If you’ve ever heard the song “Beverly Hills” by Weezer, you’ll recognize the lyrics. “Look at all those movie stars, they’re all so beautiful and clean. When the housemaids scrub the floors, they get the spaces in between. I wanna live a life like that. I wanna be just like a king. Take my picture by the pool, ‘cause I’m the next big thing!” The whole song speaks about this desire to be rich and famous, but isn’t that the American dream? Just watch some TV, listen to the radio, or even drive down the road. We’re almost continuously reminded that we don’t have enough. Not only are we lacking in stuff but it’s this reason why we’re unhappy.
The psalmist looks at this as pointless. As he points out in Psalm 49, verses 10, 14, and 19, nothing can be done to prevent death. He is quite clear about it; the person who dies with the most toys still dies. Surgery, drugs, crèmes, ointment, all sold for top dollar, only offer a false hope and an appearance of bought time. The psalmist is quite clear that life has a cost but all the money in the world can’t cover the cost. Nothing you can do is going to buy life. Nothing.
But, the psalmist isn’t done there. Hope isn’t lost. Verse 15 says, “But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself (NIV).” While the Psalmist doesn’t understand in certain times how this’ll happen he knows that this debt is going to be paid. He celebrates in this fact as he concludes that riches will fade, and that they can’t take it with them. As we look toward the death of the Christ and His resurrection, it is the time to celebrate in the payment of the debt that none of the our worldly treasures could pay.
Help me be content in what I have and to refrain from the temptation of the world’s pressure to chase wealth. I know that nothing I have or pursue will last, and everything I have, do, or could ever is inadequate in the repayment of the debt of my sin. Thank you for sending your son to pay my ransom.