As the old saying goes, “Money makes the world go round.” But the psalmist here reminds us of another more important truth. “There are some things that money can’t buy.”
No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him — the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough — that he should live on forever and not see decay. (7-9)
In short, no one can buy eternal life. All of us, rich or poor, wise or foolish, powerful or weak, whoever we may be, will someday die. And much as we’d like to, we can’t take our money with us.
What’s more, it will not buy us a place in heaven. All the money in the world cannot pay the penalty for our sin.
Only one person can. God. And so he came down to this earth, and he paid the penalty for our sin, not with money, but with his blood shed on the cross.
It’s amazing to me the insight the psalmist had into this, even before Christ came. He wrote,
But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself. (15)
Though the psalmist had no knowledge of Christ, nevertheless he says with confidence that we will live on to be with God through the ransom he himself pays.
And so he writes,
Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases; for he will take nothing with him when he dies, his splendor will not descend with him. Though while he lived he counted himself blessed — and men praise you when you prosper — he will join the generation of his fathers, who will never see the light of life. (16-19)
How about you? Do you envy those with wealth? Are you seeking it yourself? Or do you have it, and are making it your life purpose to just make more and more?
Remember the words of the psalmist.
A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish. (20)
Having money and wealth is by no means bad. It can be used to do a lot of good in this world and for God’s kingdom. But let us understand that money is definitely not everything. There are more important things in life. And there are definitely things that money cannot buy.