“The death of His faithful ones is valuable in the Lord’s sight.” (Psalm 116:15)
Death is a subject most of us avoid. We avoid it probably because we’d just as soon avoid death itself. We associate death with fear, hurt, sorrow, and pain. This may be why we feel a sense of “disconnect” when we read, “The death of His faithful ones is valuable in the Lord’s sight.” Some versions say “precious in the Lord’s sight.” How could that be? Why would the death of someone be precious in God’s sight, when we associate death with so many negative things? There are several reasons.
When someone has lived a faithful life dies, the Lord’s intent in that person’s death is to honor him or her before all the hosts of heaven. The Lord loves faithfulness, commitment, and integrity, and He honors that before the Father, the Spirit, the angels, and all others who have gone before us. Before everyone the Lord says to this person, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” It is a homecoming of honor.
Second, death is a sobering reminder to all of us that everyone eventually experiences the death of the body. Those faithful to God then enter into heaven, while those who do not know the Lord face an eternal judgment. It is valuable to the Lord for those who remain in the body to be reminded of that which we all in turn will experience.
Third, the death of the Lord’s faithful ones actually provides him or her an opportunity to share the truth and the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ through what we call a funeral service. A review of the person’s life and faith and commitments provides a venue for presenting the gospel.
So, while we tend to have some negative associations about death, the Lord sees it from a different perspective. That’s because He is on the other side of that “veil of invisibility” and knows what joy our loved one is going to know.
Lord, You know our hearts and minds, and You know that the idea of death is unsettling to us. But we recognize that You see the great reality we do not. Help us to see the death of Your faithful ones as You do. Amen.