Who’s the richest man in the world? This question fascinates people as they follow Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, and Jeff Bezos jockeying for first place. Why so much interest? People like to imagine the kind of life that kind of money would give them. The weekly TV series, The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, tapped into this fantasy. Now, there’s the multiple daily updates on massively popular social media accounts like Rich Kids of Instagram and the Kardashian reality show. They all invite us to imagine, “If I were rich, I could live like that.”
Psalm 49 blows up such fantasies and shows us reality. Hear this, all peoples! Give ear, all inhabitants of the world, both low and high, rich and poor together! My mouth shall speak wisdom (1-3). Once he’s got our attention, the Psalmist says to us, Riches may help us to live but they cannot help us to die.