The ability of money is slight when compared to its weighty inability. Money can buy a house, but it cannot purchase a home. Money can obtain medicine, but it cannot secure health. Money can pay for entertainment, but it cannot buy happiness. Money can amass wealth, but it cannot procure peace of mind. Money can acquire pleasures, but it cannot purchase character. Money can access power, but it cannot acquire self-control.
In Psalm 49:6-12, two more deficiencies of earthly wealth are stated:
- Money cannot purchase redemption from sin. “Those who trust in their wealth and boast in the multitude of their riches, none of them can by any means redeem his brother nor give to God a ransom for him—for the redemption of their souls is costly, and it shall cease forever—that he should continue to live eternally and not see the Pit” (vv. 6-9).
- Money cannot buy immortality. “For he sees wise men die; likewise, the fool and the senseless person perish and leave their wealth to others. Their inner thought is that their houses will last forever, their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man, though in honor, does not remain; he is like the beasts that perish” (vv. 10-12).
The deceitfulness of riches is that they exaggerate their actual value. They promise much and deliver little.
“Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15).