice of Christ, no matter how wonderful they appear to have it in this very short life, this is as close to heaven as they’ll ever be. It’s all hell going forward—forever. Pity them, and pray for them!
Prayer for today:
Father, thank You for Jesus. Thank You for the once for all sacrifice of the only Being qualified to ransom others. Thank You for redemption and eternal life. Amen.