Man, despite his riches, does not endure; he is like the beasts that perish. This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings. Like sheep they are destined for the grave, and death will feed on them. The upright will rule over them in the morning; their forms will decay in the grave, far from their princely mansions. But God will redeem my life from the grave; He will surely take me to Himself. Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases; for he will take nothing with him when he dies, his splendor will not descend with him. Though while he lived he counted himself blessed - and men praise you when you prosper - he will join the generation of his fathers, who will never see the light of life. A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish. (Psalm 49:12-20)
- - - - -
What do you wish to gain in life?
If you think about it, there is so much for the taking: popularity, possessions, success, fame, money, and satisfaction.
And the truth is, none of these things - in and of themselves - are wrong. In fact, all of them can bring about very good results in life.
But when it comes down to it, what determines the "rightness" or "wrongness" of these gains, is the position and posture of the heart that is pursuing them.
"The man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish."
The man without understanding is a man whose heart is desiring the glory of his own name. He lacks discernment of what his money could do or should do. He is completely without care towards the great God who truly owns everything.
And much like any mighty beast, his end will come.
This Psalm says that those who trust in themselves will perish; all of their gained earthly glory will be consumed by the grave. Everything that they have owned, excelled in, and conquered in life will all "descend with them."
This is a powerful reminder for us who compare. For us who envy. For us who wish that we had. Wish that we could. Or wish that we would. For the way of success is elegant in the light of the moment, but fades without hope and without legacy.
But those who trust in the Lord and position their hearts towards Him will prosper; all of God's glory that they vividly lived out is redemptive. Like the Psalmist writes, "God will redeem our lives from the grave" - for our life of praise and humble obedience echoes into an eternal life beyond death.
The destiny of the righteous is far better than the fleeting glory of the wicked. In the end, "He will surely take [us] to Himself."
So, the question remains: What do you wish to gain in life? And more importantly, what is the position and posture of your heart while gaining it?
Are you positioning all that you do in order to give God praise? Or at the end of the day, do you look back and measure your life by your own success and popularity?
Are you daily growing a posture of humility, using your earthly influence and popularity to bring about the heavenly influence and popularity of the Lord?
You see, the person without understanding considers their life "blessed" because of the strengths and successes that they have; the sport that he is amazing at, the followers she has obtained, the amount of money that his family has, how good she is at work, and how many people look up and count on him.
But a real "blessed life" is found in the one who is aims at doing everything for the praise and worship of God; for blessings only come from the Lord.
So today, let us "gain" in life with the intention and purpose of making known how awesome our God is. Let everything that we do be done for Him.
What are you doing today to declare His glory? Thank you for reading along. We would love for you to comment in today's IG post! Also, below is an image (and sharing icons) for you to share today's devotion!
Greg, Declare Glory