The Scripture reveals two types of people – those who are Kingdom minded and those who are worldly minded. Are we pursuing the things of the Kingdom or the things of this world?
v1: Hear this – This is not a suggestion; it is a command. Hearing implies a need for response.
- All peoples – everyone. This has relevance for every human being.
- Give ear – another synonym for listening. What’s unique about this word is that it demands that someone draws close (a need to pay special attention) in order to listen to what is being revealed.
v2: This verse underscores that this is relevant for ALL humanity. Noone is exempt. We need to pay attention and respond to what the psalmist is going to reveal to us.
v3: This psalmist is revealing the revelation of G-d – which provides abundant wisdom and understanding for us.
v4: Proverb – a parable. These are simple messages that have the potential to give those who desire to hear them great understanding and wisdom (Matt 13:34-35, Ps 78:2). For those who do not want to hear, parables can remain like a riddle – these people remain ignorant, in the dark, when parables are spoken. Parables may seem simple on the surface, but they need to be thought through. Attention needs to be paid to them and the deeper wisdom needs to be gleaned out of them and this requires effort.
- Dark saying on the harp (violin) – the psalmist is saying this as he is setting his revelation to music. It is easier to remember things when we sing them. When something is set to music in Scripture it is to show that we need to memorize it, it’s something we need to know, something we need to base our lives upon.
v5: Why should I fear? – Why should I give priority to…?
- Days of evil – when the enemy is at work and is moving against us.
- Iniquity – our iniquity, others iniquity etc
- Heels – our foundation. Iniquity in our lives places us at a disadvantage and makes us vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. Sin weakens us. Sin gives our enemy authority to bring about destruction in our lives – to attack the foundations of our lives.
v6: Some people take great comfort in their wealth – in the fact that they are financially secure. However, all the wealth in the world cannot protect against the enemies’ attacks.
v7: Human help (and wealth) won’t do anything for us when satan attacks us. Man and his wealth cannot help. G-d alone can save us. It is not a fleshly battle that we fight but a spiritual one (Eph 6:12) A spiritual solution is needed for redemption – not an earthly solution.
v8: Redemption brings about an end to the punishment of judgement and also an end to the authority of the enemy in our lives (satan…sin). When we are redeemed (brought with the price of Yeshua’s blood) we no longer belong to the enemy. We belong to G-d.
- Costly – precious, of great value ie a value that exceeds the accounting of this world.
v9: The ones who have experienced redemption will live (eternal life) victoriously forever!
- And not see – have no revelation of, no knowledge of, no experience of
- The pit – the place of destruction, hell.
v10: Death is in the futures of those who are wise and those who are foolish. Everyone experiences death and it cannot be avoided. Not a single person will be able to take even a cent of their wealth with them. This verse places a sense of futility on the accumulation of wealth at all costs – at the end of the day it counts as nothing for the person who acquired it. Our focus must not be on acquiring wealth.
v11: Inner thought – inside of themselves they think their homes etc are going to continue forever.
- Their own names – they want to leave their mark on the world. They want their names to be remembered in the earth. This is the wrong place to leave our names – this earth, and all that is in It, is going to be destroyed. The most important place our names should be written is in the Lamb’s book of life. Only there does it have an eternal character that will endure. We don’t need ‘famous’ to be associated with our names. We want to be known as ‘faithful’.
v12: Remain – another word for lodging, living/settling somewhere. Worldly honour and respect is going to be forgotten. Like the animals, when we die we are forgotten by the people in this world and we are replaced by others.
v13: Many people work toward having achieved something (success, status etc) before they die so that they can be remembered by others. This is a foolish way to live.
v14: Death shall feed on them – like sheep (sheep to the slaughter – receiving of judgment), they are going to be devoured by death.
- Dominion – rule over
- In the morning – a change is coming. Morning is a transition from darkness to light (the things of this earthly kingdom are going to transition to that of the heavenly Kingdom)
- Beauty – their strength (all the good that they might have had in this world) is going to wear away. These foolish ones who trust in their wealth are without hope.
v15: But G-d – only G-d can do this (and only for those who respond to His plan for salvation – Yeshua), not someone else.
- Selah – the second time we have seen this word. Emphasized. Time to pause. Time to take stock. Maybe time to rethink some priorities in our lives….
v16-17: Do not be afraid (fear) – do not give priority to those who are ungodly and who seem to be successful etc. Anything that he acquires has no lasting quality or eternal implications. He cannot take it with him when he dies.
v18: From his perspective he feels like he has done well (and everyone around him thinks he has done well too) – but this is an illusion and is not the truth from G-ds perspective.
v19: John tells us that G-d is light (John 1:1-5, 1 Jn 1:5). Yeshua told His disciples that those who were outside the Kingdom would be thrown into utter darkness. These foolish people are going to be in darkness forever.
v20: When we think only of our own honour and glory and we do not understand that we are called to bring glory and honour to G-d alone we are going to perish like the beasts and be remembered no more – our souls, our names will be shrouded in darkness forevermore.