Psalm 49

1 Hear this, all peoples!

Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,

2 both low and high,

rich and poor together!

7Truly no man can ransom another,

or give to God the price of his life,

8for the ransom of their life is costly

and can never suffice,

9that he should live on forever

and never see the pit.

A Psalm about true and false wealth. This Psalm begins with a call to both the rich and the poor, the high and the low – together. There is a point being made right off the bat. When it comes to things of God there is no difference. The news – especially the Gospel – is for all. Man may make distinctions along the lines of wealth, intelligence, power, etc., but God does not.

There is one Gospel and it is the same for rich and poor. Those who know God need not fear their lot and they certainly need not envy the rich. This life is short and after all is said and done, the crucial factor is not how much money or power or brains one has. The only issue at death is whether one knew God through faith in Jesus Christ.

The Pslamist makes the point that no matter how much money a man has, he can never have enough to ransom the soul of another. What a beautiful portrayal of the work of Christ. The rich cannot buy your soul for you. But God Himself can. What it would take is God Himself becoming human and living in perfect obedience to all the law of God and then dying as a substitute for those who had sinned. This is the ransom price. No millionaire could ever do that. And this is the point of the whole Psalm.

What you most deeply need is what only God can provide. Do not put your faith in riches. They will deceive and disappoint. The rich and the poor go to the same end – death and the grave. But there is One who has defeated death and triumphed over the grave.

Jesus Christ the eternal Son of God has done what no one else could or even have dreamed up. He has paid the ransom price for His people and they therefore will be saved.

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