Monday, January 5, 2009

The Mistaken Notions of the Rich

Ps 49:6-17 They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches...

1. Riches separate some people from their humility. vs 6. Money has a way of insulating people from common sense. People have to have something to trust in, unfortunately, some of the rich put their faith in fleeting finances.
2. Their are those wealthy people who think they can buy salvation, as if silver and gold trump the blood of Christ. 7-9. The ground is level at the foot of the cross. All the money in the world could not buy one sliver of salvation. What a foolish notion!
3. Those of high society die just as a lowlife would. vs 10 When the blood stops circulating, the air stops flowing and the brain ceases activity, it's over, whether rich or poor. Life eventually gives way to death. Money can only put off the inevitable for so long.
4. Some of the rich secretly think that if they can leave enough to their posterity, establish charitable foundations in their name, have their name enshrined on a hospital wing or a street named after them, somehow they can live on in that manner. vs 11
5. Perhaps if their kids and grandkids quote their worldly wisdom enough, that can buy them immortality. 13

But in the end, as the childhood poem says, they all fall down.

Verses 12 and 14 show that, when it comes to physical death, man and beast are no different, money and power not withstanding.

The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem provides an interesting illustration. Divided into two chapels and the Nativity Grotto, the church is possessed by the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and the Armenian Churches. But there is still only one entrance. That door is called the Door of Humility. It stands only about 4 feet high. It was built so that invading horsemen could not enter. But more importantly, anyone who enters must bow. Whether pope or potentate, rich or poor, all must lowly bow in the same fashion to see the place where it is said Jesus was born.

Never think that money or position or good deeds could ever bring a person to righteousness. It is only by grace through faith in Jesus that we can stand before a holy God.

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