Like The Beasts That Perish, Part 3 (of 3); By Pastor Dr. Robert Bannister

(Psa 49:16) Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich, When the glory of his house is increased;

(Psa 49:17) For when he dies he will carry nothing away; His glory will not descend after him.

(Psa 49:18) Though while he lives he congratulates himself-- And though men praise you when you do well for yourself--

(Psa 49:19) He shall go to the generation of his fathers; They will never see the light.

(Psa 49:20) Man in his pomp, yet without understanding, Is like the beasts that perish.

In these last verses the Psalmist becomes a preacher, and gives admonitory lessons which he has himself gathered from experience. “Be not thou afraid when one is made rich. Let it not give thee any concern to see the godless prosper. Raise no questions as to divine justice; suffer no foreboding to cloud thy mind. Temporal prosperity is too small a matter to be worth fretting about; The Treasury of David

It seems that in our contemporary culture we can easily become absorbed in some wrong thinking when it comes to comparing ourselves to others. We see those who have perhaps nicer homes than ours, drive more expensive cars and all the trappings of a materialistic world view. Sure there are times when I would like to be able to afford some nicer things for my wife, but the truth is that she is very thankful for the provision with which Lord has allowed, and doesn't seek after any kind of increase.  She doesn't ask me for things unreasonable in any way-rather it is more of a situation where I as a man, in my humanness would desire to provide her with a few bigger and better things. Truthfully, it is my wife who is keeping her focus upon the Lord, it is me who is becoming distracted at times as my focus wanders away from Godly thinking and toward the way of the world with all it's pomp as it says in verse 49:20.
(Psa 37:7) Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.

The psalmist now exhorts us not to "be afraid when one becomes rich" or "when the glory of his house," his estate and family, increases. The reason for this is that death strips us naked (Psa_49:17) and His "glory," that is, his "heaviness" or "wealth," remains behind. "While he lives he blesses himself" or, literally, "he blesses his soul in his life," with self-congratulations, and receives the "praise" of others. In death, how ever, when he joins "the generation of his fathers," there is only darkness.

Why is it that, at least in our flesh, that we give any attention at all to the “rich” or “famous”? Depending on one's interests we can literally become captivated with following the successes of sports figures, actors, and even Christian musicians to name a few. 

I was in a church many years ago where the worship music was absolutely wonderful. I personally knew several of the band members-they were great brothers and sisters in the Lord who diligently sought after the Lord in their lives. There were several who came to know the Lord Jesus Christ in this little church. The church soon began to grow exponentially. The band became increasingly talented and professional while the reputation for great worship music spread throughout the city. Problems soon began to develop in the expanding church. Many new people were coming to this church as the dynamics began to change toward people attending essentially in order to worship the worship music as opposed to worshiping the Creator who gave us this wonderful music in which to worship Him. These problems only intensified, ultimately leading to closure of this once thriving small and intimate church, becoming a large, fun filled church which had delightfully superb music. I personally witnessed the whole thing-we started with just a few, mostly young families who were very close to one another and diligently sought after the things of God. What happened? Our priorities changed, and as a church body,we lost our way. There was a great lesson to be had in this grievous experience. Setting our minds on that which is pleasing to the flesh, in this case worshiping the worship music instead of worshiping God is not at all pleasing to Him. In His great mercy, God allowed this church to “die” rather that become completely apostate.

(Psa 49:20) Man in his pomp, yet without understanding, Is like the beasts that perish.