Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints(Psalm 116:15).
Is it precious to you? While some of the most difficult times in our lives is when we part from loved ones, should it not be precious and comforting to know a loved one is “safe in arms of Jesus”? It is surely precious to God when a brother or sister dies, faithful in Christ (Revelation 14:12,13).
A saint is someone sanctified or called out of the dark domain of sin into the marvelous church or kingdom of Christ (Colossians 1:13). A saint, and today a Christian is someone in whom Christ has invested all His love, life and death! (Ephesians 5:25-27; Luke 19:10; Philippians 2:5-8). Every accountable man has separated himself from the love and blessings of God by his own sin (Isaiah 59:1,2; Romans 3:23). When a man sins he becomes dead to the Father (Romans 6:23; Genesis 2:16,17). But the superlative love that God has for man led Him to become high preist, sacrifice and mediator between the Father and man (John 15:13; Hebrews 8:1,2; 1Timothy 1:5). Yes, Jesus even took joy in His own death that it might become the atonement for precious souls who could not other wise help themselves to be reconciled to God. (Ephesians 2:16; Hebrews 12:1,2)
People with no conception or faith in God may look at the death of loved one with a sense of love-lost, finality, helplessness and hopelessness. But our Heavenly Father can rejoice and take comfort in a child once lost but now found and returned home forever (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Luke 15:11-32). John describes the place where God reigns thusly,
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. (2) In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (3) And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: (4) And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. (5) And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever (Revelation 22:1-5).
How blessed we are that we can say good bye to loved ones and entrust them into the hands of such as our God! In the bosom of Abraham they are safe (Luke 16:22) and blessed until Jesus returns again to take them to the Father’s house (1Corinthians 15:24; John 14:1-3). Then we shall be joined together again with them – not as husbands, wives, but as the angels of God (Matthew 22:30) in heaven. Paul wrote of this reassurance and hope in 1 Thessalonians 4:9-13.
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (15) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Oh, if we would see everyone as God’s children, needing to go home to the Father, how much better our understanding, living and outlook on life would be! (Philippians 1:21).
Though marred by our own sins, God has abundant forgiveness by the gracious atonement of His Son (1John 2:1,2). He has loving direction, abundant hope and companionship to help us complete our journey in this life, so that we may know the better without end (Matthew 11:28-30; 2Peter 1:2-11; Hebrews 10:24,25). He longs that we not be lost for sin but that we may know pardon and His grand blessings without end (2Peter 3:9; Ephesians 1:3). When one becomes a saint/Christian, he has more than the forgiveness of sins; He has the greatest and surest of hope.
No wonder God says the death of a saint is precious! The faithful child of God need not fear death, but live joyfully in anticipation of the glory to follow! Wherefore comfort one another with these words. HJS