Summary: Comforting words to a family
WHEN WE VALUE THE DEATH OF A LOVED ONE
PS 116:1-18 “I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the LORD: "O LORD, save me!" The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The LORD protects the simple hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, 9that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living. I believed; therefore, I said, "I am greatly afflicted." And in my dismay I said, "All men are liars." How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD. I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people. 15PRECIOUS 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 freed me from my chains. I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD. I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people, 19in the courts of the house of the LORD-- in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD.”
We do not see things in the way that God sees them. We have only human eyes to which to see things and so we many times miss the essence and truth of things unseen. We see things as they stand in the moment but our God see things of eternal matter. To most of us in our limited thinking, death does not seem a precious thing. When we think of those we love dearly we want them to be with us forever so death appears as an enemy. Here in this Psalm it says that to God Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. He loves people and because He loves them, He knows when it is time to bring them home to heaven with Him. I would like for us to take note of three things to remember about the word God uses “Precious” in relation as we remember Rose.
1. DEATH IS PRECIOUS BECAUSE IT CALLS ATTENTION TO THE LIFE THEY HAVE LIVED.
a. We may hear of lives that live what some may call the ideal life. They are on display and are pointed out as a life others should live. They make headline news and maybe even a book may be written about them. Many will not achieve such fame in the eyes of this world because they have not sought fame but just lived life as a Model for other to see. They did not make a splashing display of their life. They did the ordinary things that all people do and did not aspire to be noticed for what they were doing. As I think of Rose I wonder how many dishes she did, how many times she made the bed, how many times she spent washing, drying and putting away the clothes, how many times she made a special meal for those she loved and how many nights she spent taking care of sick ones or feeding babies to name a few things that were done without applause or any one saying thank you.
b. Yet I believe it is the quiet life that people like her that God takes notice and when they are gone, it is not a historical fact to be put in books or in the headlines. Yet it is the family that is left behind that knows this person lived a life that was pleasing to God and He has taken them to His home to live forever.
2. DEATH IS PRECIOUS BECAUSE IT IS A RELIEF FROM LABOR, TOIL, HURTING, PAIN AND SUFFERING.
a. You know as I do that there is much in this life that does not give us a happy feeling. How many times have we said “I am so weary, my body hurts, my mind seems numb and my heart seems like it is about to break?” Life takes its toll on our bodies. Your heart beats around 72 times a minute and that equals 103680 times a day. In a year your heart beats almost 38 million time. When one lives life to be 70, the heart rate is up to 2.6 trillion times. God knows what is best so He calls us home where it says REV 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”