Why Should I Fear in Times of Trouble?

Psalm 49

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

g Hear this, all peoples!
Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
2 h both low and high,
rich and poor together!
3 My mouth shall speak i wisdom;
the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
4 I will incline my ear to j a proverb;
I will solve my k riddle to the music of the lyre.

5 l Why should I fear in m times of trouble,
when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me,
6 those who n trust in their wealth
and boast of the abundance of their riches?
7 Truly no man o can ransom another,
or p give to God q the price of his life,
8 for r the ransom of their life is costly
and can never suffice,
9 that he should live on forever
and s never see the pit.

10 For he sees t that even the wise die;
u the fool and the stupid alike must perish
and v leave their wealth to others.
11 Their w graves are their homes forever, 1
their dwelling places x to all generations,
though they y called lands by their own names.
12 Man in his pomp z will not remain;
a he is like the beasts that perish.

13 This is the path of those who have b foolish confidence;
yet after them people approve of their boasts. 2 Selah
14 Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
death shall be their shepherd,
and the upright c shall rule over them in the morning.
d Their form shall be consumed e in Sheol, with no place to dwell.
15 But God will f ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
for he will g receive me. Selah

16 Be not afraid when a man becomes rich,
when the glory of his house increases.
17 h For when he dies he will i carry nothing away;
his glory will not go down after him.
18 For though, while he lives, he counts himself j blessed
- and though you get praise when you do well for yourself -
19 his soul will k go to the generation of his fathers,
who will never again l see light.
20 m Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.

  1. Cross References
    Psalms 42:1
    Book Two As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.
  2. Cross References
    Psalms 78:1
    Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
    Isaiah 1:2
    Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken: "Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me.
    Micah 1:2
    Hear, you peoples, all of you; pay attention, O earth, and all that is in it, and let the Lord God be a witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple.
  3. Cross References
    Psalms 62:9
    Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.
  4. Cross References
    Proverbs 1:20
    Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice.
    Proverbs 9:1
    Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars.
  5. Cross References
    Psalms 78:2
    I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old.
    Matthew 13:35
    This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet: "I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.
  6. Cross References
    Numbers 12:8
    With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
    Proverbs 1:6
    To understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.
  7. Cross References
    Psalms 37:1
    Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers!
  8. Cross References
    Psalms 94:13
    To give him rest from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked.
  9. Cross References
    Psalms 52:7
    "See the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches and sought refuge in his own destruction!"
    Proverbs 11:28
    Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.
    Mark 10:24 - 25
    And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God!
    Job 31:24
    If I have made gold my trust or called fine gold my confidence.
  10. Cross References
    Matthew 25:9
    But the wise answered, saying, 'Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.
  11. Cross References
    Matthew 16:26
    For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
  12. Cross References
    Job 33:24
    And he is merciful to him, and says, 'Deliver him from going down into the pit; I have found a ransom.
  13. Cross References
    Job 36:18 - 19
    Beware lest wrath entice you into scoffing, and let not the greatness of the ransom turn you aside.
  14. Cross References
    Psalms 16:10
    For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
    Psalms 89:48
    What man can live and never see death? Who can deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah
  15. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 2:16
    For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool!
  16. Cross References
    Psalms 73:22
    I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.
    Psalms 92:6
    The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this:
    Psalms 94:8
    Understand, O dullest of the people! Fools, when will you be wise?
    Proverbs 30:2
    Surely I am too stupid to be a man. I have not the understanding of a man.
  17. Cross References
    Psalms 39:6
    Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!
  18. Cross References
    Psalms 5:9
    For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.
    Psalms 64:6
    They search out injustice, saying, "We have accomplished a diligent search." For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep!
  19. Cross References
    Psalms 10:6
    He says in his heart, "I shall not be moved; throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity.
  20. Cross References
    Genesis 4:17
    Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch.
  21. Cross References
    Psalms 49:20
    Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.
    Psalms 39:5
    Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah
    Psalms 82:7
    Nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.
  22. Cross References
    Psalms 49:20
    Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.
    Ecclesiastes 3:19
    For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.
  23. Cross References
    Luke 12:20
    But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?
  24. Cross References
    Daniel 7:22
    Until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment wa...
    Malachi 4:3
    And you shall tread down the wicked, for they w...
    Luke 22:30
    That you may eat and drink at my table in my ki...
    1 Corinthians 6:2
    Or do you not know that the saints will judge t...
    Revelation 2:26
    The one who conquers and who keeps my works unt...
    Revelation 20:4
    Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were tho...
  25. Cross References
    Psalms 39:11
    When you discipline a man with rebukes for sin, you consume like a moth what is dear to him; surely all mankind is a mere breath! Selah
  26. Cross References
    Job 24:19 - 20
    Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters; so does Sheol those who have sinned.
  27. Cross References
    Hosea 13:14
    Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from Death? O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion is hidden from my eyes.
    Daniel 12:2
    And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
  28. Cross References
    Psalms 16:11
    You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
    Psalms 17:15
    As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.
    Psalms 73:24
    You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.
    Genesis 5:24
    Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.
  29. Cross References
    Job 27:19
    He goes to bed rich, but will do so no more; he opens his eyes, and his wealth is gone.
  30. Cross References
    1 Timothy 6:7
    For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.
  31. Cross References
    Psalms 10:3
    For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul, and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord.
    Psalms 36:2
    For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
    Deuteronomy 29:19
    One who, when he hears the words of this sworn covenant, blesses himself in his heart, saying, 'I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart.' This will lead to the sweeping away of moist and dry alike.
    Luke 12:19
    And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.
  32. Cross References
    Genesis 15:15
    As for yourself, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age.
  33. Cross References
    Psalms 56:13
    For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.
    Job 33:30
    To bring back his soul from the pit, that he may be lighted with the light of life.
  34. Cross References
    Psalms 49:12
    Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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