No, those blaspheming evildoers are NOT “getting away with it”!

One of the hardest things about living the Christian life is, well, it’s hard! James and Paul both tell us in their Scriptural writing that “in this life you will have tribulation” – some of it comes from the devil and his demons, trying to get you to stray from His Narrow Path, and some of it comes from the Lord Himself, refining our character to become more like Christ. Sometimes, the only reassurance is that everybody faces challenges in their lives, so why not face ours on the road to Heaven?

And then, you see THEM.

You know who I mean. THEM. The people who seem to never suffer any real consequences for their actions. The people who seem to have the system by the short hairs, able to get away with seemingly anything and everything. The people who defy the Lord with every breath, and yet never pay the price for their defiance.

You’re not alone. 

Turn to Psalm 45. The third or fourth most prevalent author in the Psalms, the “Sons of Korah”, address this issue brilliantly (with the help of the Holy Spirit, of course!). Consider verses 5-6:

Why should I fear in times of trouble,
when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me,
those who trust in their wealth
and boast of the abundance of their riches?

Sounds familiar, right? The question is a universal one: why am I fearing God, when those who trust in their wealth apparently don’t have to? Isn’t my God more powerful than their wealth?

The answer, of course, is yesGod is more powerful than any human accumulation. More importantly, human accumulation cannot conquer the non-human, the spiritual, the inevitable – illness, death, Heaven and hell. Read on from verse 7…

7 Truly no man can ransom another,
or give to God the price of his life,
8 for the ransom of their life is costly
and can never suffice,
9 that he should live on forever
and never see the pit.

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

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

“No man can ransom another.” The only Man Who could ransom us was the only One Who didn’t have to pay the price for sin Himself, because He was perfect and did not sin (hint: His Name rhymes with “Jesus”….).

“…that he should live on and never see the Pit”, which is one of the pre-Jesus euphemisms for Hell. No amount of wealth protects one from going to Hell when they die. Jesus told us so when he talked of the rich man and Lazarus; in fact, He almost implied that being rich in and of itself was sinful and worthy of Hell in Luke 16:19-31. That’s not quite what He said, by the way – it was the love of money over the love of the poor in need which Jesus was criticizing in that story (not parable – Bible scholars seem to think this was a real story, rather than a parable, because Jesus used a real name in the story.)

Even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish.” Everybody dies. Wealth won’t change that. You can “call lands by (your) own names” if you wish – just because something has my name on it now doesn’t mean it won’t have someone else’s name on it later after I’m gone. I see that even while I’m still alive – I stamped my imprint all over four different band programs over the 34 year career I had teaching, yet none of them now bear the slightest resemblance to what I taught. It surprises me how quickly those things fade, and yet I did the same thing to legacies before me when I came into those same programs. How much more must these things fade when we die? I think about my late wife every day, four years after her death – but I’d be hard pressed to name a single other person living who does. The same will be true of me, and you, when we die. Sorry.
This is the path of those who have foolish confidence;
yet after them people approve of their boasts.” (verse 13)

Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol; death shall be their shepherd,
and the upright shall rule over them in the morning.
Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.
But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for He will receive me. ”  (v. 14-15)

They are “appointed for Sheol”, basically meaning Hell, although Christ had not explicitly described it yet; and we who have obeyed Him will “rule over them in the morning”.

And the most important part, although this psalm was written one thousand years before its full meaning was made clear by Christ and His Sacrifice – “God will ransom my soul” from Hell with His sacrifice on the cross. It constantly amazes me how many of the Psalms point directly to Christ, despite the millennium gap between their writing and Jesus’ appearance in human form . In fact, the sheer mass of evidence in the Old Testament that can ONLY describe one specific man – born in tiny Bethlehem Ephathrah, born of a virgin, every detail of the passion week and of his death perfectly laid out – makes it virtually impossible to refute the fact that the Bible was the work of God Himself, in the form of the Holy Spirit.

(Now, consider that there are five times as many prophecies telling us about the Second Coming and the Great Tribulation and the “Rapazio” (Rapture) of the true Believers in the Lordship of Christ. Doesn’t that mean that we can lay out in detailed fashion the entirety of the End Times? YES, absolutely, and many writers have done so. Does that mean that people will have to believe in the prophetic writing of Satan? NO – because, as has ALSO been documented many times, the devil has blinded so many of our fellow citizens to the Gospel’s power. If the average non-believer dismissed the accuracy of the Bible with some lazy phrase about its “contradictions” without having one to point out, or try to tell you that Jesus was “a good teacher” without having read enough of what He said to realize He was a terrible teacher and a worse liar UNLESS He was exactly Who and What He SAID He was, namely the Son of God? They’re not going to listen to us about the End Times being right around the corner.)

The final verses of Psalm 49 are self-explanatory. (That won’t stop me from trying to explain them anyway.)

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

I will point out a few little details. Look at the end of the fourth line – “His glory will not go DOWN after him.” Not up. DOWN. 

Despite whatever blessings come to you in your life, your soul “will go to the generation of (your) fathers”. Notice this phrase doesn’t specify up or down. That part is “up” to YOU. 

“Man … without understanding is like the beasts that perish.” We are only enlightened people when we choose to be. If we don’t acknowledge God as our Lord, we’re no better than the beasts that perish.

 

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