Summary: Deliverance from Death by Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey focuses on the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It has application for the Easter Season, the Lord’s Supper and a funeral.
Deliverance from Death
By Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey
Andrew A. Bonar explains, “The Jews have handed down the tradition, that this Psalm, and those that follow on to the 118th, were all sung at the Passover; and they are denominated ‘The Great Hallel.’ This tradition shows, at all events, that the ancient Jews perceived in these six psalms some link of close connection. They all sing of God the Redeemer, in some aspect of his redeeming character; and this being so, while they suited the paschal feast, we can see how appropriate they would be in the lips of the Redeemer, in his Upper Room. Thus—
In Psalm 113, he sang praise to him who redeems from the lowest depth.
In Psalm 114, he sang praise to him who once redeemed Israel, and shall redeem Israel again.
In Psalm 115, he uttered a song—over earth’s fallen idols—to him who blesses Israel and the world.
In Psalm 116, he sang his resurrection song of thanksgiving by anticipation.
In Psalm 117, he led the song of praise for the great congregation.
In Psalm 118 (just before leaving the Upper Room to go to Gethsemane), he poured forth the story of his suffering, conflict, triumph and glorification.”1
David writes, “Precious in the sight of the LORD / Is the death of His saints. O LORD, truly I am Your servant; / I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; / You have loosed my bonds. I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, / And will call upon the name of the LORD” (Psalm 116:15-17).
Three thoughts emerge from this text:
I. The Sight of the LORD (v. 15a)
“Precious in the sight of the LORD”
A. His Observation “the sight of the LORD”
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character Sherlock Holmes said to Dr. Watson, “You see, but you do not observe.”
In 2 Chronicles 16:9a we read, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”
The LORD does not just see, He observes.
B. His Estimation “Precious”
We read in 1 Peter 3:4 about a "gentle and quiet spirit which is very precious in the sight of God."
In 1 Peter 2:4-10 we read: "Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,
“Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”
7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,
“The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone,”
“A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
We also read in 1 Peter 1:7 about precious faith
The Bible also speaks of the precious blood of Jesus Christ. If the blood that Jesus shed for the forgiveness of our sins is precious, then we are precious to God too!
The chorus reminds us:
“Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world.”2
II. The Saint of the LORD (v. 15b)
In verse 15 we also read about “the death of His saints”.
Who is a saint?
You do not need to be a member of a religious order or a certain church to become a saint.
Dr. J. Vernon McGee explains, “We do not become saints by what we do; we become saints because of our position in Christ. The word saint actually means "set aside to God.” Every Christian should be set aside to God. For example, the pans and vessels that were used in the tabernacle and later in the temple were called holy vessels. Holy? Yes, because they were for the use of God. On what basis is a child of God a saint or holy? On the basis that he is for the use of God. This is the position that we have. I repeat again, one is not a saint on the basis of what one does. All of mankind is divided between the ‘saints’ and the ‘ain’ts.’ If you ‘ain’t’ in Christ, then you are an ‘ain’t.’ If you are in Christ, then you are a ‘saint.’”3