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Sunday, July 14th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 49

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-20

Psalms 49:1-20

Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world: Both low and high, rich and poor, together. My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding. I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open dark sayings upon the harp ( Psalms 49:1-4 ).

So I am going to play my harp and accompany myself and I am going to give you some things to think about, some dark parables.

Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about? 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 God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:) ( Psalms 49:5-8 )

Now he is gonna play on his harp and give you some things to meditate and think upon. And first, concerning the rich people, those that have so much wealth. There are some things that money cannot buy. "They that trust in their wealth boast themselves in the multitude of their riches, with all of their money they cannot redeem their souls." You cannot buy salvation. "For the redemption of their soul is precious." Now Peter probably was thinking of this psalm when he wrote, "For we are redeemed not with corruptible things such as silver and gold from the empty life we used to live, but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ" ( 1 Peter 1:18-19 ). "For the redemption of their soul is precious," the precious blood of Jesus Christ who was slain as a lamb without spot or blemish. You can't buy it. The redemption of a soul, man can't buy it.

Now the thought of the rich man is that he should still live forever and not see corruption.

For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perishes, and they leave their wealth to others ( Psalms 49:10 ).

Now, one thing about the money, and of course, he says here that,

Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; and so they call their lands after their own names ( Psalms 49:11 ).

Now, beware when people start naming places after themselves. It is sort of an endeavor to say, "Hey, I am going to live on forever, the perpetuating of my name." And so I have, you know, "Chuck Smith Center," and "Chuck Smith Recreation Hall," and "Chuck Smith Chapel," and "Chuck Smith University." Oh God, help us. I am glad He gave me such a dumb, common name as Smith so there will be no movement to name anything after Smith.

It is interesting how that people look up to certain people, and the values that the world has today. The value system. This past week I was over here in the parking lot near Sav-On drug store, and a little man was looking at me very carefully. And he came up to me and he said, "I know you." He said, "I watch you on television." And of course, I have a lot of people that come up and say that, you know, "I have been listening to your broadcast for years," or whatever. And so I meet a lot of people like this that come up and say, "Oh, I have been watching your program, or whatever, and aren't you Chuck Smith?" And you know, you get that. And so I said, "Oh, that's fine. It's a pleasure to meet you, sir." You know, what are you going to say? And so, as I turned to walk away, he says, "Goodbye, captain!" Boy, did the air go out of my balloon. The guy is watching Love Boat on Saturday nights instead of church on Sunday morning. We get funny ideas about ourselves.

"Their inward thought is that their houses will continue forever. Their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names."

Nevertheless man being in honor abides not: he is like the beasts that perish. This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings ( Psalms 49:12-13 ).

"Oh, do you know what he said?" You know, and you have a little book of quotations, "Chuck Smith said..." Oh God, deliver us.

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. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall revive me ( Psalms 49:14-15 ).

Now the wealthy, you know, their bodies are going to be consumed. Their beauty is in the grave, but God is gonna revive me.

Be not afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dies he will carry nothing away ( Psalms 49:16-17 ):

So the rich with their riches cannot redeem their souls, nor can they take it with them.

his glory shall not descend after him. Though while he lived he blessed his soul, (and men will praise thee, when thou do well to yourself,) He shall go to the generation of his fathers; and they shall never see light. Man that is in honor, and understands not, is like the beasts [brutish, foolish] that perish ( Psalms 49:17-20 ).

Man is like the beast. That is, a man who is not born again. For a man who is not born again is living in a body-conscious state, just like the beast. For that is what animal life is, a body-conscious life. All the animal is thinking about is his next meal or the procreation, and just following the basic body instincts. And man without God, without the spirit being made alive, is just like a beast. And like a beast, he will perish. But those who have been born again by the Spirit of Christ, who live and believe in Jesus Christ, Jesus said, "He that liveth and believeth in Me shall never die" ( John 11:26 ). God will revive my soul. I'll be dwelling with Him. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 49". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/psalms-49.html. 2014.
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