Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His godly ones.
The thoughts of most people towards death is that it is something to be feared. But for the saints it should be something highly anticipated and cherished. Paul felt this way when he said “But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better” (Phil. 1:23) But he knew far better than anyone what awaits the saints after departing this life, since he had seen and tasted a portion of what is to come. He wrote that he “was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.” He elaborated little on that most likely because there are no words in any earthly language to give meaning to the grandeur of what he saw and heard. (cf. 2 Cor. 12:2-7)
But God knows us intimately, and knows the hardships we endure on Earth, “He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.” (Psalm 103:14) And so when His saints get the opportunity to be changed into the glory that awaits us (cf. 1 Cor. 15:51-52 and Heb. 1:12) and all the dross and refuse has fallen away it is a thing for rejoicing. How could it be any other way? How can the believer not greatly look forward to leaving the shackles behind, the evil, the sickness, the pain, the waste? How magnificent it will be to shed this sinful nature, to be clothed with the righteousness that Christ will complete in us when we enter into His rest. And to see Him face to face, and to understand all those things that are utterly incomprehensible to us now. To be restored to that perfect state for which He made us in the first place. To have the fellowship with God fully as He desired for our first parent but they tossed aside. It should give us chills to think of all the possibilities that will be ours.
Some who so completely lack imagination think that Heaven will be a droll and dull place. I think the real reason they have such a blighted image is that they really don’t want anything to do with God in the first place. Not in this life, much less in the one to come. Their eyes are so blinded with the temptations of this world they can’t comprehend anything better.
It will be their loss. They have had plenty of opportunities to come to grips with the failings of this world. Are there enticements? Certainly. But who can deny that for all the grandeur of this wold we see today, that God couldn’t design and build something unimaginably more luxurious and grand? An existence that multiplies the best of this world but without the darkness and death. Without the limitations and failures. A world so magnificent that it will keep us occupied for eons trying to explore it all.
That is why the death of His godly ones is so precious in His sight. Because He knows all the joy that awaits us, a life so very much different from our present dreary existence. As Paul writes, “just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.” (1 Cor. 2:9) Indeed, things so fabulous you can’t even imagine. Who wouldn’t want that?
[Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible © 1995]