Praying the Psalms: Psalm 49

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

1 Hear 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,
And the meditation of my heart shall give understanding.
4 I will incline my ear to a proverb;
I will disclose my dark saying on the harp.

5 Why should I fear in the days of evil,
When the iniquity at my heels surrounds me?
6 Those who trust in their wealth
And boast in the multitude of their riches,
7 None of them can by any means redeem his brother,
Nor give to God a ransom for him-
8 For the redemption of their souls is costly,
And it shall cease forever-
9 That he should continue to live eternally,
And not see the Pit.

10 For he sees wise men die;
Likewise the fool and the senseless person perish,
And leave their wealth to others.
11 Their inner thought is that their houses will last forever,
Their dwelling places to all generations;
They call their lands after their own names.
12 Nevertheless man, though in honor, does not remain;
He is like the beasts that perish.

13 This is the way of those who are foolish,
And of their posterity who approve their sayings.


14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave;
Death shall feed on them;
The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning;
And their beauty shall be consumed in the grave, far from their dwelling.
15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave,
For He shall receive me.


16 Do not be afraid when one becomes rich,
When the glory of his house is increased;
17 For when he dies he shall carry nothing away;
His glory shall not descend after him.
18 Though while he lives he blesses himself
(For men will praise you when you do well for yourself),
19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers;
They shall never see light.
20 A man who is in honor, yet does not understand,
Is like the beasts that perish.


Father, this world is not my home, and for that I am very thankful.
When I consider life under the sun, I have learned much by meditating upon Your revealed words.
I do not have perfect understanding, but I endeavor to understand the mysteries You have revealed.

In truth, I have nothing to fear.
One day physical death will embrace me, but that will not be my end.
I trust You and the redemption made possible in Christ.
Fools will trust in themselves and in their wealth.
But I know such is vain and impotent to save.
Fools and wise men both die, but the wise walk in the light with You and You shall receive them.

Physical achievements in this temporal realm are unimportant--beauty, prestige, wealth, and power--none of them can save.
The wise will not be distracted by such.
Only You alone can deliver from death.
Help me, Father, to fear You and obey Your word always.