Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 116:15
“Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His godly ones.” – Psalm 116:15
This is a beautiful picture of how God views the death of one of His children. We see death as the end of a life. It means decay, absence and their removal, nothing that we prize. We mourn over the death of someone we know because what we see is separation, the loss of the fellowship and love we have for and with that person. We hold all these memories and are saddened that those days are over. However, God knows the end from the beginning, and He has determined our days. “Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with You; and his limits You have set so that he cannot pass.” Job 14:5. And since He knows our days, the end is not a surprise to Him as it is to us.
How does God see the death of the Godly ones? Well, it is not separation, for we will be there with Him. “then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7. And we will be with Christ. “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.” Hebrews 9:27-28.
And our new life will be everlasting. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 Our life will never end. For we shall be with God, enjoying the blessed life forever with no end. No longer dealing with the temptations and sins that so easily entangle us (see Hebrews 12:1). No longer growing weary due to the problems and trials we face every day. No longer going without and wondering how we will make it. No longer mourning over hardships that come our way, for we will be at peace, and joy will pervade our existence. No longer becoming tired and weary, for we will experience true rest. “The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart; And devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from evil, He enters into peace; They rest in their beds, Each one who walked in his upright way.” Isaiah 57:1-2.
The trials we face here on this earth are not the product of God, but of man who rebelled against God. However, through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, we as Christians will be delivered from the chaos wrought by the rebellion of Adam and Eve. We will be with God who loves us very much and will provide a place for us with Him forever. He does not like what we go through here, which is why He has prepared a better place on a new earth in a new heaven.
As stated above in Job 14:5, our times have been set. And also His plans for us have also been set. We are here to spread the gospel and bring others to the saving knowledge of Christ. In these times there will be suffering for all saints. “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3:12. Also, “For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.” Philippians 1:29-30. In fact, Paul was told ahead of time that he would suffer for Him. “But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him (Saul) how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.” Acts 9:15-16
Unfortunately, reaching out to the lost will undoubtedly bring suffering. However, at the end, either of our life or this era, we will no longer experience persecution or suffering, for we will enter our new life full of unending joy, peace and love. Revelation tells us what it will be like. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4.
In looking at death the way God does, we can see that death for the Christian is not a sad event, but a time of rejoicing. For they have been delivered from this life of trials, sickness, pain, persecution and the like, to a life that consists of eternal peace, joy, rest, contentment and love. Yes, we will still mourn, for we are still here. However, God sees one that He loves finding eternal peace and joy beyond comprehension. And this is why the psalmist writes in our focus verse, “Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His godly ones.” Psalm 116:15.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.