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Seeing Jesus in Psalm 49 - What is Your Guide?

Seeing Jesus in Psalm 49 – “What is Your Guide?”


Psalm 49:14 – “Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol; death shall be their shepherd.”


These are painfully shocking words, they are sobering words, to think that there are those who are led by death.  That death is their guide and their shepherd.  When I read those words I simply sat quietly for a minute, what does the psalmist mean?  Why would someone let death be their shepherd and guide?  Then I realized that that someone is all of us.  Humanity from birth is sinful and wicked.  U ewages of sin is death.”  We are driven by sin, which means we are driven by death.  It is our leader and it is our guide.


The psalmist (or again the psalmists, the Sons of Korah) are writing and telling the reader or the listener how to deal with bitterness.  He tells us that when bitterness threatens to invade our lives (and it quickly can can’t it?), we are to:

     *focus on the word of God (v. 1-3)


     *make worship a priority (v. 4)


     *think about eternity (v.17-20)


They give us good advice, this is how you deal with bitterness and resentment when those in the world seem to prosper and the righteous seem to struggle.  This is how you deal with people who have wronged you, mistreated you and hurt you.  Yes you focus on the word of God because in doing so you are reminded of a God who will “never leave you or forsake you.”  Yes you make worship a priority, because in doing so you enter into the presence of God and you realize that you are living for something beyond yourself, and that even God Himself when He came to this earth was mistreated and hurt.  Certainly in the midst of bitterness we should dwell on eternity because that reminds us that one day all of the troubles of this life will be over and one day we will be in a place with “no weeping, no crying, no mourning, no pain.”  We long  for that day.  All of these things are great strategies for dealing with resentment and bitterness, but these are not the most important thing that this psalm tells us.  The most important thing is those sobering words from v. 14, “death shall be their shepherd.”


That is the most important thing because that statement points us to the reality of who we are without Christ.  It reminds us (or perhaps shows us for the first time) that we need a Savior.  We don’t need to be led by sin.  Death should not be our shepherd, and yet left to our own devices it is.  We need someone to bring us to life.  Someone who as Paul says, “lifts us from the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of life.”  We need a Savior, we need a new Shepherd.  We need Jesus.  For only He can bring us from death to life, only He can transform us, only He can give us new hearts and thus a new Shepherd.  On our own death is our shepherd, but thanks be to God that through the cross of Jesus Christ we can be changed.  We can have a new Shepherd.  We can gloriously proclaim with David, “The Lord is my Shepherd (Psalm 23:1)”.  To God be the glory!