Psalm 49 is a psalm for the recession. The reality in this world of wicked men who are also powerful is a dreadful one. We know that God is all-powerful and that he hates evil. And yet, he seems to at least permit the existence of wicked men in this world, who are not only allowed to exist in God’s world. but they’re also really rich and powerful and influential. Its theme is the failure of living for this world’s possessions, status, and fame, in light of the certainty of death. It is a “wisdom” psalm, similar in theme to Psalms 37 and 73. Confidence in God Rather than in Riches. The Sons of Korah were a group of Levites who were descended from the biblical figure Korah. Korah was a member of the tribe of Levi and he had two sons, Assir and Elkanah. The Sons of Korah are mentioned several times in the Hebrew Bible, and they played an important role in the history of Israel. Psalm 49 of this song was written by the Sons of Korah. We are reminded not to fret over the temporary successes of the wicked and to take comfort in God’s promise to the righteous. He will reward His children in the end.
It reads in Psalm 49:1-20 NIV
{For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm}
Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all who live in this world, both low and high, rich and poor alike: My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the meditation of my heart will give you understanding. I will turn my ear to a proverb; with the harp I will expound my riddle: Why should I fear when evil days come, when wicked deceivers surround me, those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches? No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them, the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough, so that they should live on forever and not see decay. For all can see that the wise die, that the foolish and the senseless also perish, leaving their wealth to others.Their tombs will remain their houses forever, their dwellings for endless generations, though they had named lands after themselves. People, despite their wealth, do not endure; they are like the beasts that perish. This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings. They are like sheep and are destined to die; death will be their shepherd (but the upright will prevail over them in the morning). Their forms will decay in the grave, far from their princely mansions. 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. People who have wealth but lack understanding are like the beasts that perish.