Eternal Dwelling or Temporary Dwelling?
Know: For all can see that the wise die, that the foolish and the senseless also perish, leaving their wealth to others. Their tombs will remain their houses forever, their dwellings for endless generations,
though they had named lands after themselves. People, despite their wealth, do not endure;
they are like the beasts that perish.
(Psalm 49:10-12 NIV)
Read & Respond: This week’s Psalm is a reminder of our eternal dwelling place. It’s a hard question, but do you reflect upon and invest in your eternal dwelling? As military members and dependents we are often more aware of our mortality, yet it’s still a temptation to put our confidence in earthly health, wealth or wisdom. Perhaps you’ve heard the nursery rhyme, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Healthy and wealthy maybe, but true wisdom is God’s commodity (James 1:5).
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][tweetthis]Godly wisdom takes the long view – the eternal view – of this temporary life. How do we find balance?[/tweetthis]
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Jesus words in Matthew 6:19-34)
Listen also to two former Commanders in Chief speaking eloquently on God’s good provision:
- “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor” ~George Washington’s Declaration of Thanksgiving.
- To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.”. ~Abraham Lincoln
We need frequent stirring to remember this life is not all there is (and better stirred than shaken). Dwelling in Psalm 49 stirs us. As one commentator says, “This Psalm instructs and consoles. It teaches that earthly advantages are not reliable for permanent happiness, and that, however prosperous worldly men may be for a time, their ultimate destiny is ruin, while the pious are safe in God’s care.”
Earthly advantages are not reliable for permanent happiness. Only God can keep us safe. In a world where more is better, let’s focus on the fact that more of God and less of the world is always best.
Core Concept: God’s children are safe in His care now and for all eternity.
Think About It:
- If you died today are you sure you would go to heaven? Who can you talk to about this?
- What do 1 Timothy 6:10 and Matthew 6:24 say about the connection between faith & finances?
- What does Psalm 49:10, above, say about God’s character than can help overcome greed?
This Week’s Praise & Worship Prompts:
Day 1: Consume Yourself with God’s Character
Consumerism can be, well, consuming. Read Psalm 49, listing what it is about God’s character that should make us consumed with Him alone. Memorize Psalm 49:10-12 – eternal treasure.
Day 2: Tell a Timeless Tale
Verses 1 and 2 tell us Psalm 49 is for everybody, EVERYBODY. Even though it was written thousands of years ago, the message is relevant to us today. Verse 4 mentions that the Psalmist will incline his ear to a proverb. The Hebrew word for proverb here is “mashal” and refers more to a parable or a story. As you read through the Psalm today, reframe it as a contemporary story. How can this perspective give you spiritual strength and loosen the stronghold of today’s desires?
Day 3: Recognize Worldliness
Using the chart below, compare Psalm 49:7-9 and John 3:16-18. You may know John 3, but take the time to read it slowly – as if it were the first time you read it. Then read Psalm 49:7-9. The Hebrew word for pit also refers to decay and corruption. Reflect today how easy it is to fall into the pit of worldliness – which can ultimately lead to death – and thank God He has provided a way out.
Day 4: Strengthen Your Hearing & Attention Span
Who is your master? Compare Psalm 49:14 and John 10:1-18. We are all sheep and some of our appetites take us onto wrong paths. Our meditation today is on whose voice we are following. One leads to life, the other to death. Spend some quiet time reflecting on that truth and asking God to make His voice your guide in every area of life, especially where you’re tempted to stray.
Day 5: True Satisfaction
Read Psalm 49 again today. Read over your notes from the week and use a “mind map” to diagram a prayer to be free from the idol of “I don’t have enough _____ or I want more _____”. Use the truths of Psalm 49 to refute the lies of whatever this world calls a prize.
Talk About It: Why is it easy to fall into the trap of earthly security when we know our souls are eternal?
Download this week’s materials here
All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.
Contributors: Chelsea Bastian, Claudia Duff, Muriel Gregory, Tonia Gutting, Hayley Haynes
Graphic Artist: Christie Esterline
Editor: Andrea Plotner
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