Be not afraid when a man becomes rich, when the glory of his house increases. For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not go down after him. (Psalms 49:16-17 ESV)
We can get hung up on the gross injustices around us. After all, it is just not fair that some are suffering horrifically while others who are greedy and insensitive appear to prosper materially.
It helps, then, to get a godly perspective on the matter and this Psalm does a brilliant job. Life is still of far greater worth than the accumulation of great wealth. The inevitability of death is one thing, foolishly thinking life is all about the pursuit of material riches wastes that which is invaluable. Especially knowing that for all that effort to get rich it ain’t following you when you die.
That level of wisdom is remarkable in itself, but this Psalm goes further in pointing out that there is hope for those who trust God and not themselves. The promise of being redeemed from the dead is hope that makes life worth living. It also resets the perspective from which we should approach life. That perspective is about not fearing the wicked in their pomp, but rather loving God for the invaluable gift He alone gives.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden