This week has been a tough week. Our beloved German Shepherd, Chief, had to be put down. At a young five years of age, he was in poor health. He was unable to stand or walk. He had lost all control of his bladder. We had fought so hard to save him for months, but it was a losing battle. There was nothing else that could be done. Tears were shed and we said goodbye. Our hearts were broken. Chief was just a dog, not like a human who is made in the image of God, but he was such a treasured part of our family. He will be missed.
However, this week inevitably somewhere a parent died, a child was lost, a spouse was taken, a baby was miscarried. This week people somewhere cried and said goodbyes to family members or friends. This week somewhere people received a phone call they never imagined they would receive. This week the truth was inescapable. All people, young and old, rich or poor, educated or simple... we will all face death.
Psalm 49:10 "For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others."
The fact is that we are all going to die. It is inescapable. There is no way around it. No one can buy their way out of death. They cannot buy the way of loved ones out of death.
Psalm 49:7 "None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:"
We cannot ransom ourselves or anyone else with money or good works or religious deeds. Why? We are all in the same boat heading toward death, and we are all worthy of death because of our sin.
Psalm 49:5 "Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?"
We are all surrounded by our own iniquity. I cannot pay for anyone else's sin, nor can I free them from death's quicksand because I am facing the same fate. I am being dragged toward death just like you are. Why? We are sinners and the payment for sin is death.
Psalm 49:14 "Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling."
We cannot take anything with us either. All the pursuits of this world are vanity. When we are laid in the grave, those temporal pursuits will vanish.
Psalm 49:17 "For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him."
This Psalm seems sad and depressing, but their is hope.
Psalm 49:15 "But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah."
There is but one hope. That hope is for God to receive us. That hope is for God to redeem us from the power of the grave. So how do we know if we are one of the ones who will be received? How do we know if we are one of the redeemed ones who will have victory over the grave?
We are one of the redeemed when we have turned from trusting our riches or our own righteousness, and instead trusted God's plan of salvation. God sent His Son to pay for our sins. Jesus died for us. We cannot give a ransom for ourselves or for each other because we are guilty, but Jesus, the sinless and perfect Son of God could ransom us with His own blood. If we have called out to God for forgiveness with a heart of repentance and when we have trusted in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus as a payment for our sin, we become one of those who will be received by God. We become one of those that are called the redeemed. Death no longer has a sting to it because we will have victory.
The fact is that we are all heading toward death. But the question is are you ready? Are you one of the redeemed?