“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Psalm 116:15
My father passed away thirty minutes into last Monday. He was 98 by 11 days. Many, many people wrote me about the impact he made on their lives. We know he influenced many lives for good over nearly a century of life. However, he was still not known by most of the world. Many of you who read SFTD never knew him personally. Many more people that you and I do not know will die today around the world. Their death will not impact you or me because we did not know them. But someone does, and someone will probably grieve. Of course there are instances where people die, and their body is sent to a morgue to be buried in a “pauper’s grave” where no one claims them or searches for them. But I would say that those instances are relatively few.
Is every human life dear to someone? Yes and no. There are the lives mentioned above where no one claimed them in death or had any idea where to search. There are the hundreds of millions who never saw the light of day outside the womb. They were killed by their mothers with the help of others. So again I ask, is every human life dear to someone? Or should I ask, is every human life known by someone? Is there one who can tell you about every human life that existed on the earth since the dawn of time? Or is human life purely mechanistic, like every plant or insect or animal? Here today, gone tomorrow, who cares? Well, when it is YOUR life, you care! You do not consider your life to be that of a petunia’s or an ant’s life. You view your life as more important than a flower or an insect. You even consider your life to be more important than a child dying of malnutrition or starvation on the far side of the globe. You are concerned about your own self-preservation, and you hope there are others concerned about your life and its value as well; else what is your reason for being?
If human life were truly so mechanistic, we would not have the thoughts we have; there would not be the sentiment or emotions we personally experience. We would not be concerned about self-preservation. We might not care when someone we do not know dies. We are concerned with our own death and the deaths of those we love. We all would like to see those we love again. The Bible claims that the death of the saints is precious in God’s sight. Does that mean the death of a non-saint is not precious to God? Just who are the saints? If you are concerned about whether you are or are not a saint, a study of the Bible will give you the answer. Saints are those who have been “set apart” by God because they believe in His Son and follow Him. The Bible describes them as being covered by the righteousness of Jesus. There are Old Testament era saints who trust in the promised and coming “Christ,” which is the same as “Messiah.” Adrian Rogers used to say, “There are only two types of people in the world: the saints and the ain’ts.” That is true. God knows who is in each camp; it is His conclusive knowledge alone.
Precious in His sight is the death of His saints, and known by God is the life of every person who existed in history. You are significant because God created you in His image, and He knows all, for He created them. You don’t, but He does. Every life has significance; every life is in His sight. That is where the meaning of your life rests. It is God with whom you have to do, whether you acknowledge Him or not. You still have to deal with Him because it is to Him you are accountable. Do not concern yourself with the severely disabled (a question skeptics love to raise); they are in God’s hands. Concern yourself with yourself and your own accountability. Concern yourself with others, even those you do not know. You may not help them with your own hands, but you can pray for those you do not even know. What is the value of your prayers for others? It tells you and God that you care about more than yourself and you are aware that others besides you are suffering; your prayers tell God you love others and you are at His side in being a prayer warrior. Become one who is precious to God. Exercise your faith.
My dad is in the presence of Jesus and the saints who have preceded him. My wife, Glenda, asked him soon before he died what he saw himself doing when he got to heaven; he said, “I’m going to work.” He couldn’t do work in a nursing home. He believed he was going to do again what he always enjoyed doing in this life: work.
“The sands of time are sinking, the dawn of heaven breaks, the summer morn I’ve sighed for, the fair sweet morn awakes; dark, dark hath been the midnight, but day spring is at hand, and glory, glory dwelleth in Emmanuel’s land.”
(1st verse of Samuel Rutherford’s hymn, “The Sands of Time Are Sinking”, 1600-1661)
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