Human mortality is a popular theme in all the wisdom literature. It is especially prominent in the Psalms, songs, of the Bible. Chapter 49 focuses on this reality and applauds the wise person who realizes their mortality and sets their priorities aright. Verse 10 says of this kind of person, “For he sees that even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others.”

Fact: Every hour 5417 people die. You’d think this fact would have a greater impact on us than it does. Throughout the ages, poets, song writers, and authors have attempted to stir our hearts to this reality, yet our flesh seeks to ignore that truth and turns our attention to the things of this world. Shakespeare: “Tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of recorded time, and all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death.” Longfellow: Art is long, and Time is fleeting, and our hearts, though stout and brave, still, like muffled drums, are beating funeral marches to the grave. Kansas: Don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky, and all your money won’t another minute buy!

The Psalmist caught this truth and it drove him to God. In his walk with God he resolved the issue as we read in verse 15, “But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me. Selah!” (Stop and think about it!). Every believer can have that confidence. After Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded in the tower they found in his Bible these true and striking lines, written the night before his death: Even such is time, that takes in trust, our youth, our joys, our all we have, and pays us but with age and dust; Who in the dark and silent grave, when we have wandered all our ways, shuts up the story of our days. But from this earth, this grave, this dust, My God shall raise me up, I trust!

“As your name deserves, O God, you will be praised to the ends of the earth. Your strong right hand is filled with victory.” (Psalm 48:10)