After we understand who Korach, writer of Psalm 49 is we can read the Psalm attributed to the sons of Korach, the sons who learned the hard lesson from their father:
Hear this, all you peoples; give ear, all who dwell in the underground world, low and high, rich and poor. My mouth will speak wisdom, and the meditation of my heart will build you up. Why should I fear in the days of rot, when the crookedness of those who would supplant me surrounds me, of those trusting in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches? A brother cannot redeem a Mensch. You cannot give to God Kippur… wise men die, the fool and the brutish perish together, and leave their wealth to others. Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue forever; their dwelling-places to all generations they call their lands after their own names.
Adam does not reign in his importance; he is like the silent beasts. This is the way of the foolish, and of those approving their sayings.
In our world, we look at the richest 5% of the population bringing home 20% of all income, and the 20% bringing home half of all income while 50% of the population lives on 20% of all income. We see the 50 million people in this country who do not have enough food to feed themselves and their families while 20% of the population controls 85% of all wealth.
There is the temptation to take the route of Korach. There is the temptation to make ourselves the leaders, or appoint leaders to ourselves like Korach who claim they will be the great democratic leaders who will fix things.
Matthew 24 comes with a very interesting warning and we are well advised to heed it:
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached him privately and asked, “Tell us, when will this happen, what sign will there be of your coming, and of the end of the age?” Jesus replied to them, “See that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah;’ they will deceive many. You will hear of wars and reports of wars; see that you are not alarmed. These things must happen, but it will not yet be the end. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be famines and earthquakes from place to place.
The passage continues. The warning is in the implied words. Who will tell the people of wars and reports of wars? Who will tell us of nation rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom? Who will tell us about these famines, and earthquakes and what they mean? It is these false Messiahs. They will do so that that we will vote for them so that they will fulfill their prophecy and bring these disasters.
We look at the end of Psalm 49, “Man that is weighty does not understand; he is like the silent beasts. God is in control We are to look to our vocation, our calling, the way God calls us to profess our faith and do that. If someone comes preaching that they, whoever they are, are a threat to us, run for the hills, hide in the caves. Do not fear the person you are told is a threat. Fear the person giving the report. Then all will go well with you.