10For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.
11Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names.
12Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.
Man is Man
I am always surprised by how contemporary the Bible, which in this case was written over 2000 years ago, is. Psalm 49 could just as well have been penned in 2011. Let us do as the Psalmist did and take a broader look at man in our day.
We see great and wise men, as well as foolish, senseless men, die and leave their wealth to others. In their own minds their houses and lands will continue forever after they are gone; their children's children and beyond will live in the land they have left behind. Some, as a matter of fact, are so sure of this that houses and properties are often called by their own name.
In reality, what often happens? Due to prevailing circumstances houses and properties are sold and belong to another. What of that original land owner? If people purchase the Jefferson house, do they have any idea who the original Jefferson was? Most likely they are not related to him, and know him by name only, if at all. As a matter of fact, the home is probably not even called by the name of its original owner.
Of course, none of this surprises us; after all, that is just the way life is. As Christians, however, we should ask, what is it that we hope to leave for our children and children's children? Are we amassing a great amount of wealth and property so we can leave each of our children a sizable inheritance? An inheritance is not a bad thing, but there is something of much more importance.
What kind of a spiritual heritage are we leaving our children? Have we spoken one thing and yet lived another? If we tell our children that Christ is all, do we live as though that is true? Children, no matter how young, are amazingly perceptive, and parents are amazingly transparent. In the end, it is the things we actually do that will have the most influence on the character of our children.
Is Christ just a placeholder in our lives, or is Christ our life? That is the real question we need to ask ourselves. We have example after example in the Bible of men and women who served God in name only. They may have been zealous for their religion, but they were not zealous for God. Was that good enough for God? No! In the end, both Israel and Judah understood that God desired their hearts and not their outward appearances.
Today, take some time and look at your own life. What are your goals for today and tomorrow? What is the most important thing you can leave for your posterity? May we join Joshua in saying, "Choose you this day who you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!"
God Bless You,