Psalm 49 continues the theme of Ecclesiastes, namely, no one gets out of here
alive. Or as my theology professor Walt Bouman liked to say, “Eat healthy,
exercise regularly, die anyway.” He was also fond of pointing out that despite
all the advances in medical science the death rate is still one per person.
While that might lead one to despair the Psalmist is confident enough to sing a
solution to the riddle. Those whose iniquity brings trouble are not to be
feared for even with the wealth of the world at their disposal there is no
price that can be paid to purchase a pass on the grave. The wise and the
foolish, the persecutor and the persecuted will perish together. While that
might seem a Pyrrhic
victory the psalmist trusts God will do what cannot be done. “God will
redeem my life from the grave and will surely take me to himself.” What the
psalmist anticipated and what we believe and what my friend and mentor Walt, now
gone on to glory, knows is that the ransom for human life, the price paid for a
pass on the grave, was God’s own life and that more than foots the bill.