1 Hear this, all you nations. Listen, all you who live in this world. 2 Listen, ordinary and important people alike. Listen, those of you who are rich or poor. 3 My mouth will speak wise words. What I say from my heart will give understanding. 4 I will pay attention to a proverb. I will explain my riddle as I play the harp. 5 Why should I be afraid when trouble comes? Why should I fear when sinners are all around me? They are the kind of people who want to take advantage of me. 6 They trust in their wealth. They brag about how rich they are. 7 No man can pay for the life of anyone else. No one can give God what that would cost. 8 The price for a life is very high. No payment is ever enough. 9 No one can pay enough to live forever and not rot in the grave. 10 Everyone can see that even wise people die. Foolish and dumb people also pass away. All of them leave their wealth to others. 11 Their graves will remain their houses forever. Their graves will be their homes for all time to come. Naming lands after themselves won’t help either. 12 Even though people may be very rich, they don’t live on and on. They are like the animals. They die. 13 That’s what happens to those who trust in themselves. It also happens to their followers, who agree with what they say. Selah 14 Like sheep they will end up in the grave. Death will swallow them up. When honest people come to power, a new day will dawn. The bodies of sinners will waste away in the grave. They will end up far away from their princely houses. 15 But God will save me from the grave. He will certainly take me to himself. Selah 16 Don’t be upset when someone becomes rich. Don’t be troubled when he becomes more and more wealthy. 17 He won’t take anything with him when he dies. His riches won’t go down to the grave with him. 18 While he lived, he believed he was blessed. People praised him when things were going well for him. 19 But he will die, like his people of long ago. He will never again see the light that leads to life. 20 People who have riches but don’t understand are like the animals. They die.
Today’s passage is a great reminder of the importance of thinking about more than just today. Life gets so busy and we often don’t sit down and think about the story our life is telling. What sort of picture do we want our lives to paint? One where we get stuff or one where we bring God’s love to those we encounter, one where people are blessed by spending time with us.
We can plan our lives with God’s wisdom. The world doesn’t encourage us to reflect about where we are and where we want to be but God does. It’s easy to miss the grace and peace God can bring to our lives because we listen to the lies in the world’s definition of success. Take some time, talk to God and ask Him about how your life can be lived with more wisdom. Perhaps pick a fruit of the Spirit and ask God to help you grow that characteristic in your life. Life will be more satisfying when filled with God’s wisdom.
Father thank you that you want to help us live life well. Please help us to find time to speak with You about who we are and who we want to be. Spark our imagination and grow our wisdom so that we make choices that help us to live an effective life hand in hand with You. Thanks that You will walk with us if we invite You in.
Written by Therese Manning