Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, that he should live on forever and never see the pit (Ps. 49:7-9).
Wisdom is sometimes profound. But not always. Sometimes wisdom is simply stating the obvious—things that we know, but refuse to consider.
Psalm 49 seems to me to be wisdom of the obvious kind. The psalmist calls all people to hear the wisdom that he will speak from his mouth, and them makes an argument that is most simple and obvious—you can’t take it with you. All, the rich and the poor alike, will die, and the rich will leave their wealth to others. Although we have made vast strides in medical technology, now as then riches cannot shield one from death. Only God can ransom a life from the grave.
I doubt any of the above is new to anyone. And yet (and perhaps this is testimony to the foolishness of our hearts) we need to be reminded, told to consider the obvious that we refuse to see. Therein lies great wisdom.
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. Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them. Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. For you will render to a man according to his work (Psalm 62:9-12).