But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself. Do not be overawed when others grow rich, when the splendor of their houses increases; for they will take nothing with them when they die, their splendor will not descend with them. Though while they live they count themselves blessed–and people praise you when you prosper– they will join those who have gone before them, who will never again see the light of life. Psalm 49:15-19
It is easy to see the wealth and fame may people achieve. When you look at their lives, many if not most are not godly people, but driven people looking out for themselves. Sometimes you may wonder what your life would be like if you were like them, if you were among the rich and famous. Psalm 49 reminds us that life is fleeting, that the seeming riches of this life end at death’s door if the person does not trust in Jesus. Whereas the believer’s rewards will be for all eternity. I am reminded of a story I’ve heard several times. I don’t know if the story is true, and if it were, who it is about. I probably don’t even have all the “facts” of the story straight, but I think you’ll get the point. A couple is heading back to the US after serving 40 years in the mission field ministering to less fortunate people and leading many to Christ. On the same flight is military commander who has fought and won many battles. As the plane lands and the passengers exit the plane, a band and a large group of people greet the commander joyously celebrating his return home. The old missionary couple exit the plane, lost amid the crowd and celebration for the commander. The husband remarks, “It’s just not fair.” His wife gently reminds him, “Don’t worry dear, we’re not home yet.” Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world.” Our home is not of this world. We are in a mission field all the days of our lives, but one day we will be greeted by Jesus upon returning home.