Journal Ps 49 and 110 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Truly no man can ransom another or give to God the price of his life…for the ransom of their life is costly and never suffice, that he should live forever and never see the pit.
For he sees that even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others. Their graves are their homes forever, their dwelling places to all generations.
But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol…” Ps 49:7-11; v15.
Observation: What is the cost of ransom? What does it take to either ransom someone or to sacrifice for their ransom?
Analysis: Ransom: a sum of money or other payment demanded or paid for the release of a prisoner. Redeem or redemption can be considered the act of ransoming.
This can be a tough thought for me and a lot of folks because I can think that I have value—my life is worth something intrinsically. “God loves me because I have value…” is what my thought goes to. What I don’t think of is “God loves me because he values me…”
The chasm between these two thoughts (“I have value” and, “He values me”) is enormous.
The Psalmist exposes the difference: “No man can ransom another…because his life will never suffice.” I cannot even sacrifice myself for my life; I cannot live a life of service; I cannot throw myself on a bomb—noble acts both but neither will gain redemption for myself or another.
As I think about the Gospel, this is one of the basic tenets for me to consider—
“Why would You the pure give your life for the vile,
the Innocent seeking the Guilty to be reconciled?”
(This Fathomless Love; Vickie and Steve Cook)
It is hard to think of myself as vile, but when I consider myself in the light of God’s holiness, what else can I think without lying to myself? The lie is “I have value” (which is all about me and what I think about my worth) rather than the glorious truth “He values me, when I have no value to offer.”
The great mystery of all the ages and the question each will bring before the Throne:
Prayer: Father, I forget this question most days. I take my redemption for granted so many hours of the day, I can be surprised with your patience. I appreciate that this morning, I can be awestruck once again.