Jenny's Psalm Reflections: Psalm 49 v.3

Today’s verse is Psalm 49 v.3

“My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.”

Background:

This Psalm is known as “The Folly of Trust in Riches” and is well worth reading the whole way through. The writer warns that “Those who trust in their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches: no ransom avails for one’s life and there is no price one can give to God for it” (v 6-7). Jesus also warned “It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. It is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle” (Matt.19:23-24)!

It’s a sober lesson. Not only can money not take us to heaven, but it can’t rescue us from death. Money cannot go with us but we can ensure we use it wisely while or if we have it.  The psalmist advises us not to trust in wealth but to trust in the Lord. It certainly isn’t bad to have the things that money can buy and money can make life easier, so long as you don’t lose out on the things money cannot buy. Money’s power is limited to the temporal world and it should be shared and used for God’s glory.

In The New Interpreter’s Bible, the theologian J. Clinton McCann comments that the 21st century economy is designed “not to meet people’s needs but to stimulate people’s greed.” However, If God truly is our first priority, then there is no need for envy or worry; everything else in life will assume its rightful place and perspective. This isn’t easy, but the first step is to seek God’s wisdom before all else (verse 3).

It’s easy perhaps to use our money wisely when we have some money in the bank! What happens if you suddenly become homeless? I would strongly recommend that you read the book “The Salt Path” by Raynor Winn. A true story of a husband and wife who lost all they owned along with illness, they made the brave decision to walk the 630miles along the South West Coast Path. It’s a lesson in what is really important in life and left me feeling that more wild connection with nature would heal a lot of ills.

Don’t waste opportunities to use your money wisely. Treat it as a gift and as faithful stewards, let’s all help one another. 

Meditation

1. Find a quiet place.

Settle yourself and sit comfortably but alert if you are in a sitting position– feet flat on the floor, back pushed hard against the back of the chair.

2. Breath in slowly and breathe out any tension. 

Pay attention to in-breaths and out-breaths. You may think of breathing in God’s life and peace and breathing out any tension.

3. Be aware of your body.

Rest your feet on the floor; still being aware of them pressed firmly into the floor. Shrug your shoulders, ease your neck. Feel comfortable!

4. Rest your hands in your lap. 

Get into position, with your hands resting in your lap.

5. Take time to become still...

Take a moment to get comfortable and become still.

6. Say verse 3 aloud to yourself. 

Don’t try to analyse it. Read it again slowly, listening.

7. Allow yourself to focus on a special place 

Imagine you are there with Jesus. There is nothing else, just you, Jesus and the surrounding scenery. There are no distractions. What words of wisdom might you discern Him saying to you right now?

8. Listen to his still small voice of wisdom

Make a note of anything you want to remember.

9. Finish with this prayer of praise:

Save us from envy and greed, Heavenly Father. Give us wisdom to place money in the right place in our lives. Help us to recognise, that ransomed through your Son, we need only aim for the important values in life and everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Posted on July 15th 2021

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