A Contrast: Unseen Wealth
Psalm 49:1-20
Hear this, all you people; give ear, all you inhabitants of the world:…

To those whose character and outlook are depicted in the bulk of this psalm its writer did not belong. He looks on them; he writes of them; but he is not one with them. The emphatic and striking word "but" (ver. 15) indicates what the context shows, that there is a great gulf between him and them. While the wicked ones who are rolling in wealth despise him because of his distance from them on the ground of earthly poverty, he, on the other hand, looks down with pity upon them because of their distance from him, on the ground of his having "a life hidden with Christ in God," and possessions in heaven, where no thief approacheth nor moth corrupteth. And the expositor may well devote his attention to the five lines of contrast indicated in this psalm.

I. THERE IS A CONTRAST IN CHARACTER. (Ver. 14.) "The upright." This is the word often used to express the character of the people of God, in distinction from the ungodly (Psalm 33:1; Psalm 32:11; Psalm 112:4). The word does not mean "perfection," but true sincerity of spirit, combined with the desire to be right in the sight of God. Three things are included therein:

(1) repentance;

(2) forgiveness;

(3) sanctification.

Where sin is duly acknowledged, forsaken, forgiven, removed, there, in the sight of God, is an upright man. How great the contrast between such and the "fools," however rich the latter may be!

II. THERE IS A CONTRAST IN POSSESSIONS. Such a one can say, "My God!" And he can think and write and speak of God as One who is his Life, his Hope, his Joy, his Friend, his All (ver. 15).

III. THERE IS A CONTRAST IN THE IMMEDIATE OUTLOOK. Instead of being driven at death into the shades of Sheol, he will be received by God (ver. 15). "He shall receive me." The same word is used of Enoch, "He was not, for God took him;" and by Asaph, in Psalm 73:24.

IV. THERE IS A CONTRAST IN THE AFTER-GUARDIANSHIP, Instead of death being their shepherd by feeding on them, Jehovah is their Shepherd, and leads them beside living fountains of water.

V. THERE IS A CONTRAST IN THE FAR LOOK. (Ver. 15.) God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave; i.e. he will restore me at the resurrection morning. This nature will be completely redeemed - body, soul, and spirit, to be for ever with the Lord. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: {To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.} Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world:

WEB: Hear this, all you peoples. Listen, all you inhabitants of the world,

Be not Afraid
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