During my quiet time this morning I found myself reading Psalm 49. The leading question of this Psalm is, “why should I become afraid during times of trouble or tribulation? If we are honest, at one time or another we have all become afraid during the times God has tried us or in troubling times. Regardless of what the pundits and the talking heads are saying we are in the midst of a very troubling time.
First of all, Psalm 49 is what is called a “Wisdom Psalm.” Psalm 49 is a song or hymn that promotes a topic that is taught in what we call the bible’s wisdom literature. This Psalm is given by God through the sons of Korah to remind us of the wise and right course of action to follow when we find ourselves in what we sometimes call deep “do do.”
Second, the main theme of this Psalm centers on the uncertainty that the children of God often face when trouble comes “a callin’.” The main issue is the questions that leap into our brains when we as faithful and obedient children suffer trouble or trials and the wicked seem to carry on with no problems. The first question that comes to our mind, alright maybe the second question after, “why me,” is shouldn’t God treat me better than the wicked are seemingly treated?
Listen to this Psalm. Again, it is a Psalm of wisdom so; don’t miss the wisdom the Holy Spirit has provided. The Psalmist begins with a very definite call to listen up. He says, Hear this, all peoples! Give ear, all habitants of the world both low and high, rich and poor together!”
The Psalmists wants everyone to hear this. Yes, that means you and me! Why? He is going to speak wisdom. There is a lesson here which needs to be learned by all of us. He asks the question in verse five that summarizes all of us at one time or another; “Why should I fear in times of trouble?”
This is an excellent question, don’t you think? We need to etch this one into our forehead. What is the answer to this question? Our Psalmist gives us the reasons why we should not be afraid in times of trouble.
God has a different plan for those who are His children and those who are not the children of God. The end of the line (death) will be different for those who are His and those who are not. Look at some things that you should mediate on:
First – no one can prevent the death of anyone. No one can purchase a life or give God enough money to prevent the death of anyone. I remember when Red Skelton’s boy was dying; he said that he would give all his fame and fortune for the price of his son’s life. His son died. No man can pay God to prevent eventual death.
Second – all men die. The smart and the stupid die. Every man dies. Not only does every man die but they leave all that they have accumulated when they die. We can’t take anything with us when we die. I have conducted a number of funerals and I will tell you one thing I have never seen at any one of them – a U-Haul truck. Ken Holiday wrote and sung a song called, “You Will Never Find a Hearse with a Trailer Hitch.” So those who have trouble and trials and those who seem never to have trouble or trials will die.
Third – God has provided a means of blessing for those who are His children even after their death. God will raise His children into an eternal life of blessing. God’s children are not lost forever to the grave. God’s children have a hope of entering into the blessing of God when they pass from this life into the next.
Therefore, we are not to become afraid, worried, concerned, or even jealous when some men become rich and/or famous. Why? When he dies he can’t take any of the wealth and possessions that he has accumulated during this life time with him into the grave. Even though during his life he counts himself “blessed” or wealthy, he will still die. When he dies, unfaithful, apart from Christ, he will be raised to an eternal life of suffering and punishment.
Why should we not be afraid when trouble comes “a callin’?” It seems God might be dyslexic. The wicked receive blessings and good things in this life because it is all that they will ever have. They can’t take any of it with them when they die. When they die they will receive an eternal life of terrible trouble of the wrath of God.
God’s children receive a life of suffering and sorrow (with some refreshing raindrops of blessing) because that is not all that they will ever have. Their trouble and trials end with their death and they enter into an eternal life of blessings and good things prepared by God.
So, next time a trial, trouble, or tribulation comes knocking on your door, why will you be afraid?