Posted by: arieliondotcom | October 25, 2013

The Door or the Ditch (Psalm 49)

The Door or the Ditch (Psalm 49)

This is the last in a series of songs attributed to the sons of Korah. Korah refused to worship GOD in the way Moses and Aaron had passed on to the people from GOD Himself. Korah thought he had the freedom to worship GOD as he pleased. When he ignored the warnings of Moses and Aaron GOD had the earth split open and Korah was swallowed up by a ditch going down to his death..

How appropriate, then, that his sons who saw what happened to their father wrote this psalm to warn us not to do as their father had done. We as human beings do not have the rights we think we do. We only have the rights GOD gives us. We have the mistaken notion like a two year old in a play pen that we are in control of “our” lives. But we are not. We have the freedom to worship but we do not have the right to worshio false gods. And we do not have the right to worship GOD in our own way. We do not have the right to be wrong. We are not in charge.

GOD is in charge. He tells all the people of the world, every human being, the noble rich (Adam) and the common and poor (ish in Hebrew) the same thing. He puts it in this song to stay in our memory. Human beings are completely dependent on GOD. We mistake His silence as apathy when it’s really opportunity.

Jewish scholars say verse 6 means we walk in sin all day but forget that it sticks to the bottom of our feet like dirt. When we have trouble in life we convince ourselves we’re clean but don’t see the sin sticking to our heels.

And there is no way to get rid of that sin. No matter how much you scrub your heels they’ll always be darker than the rest of your foot. You always have the sin stain. You can give your life but not pay for your sins because your death doesn’t make up for your guilt. That’s why there’s hell. Your soul will still be unfit for the Presence of GOD. Like Korah, living and even dying your way only gets you the ditch of death. No one else can buy you life past the grave or save you from hell because they’re no better than you. And no amount of riches or good works can buy eternity. You’re no better than animals who enjoy life for a little while but have nothing afterward.

But there is an alternative to the ditch of death. We can’t save ourselves and no human life or death can save us. Only GOD’s death can substitute for ours. Only sacrificing eternal life can substitute for eternal life. But how could GOD die? The Second Person of the Trinity solves this. He came to earth fully human to suffer and die for us so He could be tempted in every way we were. Yet He remained fully the sinless essence of GOD, putting aside some of His power for His time on earth in flesh. He died without sin of His own to pay for ours. He rose from the dead to prove His triumph over death, not for His own sake (He always had that) but for ours. We now no longer have only the ditch of death as our future but JESUS as the Door to new Life on earth and eternal Life with GOD.

JESUS says that He is the Door. We can only be saved from the ditch of death by going into the safety of the door. There are no other options. There is no other door. You do not have the right to say that is not the only way to Life. You are only a sheep, not the Shepherd and the Shepherd says enter the way provided by the Door or die. If there were another option He would have told us. In fact He wanted another option so much He sweated blood in the Garden of Gethsemene. But there is none. Not Buddha. Not Mohammed. Not some sin-stained misinterpretation or politically correct idea of “love” you have. It is JESUS or hell, the Door or the ditch. All compassion and love is wrapped in that choice. You have no right to another.

JESUS washed the feet of His disciples. Only He can remove that sin stain from our heels. But we must come through the Door for it or live only this life and die stained with the dirt of the ditch.

For those without JESUS their only possesion will be the grave, the ditch of death leading to hell. Life here only leads to death there like an animal that dies and is eaten. The wording of this psalm even describes the future of the damned as being gnawed on by evil as an animal gnaws on a bone or a tree. For those who choose JESUS there is Life through the Door. He cleanses. He remakes us for Life here and now and to live on through eternity.

Listen to the warning of the sons of Korah who saw GOD destroy their father who thought he had the right to tell GOD how to save him. Come through the Door, JESUS. You do not have the right to anything less and there is nothing more.

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