Saturday, February 18, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 49

According to Forbes - as of September 2011 - here are the top 11 richest people in America.
(I did 11 instead of 10 because I thought it was amazing that 4 of the top eleven people have the last name of Walton.) If you'd like to see the top 100, click here - Richest in America

1 Bill Gates $59 B 55 Medina, Washington - Microsoft

2 Warren Buffett $39 B 81 Omaha, Nebraska - Berkshire Hathaway

3 Larry Ellison $33 B 67 Woodside, California - Oracle

4 Charles Koch $25 B 75 Wichita, Kansas - diversified

4 David Koch $25 B 71 New York, New York - diversified

6 Christy Walton $24.5 B 56 Jackson, Wyoming - Wal-Mart

7 George Soros $22 B 81 Katonah, New York - hedge funds

8 Sheldon Adelson $21.5 B 78 Las Vegas, Nevada - casinos

9 Jim Walton $21.1 B 63 Bentonville, Arkansas - Wal-Mart

10 Alice Walton $20.9 B 61 Fort Worth, Texas - Wal-Mart

11 S. Robson Walton $20.5 B 67 Bentonville, Arkansas - Wal-Mart

I know Sam Walton was a godly man. But you'll notice he's not on the list. Warren Buffett is 81. Will he be on the list for 2012 or will it be whoever gets his riches when he passes on?

Today's Psalm was a proverb set to music. The psalmist wasn't saying that wealth is bad. He was simply stating that those who trust in their wealth will find it wasn't what was needed for their soul.

 7 No man can by any means redeem his brother Or give to God a ransom for him- 8 For the redemption of his soul is costly, And he should cease trying forever

Whoever, the psalmist knew that because of his relationship with God that he would be redeemed from the grave.

15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, For He will receive me.

Again - riches in themselves are not evil. There are many godly people with a lot of money and they use their money for the good of others. Those who know Jesus Christ as their Savior - who put their trust in Him, not in their riches - will find eternal life.

But all of us rich, poor or in-between need to pay attention to the final verse of Psalm 49
20 Man in his pomp, yet without understanding, Is like the beasts that perish.

Jesus had a warning for the rich (found in Matthew, Mark and Luke)
Matthew 19:24 NASB
"Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

Don't trust your money, trust what your money says, "In God we trust."

Oh, and in case you're interested. The FaceBook boys came in at 14 and 91.

1 comment:

Phyllis Hobson said...

I love this Psalm - it has a treasure trove of information to be sifted through, and read over and over. As I would pray and pray for my brothers to be followers of God, I would think "I would do anything, give anything, for them to know Jesus, to be a Christian." I came across verse 7: "None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him" What a word. I can live the life God wants for me to live, I can interject God's message in ways that I interact with my siblings, but I cannot redeem or buy their salvation or walk with God, no matter how sincere and how much I want to give. [As an aside here, the older of my two brothers is a dedicated, walking-with-God Christian. My younger brother died at the age of 37. He did have a salvation experience as a teen, and would talk "Christian" things with me, but during his 20's and early 30's he strayed, so I live with a question mark in my heart]

I also was so struck by verse 11: "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." Yes, the Waltons of Wal-Mart and so many others build buildings and companies and towns that they name for themselves. But they are gone, and what will eternally matter is what they did with their life while on earth.

May I always remember that it's the words I say, not the numbers in my bank account, the time I spend with people here, not the money I spend, that matters.