Psalms  ◦   Chapter 49

1Hear this, everyone;
listen carefully, every person who lives on the earth,

2both young and old,
rich and poor alike:

3I will tell you real wisdom,
because I understand how reality works.

4I will use my insight to discern profound proverbs
and bring forth the hidden meaning like music from a harp.

5Why should I fear in the days when evil abounds,
when the depravity and villainy of my enemies surround me —

6those who believe they are spiritually superior because of their wealth
and boast of their great riches?

7No one can ever cure their own terminal condition,
no human can buy the remedy from God —

8the cost to procure it is beyond our means.
Nothing we could provide would ever cure our mortal state

9so that we would live forever
and never experience death.

10For all can see that everyone dies —
the wise, the foolish and the thoughtless brutes —
everyone perishes and leaves their wealth to others.

11Their inner thoughts (characters) are fixed
as their permanent state of being.
Though they claimed the earth as their own,

12their prized selfish — sin-infected — world will not last:
they will die just like brute beasts.

13This is the inevitable end for those who trust in themselves,
and of all who follow them and embrace their selfish ways.

14Like mindless sheep they are destined for the grave,
and death will consume them.
When the earth is made new,
the righteous — those restored to God’s perfect design — will walk over their graves;
their bodies will turn to dust in the grave,
and they will never live in heavenly mansions.

15But God will heal my terminal condition and resurrect me from the grave;
he will most certainly take me to live with him.

16Don’t be distraught when the selfish become rich,
when their estates become increasingly opulent and grand,

17for they will take nothing with them when they die —
their wealth will not follow them into the grave.

18Though they proclaim themselves fulfilled and triumphant —
and they are praised for their success —

19they will die like all the other selfish people before them;
they will never see the light of life again.

20A person who is wealthy without understanding the reality of God’s design
is like the mindless beast doomed to perish.