Ps. 49:1-20; 74:1-23; 102:1-28
Man spends a lifetime through whatever means he can devise to accumulate wealth. The psalmist placed that philosophy into prospective with sobering words of wisdom to all—high, low, rich or poor. There is not enough wealth in the whole world to buy off death. The fool along with the poor and rich, whether they accomplish little or much will all pass from this earth just as the beasts of the field and leave their possessions to others. There is however, hope after death for the righteous. “The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning…But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, For He shall receive me.”
Many times, when one is troubled, he will begin to question God. The psalmist began with this question to God. “Why have You cast us off forever?” He enumerated the various offences of the enemy. They had destroyed the temple of God and all of its furnishings. God’s people were captives under a vile and corrupt nation. The writer reminded the Lord of His care and protection during the deliverance from Egypt hundreds of years earlier and the covenant that had been made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He prayed for another deliverance and for the punishment of His enemies.
They had forgotten their history, so they were then reliving it.
The psalmist lamented his position in life to the Lord. He was writing either in the present tense during Jerusalem’s destruction and Babylonian captivity or as a prophecy of the future devastation of God’s dwelling place. In either case, he described himself as being miserable, lonely, humiliated and suffering separation from the Lord. He stated that his condition was due to God’s wrath. That wrath was the result the disobedience of a sinful people. He was confident in a future in which the Lord in His mercy would restore Zion/Jerusalem back to a prominence among nations.
As a man, the psalmist also acknowledged the brevity of one’s life compared to the eternal existence of God. His creation, whether man, beast or the earth on which man dwells shall grow old, decay and be changed like a garment, but He shall never change.