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Jason Silver

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Thoughts and Reflections on Scripture



Friday, November 1st, 2019
Related Song

Autumn is a melancholy time of year. If you've been watching my weekly videos, you will have noticed the lovely colours of leaves growing a darker red and gold each week. But with this beauty comes an ever-increasing sense of finality. Things are essentially preparing for death. Animals store nuts in caches, pile on body fat before their winter sleep, trees withdraw their support for their leaves, which fall sadly to the ground. Annuals wither, stung by the shock of frost; perennials, too, left with only the hope to return in spring. The sky is constantly overcast, cold rains fall, the distant woods look like dark bones on the horizon.

It's also a time when, depending on your tradition, you remember the saints who came before you, or if you're outside of the faith, perhaps you fear Halloween's ghouls of death.

It seems an appropriate time to consider our own lives. It seems proper to stop and contemplate the way we're living. There is no better time to weigh our values against the truth of eternity.

In Psalm 49, those ancient musicians known as the Sons of Korah, sing about this very thing. They refer to it as a riddle: Why is it, they ask, that wealth is dispensed the way it is? Why do the affluent often believe that their riches can save them, or that it somehow sets them apart from the poor?

This Psalm reminds us that we are very much like the animals: our bodies will die, and spend the rest of eternity rotting away in the grave. Our wealth cannot save us from this inevitability.

The pull to earn more money, to acquire more belongings, to achieve higher status, to win coveted fame, and to keep more for oneself: this desire is very strong. However true wealth should be measured carefully, sensibly. We should examine our investments not by what we have, but by what we do, by who we are, by how we love.

A person's greed for wealth will be the root of their downfall. This Psalm teaches us that the purpose of one's life on earth is to enhance spiritual development and to prepare for the world to come.

Let me be direct: where does your treasure lay? Are you storing it up on earth, where moth and rust destroy, or where thieves break in and steal, or rather, are you saving it away in heaven, where it is a credit to you forever?