A Psalm of the Sons of Korah (Psalm 49)

Scripture Text:

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Psalm 49

Questions:

1. How would you complete this phrase? “Man is the only animal that __________.”

2. What would you want named after you?

  • Children and/or grandchildren
  • A city or town
  • A park or building
  • A scholarship fund
  • A scientific discovery

3. What would (or do) people associate with your name?

4. How does the psalmist get your attention in verses 1 – 4? What is his “riddle”?

5. Is the message for the rich alone? In what things do these people trust (verses 6 and 11)? What reality do they refuse to see? How is that worldview expressed today?

6. How does the psalmist account for the unfairness in life (verse 15)? What is the basis for his viewing reality that way? How can God solve the problem stated in verses 7 – 9?

7. What picture does the psalmist paint of the hereafter (verses 16 – 19)? What verses indicate a heaven and hell? What verses indicate no afterlife at all?

8. How is humankind different from the animal world (verse 20)?

9. Do you believe the best things in life are free? Give some examples of great things money can’t buy?

10. If there were no heaven or hell, would you agree with modern sentiments such as “Just do it” or “He who dies with the most toys win”? What worldview would attract you most if there was no Christianity?

11. Has the death of a loved one caused a “big chill” on your or your friends’ worldview? Explain.

12. This psalm is echoed in Jesus’ teaching (see Matthew 6:25 – 34). How do both teachings challenge your current lifestyle and priorities? How can you avoid being “like the beasts”?

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