The confidence of the foolish
Listen to this, all of you –
whether the world considers you lowly or honored, whether you are wealthy or in need – these words will share wisdom, and the truth pouring from my heart will give understanding. I have studied true and valuable pieces of wisdom from the Word of God, and I will share with you the dark warning that is uncovered in the light of revelation.
Fools will ask themelves, “Why should I be afraid when trouble arises, haven’t I made preparations? Even if enemies surround me, like so many snakes and scorpions at my heals, can’t I look down on them from the high place that I have prepared for myself?”
Yes, fools think much of themselves and of their own preparations. They trust in their wealth and their works (even in their religious preparations), and boast proudly in their riches and evidence of their works, while none of these things can redeem their own brother or friend from the coming destruction. They can’t offer a ransom for others (nor do many concern themselves with much more than themselves) – because the redemption of souls is not a cost they are ready to pay, it is costly beyond what they are willing or able to buy.
And it is true that redemption by cost and sacrifice and purchase has ceased, because of the price paid by the Lord Jesus Christ from the cross to the tomb to the right hand of God Almighty, so that He can continue to live eternally with His children, so that they will not see the pit of destruction that this world so bitterly deserves.
The Lord sees wise men die, and the fools and those with no understanding. They all leave their wealth (those many things they have accumulated) to others. They believe in their things (more than they ever believed in the Lord) that their houses will not fall, that their land and possessions will be passed down through all their coming generations, with it remaining in the names (of men) that they honor so highly (while they give little if any real honor to the name of the Lord).
But the worldly man, the carnal man, even if he is a greatly honored man among men, doesn’t remain. Like the animals, he will die. Yes, this is the end for the foolish who trust in themselves, and of those who revere their ways of worldliness as being wise.
Like sheep they will die, and the world having been their master – death, the prince of this world, the end to the things of the world, will consume them (as they rot and are eaten by the worms).
The upright (who fear in the Lord and place their confidence in those things eternal) will have dominion over them in the morning (when the eternal light of His vindication is come into the world), and the essence of their being will be eaten away in Sheol, because they have no communion, no habitation, no place, and no memory in the presence of the Lord.
And we say, “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, For He shall receive me.”
They say, “I won’t be afraid if I become rich, when the glory of my name increases in the mouths of men; because when I die, I’ll carry nothing away; I know that any glory won’t descend after me into the grave.”
But while they live, they bless themselvesselves. And other worldly men will rise up and praise them when they do well for themselves. But these men will go to the same end as their fathers before them. They will never see the light of that morning, because a man who honored by men, but does not understand these things, is just like the animals that will be slaughtered and butchered, their end is in the same destination.
Hear this, all peoples; Give ear, all inhabitants of the world, Both low and high, Rich and poor together. My mouth shall speak wisdom, And the meditation of my heart shall give understanding. I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will disclose my dark saying on the harp. Why should I fear in the days of evil, When the iniquity at my heels surrounds me? Those who trust in their wealth And boast in the multitude of their riches, None of them can by any means redeem his brother, Nor give to God a ransom for him— For the redemption of their souls is costly, And it shall cease forever— That he should continue to live eternally, And not see the Pit. For he sees wise men die; Likewise the fool and the senseless person perish, And leave their wealth to others. Their inner thought is that their houses will last forever, Their dwelling places to all generations; They call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man, though in honor, does not remain; He is like the beasts that perish. This is the way of those who are foolish, And of their posterity who approve their sayings. Selah Like sheep they are laid in the grave; Death shall feed on them; The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; And their beauty shall be consumed in the grave, far from their dwelling. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, For He shall receive me. Selah Do not be afraid when one becomes rich, When the glory of his house is increased; For when he dies he shall carry nothing away; His glory shall not descend after him. Though while he lives he blesses himself (For men will praise you when you do well for yourself), He shall go to the generation of his fathers; They shall never see light. A man who is in honor, yet does not understand, Is like the beasts that perish.
Psalms 49:1-20 NKJV