This Psalm of the Sons of Korah is titled, “Why Should I Fear in Times of Trouble?” That is a good question. Why should we fear? What is it we have to fear? How can anything cause us fear when we are children of The LORD? If we put our trust in Him than surely there is nothing and no one that can shake us or hurt us. We can tell the world we are secure. We can tell those who try and hurt us that there is nothing they can do to us. And we can tell those who have been injured by the powerful that they have hope. Verses 1-4 read,
“Hear this, all peoples!
Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
2 both low and high,
rich and poor together!
3 My mouth shall speak wisdom;
the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
4 I will incline my ear to a proverb;
I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre.”
Everyone needs to know that God can be their salvation. Everyone whether powerful or weak, rich or poor, needs The Lord. It is in wisdom and love we share the gospel through the Holy Spirit and with prayer. When we praise God we share the secret of salvation and give hope to the lost. Don’t keep your praise private. People need to know the beautiful truth.
People do not want to admit they are weak and unable to do something. We like to rely on ourselves. We cheer the self-sufficient. It isn’t the self-sufficient man who is saved. It is the man who admits he can’t do it himself. It is the man who concedes his sin and weakness and acknowledges he needs Jesus who is saved. Verses 5-9 say,
“Why should I fear in times of trouble,
when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me,
6 those who trust in their wealth
and boast of the abundance of their riches?
7 Truly no man can ransom another,
or give to God the price of his life,
8 for the ransom of their life is costly
and can never suffice,
9 that he should live on forever
and never see the pit.”
We can’t rely on our wisdom, our strength, our money, or our authority. The smartest man can still go to the pits of hell. The bravest man can still perish forever separated from God. The richest man cannot buy salvation. The cost is too high for any man to pay himself. Only Jesus can pay the price. Romans 6:23 tells us,
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Only Jesus can pay the price of salvation and He doesn’t require us to pay a thing, he freely gives us eternal life. That is awesome. That is great news that every person should get the chance to hear. No one can be good enough, wise enough, or powerful enough to earn eternal life. Verses 10-12 read,
“For he sees that even the wise die;
the fool and the stupid alike must perish
and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their graves are their homes forever,
their dwelling places to all generations,
though they called lands by their own names.
12 Man in his pomp will not remain;
he is like the beasts that perish.”
Those people who proudly depend on themselves and who cannot humble themselves to confess they are sinners incapable of perfection will die and go to Hell. It is a fact we need to remember. We don’t remember it so we can argue a person into faith in Jesus. We don’t remember it so we can laugh at them. We remember so we can be grateful and humble ourselves and love others enough to share the gospel. So when we boast, we boast in Christ and not ourselves. We boast in our weakness and so glorify Christ to all those who witness our lives. Paul said it this way in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10,
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
It is not our own power, wealth, intelligence or wisdom which glorifies Christ. It is His strength exercised through our weaknesses which glorifies Him and testifies to the world how awesome He is. Verses 13-15 describe the route of the prideful man,
“This is the path of those who have foolish confidence;
yet after them people approve of their boasts. Selah
14 Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
death shall be their shepherd,
and the upright shall rule over them in the morning.
Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.
15 But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
for he will receive me. Selah”
When we admit our weakness, our poverty, and our sin Jesus ransoms us. He pays the price and gives us the gift of eternal life. We may not have the strength to fight, but The Father does. We may not have the power to overthrow evil, but Jesus does. We may not have the discernment to handle any situation, but The Holy Spirit does. He generously gives us His strength, power, discernment, and righteousness. There is nothing for us to fear. If God is for us who can be against us? Verses 16-20 encourage us.
“Be not afraid when a man becomes rich,
when the glory of his house increases.
17 For when he dies he will carry nothing away;
his glory will not go down after him.
18 For though, while he lives, he counts himself blessed
—and though you get praise when you do well for yourself--
19 his soul will go to the generation of his fathers,
who will never again see light.
20 Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.”
Romans 8:31-39 sums it up so much better than I ever could,
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”