THE GREAT ILLUSION

Scripture Reading: Psalm 49:1-20

“Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the spender of his house increases; for he will take nothing with him when he dies, his splendor will not descend with him…A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish.” (Psalm 49:16,17,20)

We can easily allow ourselves to be in awe of wealthily and famous people. This Psalm tells us not to be “overawed when a man grows rich.” So many wealthy people have a misplaced trust. They put their faith in their possessions. However, we must remember that at death they cannot take their possessions with them. In fact, their wealth is left to others — “For all can see that wise men die; the foolish and the senseless alike perish and leave their wealth to others” (v. 10).

The words of this Psalm reflect the words of our Lord Jesus — “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

The Psalmist says — “A man who has riches without knowledge is like the beasts that perish” (v. 10). Jesus put it this way — “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 4:36).

Lord Jesus, keep me from being awed by the things of the world. Let me keep my heart focused on You. Let me lay up treasures in heaven and not on this earth. Give me understanding so that I will keep a proper perspective on wealth and possessions.

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