Life would be simple, or so we think if we could measure ourselves based on money saved in the bank–the more, the better, or how many pounds lost from careful eating and exercise–the lighter, the more desirable we are. But we are more than our stuff and our BMI.
Early this morning I had to hit the pause button while reading and praying through Psalm 62. It’s a sober reminder. God weighs us, and we don’t amount to much.
We don’t weigh much because God is not impressed with our stuff. Everything we have is on loan from God. Somewhere along the journey we fell in love with our stuff and forgot the One who gave it to us.
Those of low estate are but a breath,
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath. Psalm 62:9
Life for the rich and the poor, when weighed in God’s eternal scale, is nothing more than a breath. In fact, they are lighter than breath.
The Hebrew word, hebel (breath), in some contexts, means complete nothingness, emptiness, or vanity.
We make such a big deal about ourselves and others. We like to catalog people as heavyweights, or stars; people who are either rich, popular, accomplished, influential, or powerful.
And then some people we consider lightweights. They are small potatoes. These folks are physically unimpressive, intellectually deficient, lack money, are weak, ordinary people; no one knows them, or looks to them.
Predictably, we all want access to the heavyweight and ignore the lightweight. Taking selfies with the rich and famous gives us a leg up, and we have something to boast about at our next party.
Psalm 62 reminds us that the brevity of life is evenly distributed among the rich and famous, the poor and obscure.
In the only psalm attributed to Moses, he said, “The days of our lives are seventy years, and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (90:10). Those aren’t words we want to hear. We want to remain forever young, but Scripture reminds us that the years pass and death will one day arrive.
Fame and fortune might be incredible, but it is only for a season. Poverty and obscurity are not desired ways to live, but even this is fleeting. Instead of striving to be among the one percenters, or as the Psalmist calls it, those of high estate, we should trouble ourselves to trust in God.
For God alone my soul waits in silence,
for my hope is from him.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7 On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
my mighty rock, my refuge is in God. Psalm 62:5-8
The way to truly measure your weight is to use the “scale” called glory. Who gets the glory in your life? Who gets the thanks and the recognition for your life? If the thanks go to the self, good luck, hard work, your lucky stars, then you and I, rich or poor, are lightweights.
The real heavyweights of this world are those who say,
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory,
for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness. Psalm 115:1
I hope this makes sense. If the self receives the glory, we are lightweights. If God gets the glory, we are heavyweights.