Echoes From the Campfire

A man’s life was full of trouble and full of question—and so it was like relief to stand up to certainty, to know that he was in front of reality.”
              –Ernest Haycox  (Man in the Saddle)

    “If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small.”
              –Proverbs 24:10 (NKJV)
Slavery is still around today.  In fact, there are more slaves today than ever before in history.  It is mostly referred to now as human trafficking.  However, there are other forms of slavery besides being owned by a person.  Psalm 49, speaks to the issue of “slavery”, or look at it this way, “Do I own, or am I owned?”  Today we look at verses 1-9 to find an answer to that question.

    1 – Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all who inhabit the world,
    2 – both low and high, rich and poor together.
    3 – My mouth speaks wisdom; my heart’s meditation brings understanding.
    4 – I turn my ear to a proverb; I explain my riddle with a lyre.
    5 – Why should I fear in times of trouble? The iniquity of my foes surrounds me.
    6 – They trust in their wealth and boast of their abundant riches.
    7 – Yet these cannot redeem a person or pay his ransom to God—
    8 – since the price of redeeming him is too costly, one should forever stop trying—
    9 – so that he may live forever and not see the Pit. (HCSB)

    Verse 1 begins with a cry for our attention.  I like the emphasis that the NLT places on the first verse, “Listen to this, all you people!  Pay attention, everyone in the world!”  The psalmist is trying to get our attention.  He has something important to say.  It is something like this, “live righteously, don’t try to accumulate for you can’t take it with you.”
    There is a little story told by George O. Wood that I like.  It speaks of a young wife sighing as she waved goodbye to some older wealthy friends–“Someday we may be rich.”  Her husband upon hearing this wisely replied, “Honey, we are rich.  Someday we may even have money.”  “Having money does not make you rich, nor does lacking money make you poor.” (Wood)  Where are your riches, your treasures?  In what “bank” are you placing them?  
    One thing in which I have succeeded is that I have successfully kept myself from becoming a millionaire.  I have found that my wealth is in my faith and trust in the Lord, my wonderful wife and daughters and now their families, my friends.  Wealth is in my memory of events, occasions, and sights that I have seen and experienced.
    Ponder carefully at verse 5 and think of life in this day.  So many fear, why?  What/Who are they trusting in?  No matter what happens around me, no matter how evil and sinful those around me are I trust in the heavenly Father and His provision for me.  None of those individuals can purchase my salvation, they don’t have the price, plus the fact that it was already purchased by the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
    When I see the audacity and arrogance of some of the rich, I breathe a sigh of relief.  Wealth is a commodity, but many have turned it into thinking it will provide for their every need, even to the grave.  David Allan Hubbard made this statement, “Wealth may deceive us into thinking we are self reliant.”  For sure, when the sod is thrown over us we will all be the same.  A person’s wealth can’t bribe God into a heavenly mansion.  Salvation comes only through Jesus Christ.

         “From David’s lips this word did roll,
          ‘Tis true and living yet:
          No man can save his brother’s soul,
          Nor pay his brother’s debt.”
                  –Matthew Arnold