“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”
– Psalm 116:15
What a powerful, beautiful, yes, sobering, but awesome verse here in Psalm 116:15 that the death of saints is precious in the sight of the Lord. Yes I just immediately think of all kinds of saints who I’ve seen breathe their last breath and go to be with the Lord, and their death, while sorrowful and sad and, oh, just agonizing, I’m just thinking about more and more people right now, including people who are really close to me, I praise God that he has made death precious.
A Desire to Pray and Share the Gospel
“I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.”
I think about my mother-in-law. For years, my wife and I tried to share the gospel with her, and she knew the gospel. She knew it, she’d heard it, she’d grown up hearing it in many ways, but there was no fruit of the gospel in her life. Yes, much, much grace in her life in so many ways and flowing through her life, but no real desire for Jesus, desire for Church, desire to share the gospel. We just prayed and prayed and prayed for years and shared and shared and shared for years.
Then, finally, just almost out of the blue, all of a sudden, she, through a variety of different circumstances, started reading her Bible, and her heart was kindled toward God, and she experienced regeneration. I don’t even know when the moment was, but she became a new creation. God changed her heart. God drew her to faith in Christ, and she had a longing for Christ, diving into His word, sharing the gospel, just a totally different life, gathering together with the Church, growing in Christ. I had the privilege of baptizing her.
Psalm 116:15 Finds Beauty and Gain in Death
A couple of months after that, she’d had all kinds of health struggles at different points, but she died unexpectedly from a brain aneurysm. As I preached that funeral, and, obviously, there was sadness and sorrow in so many ways, but it was precious. It was beautiful. It was worshipful. Even just imagining what that funeral had been like if she had not trusted in Jesus in that way, it would not have been precious and beautiful and worshipful in the same way by any means, by any stretch of the imagination. It would have been totally different. It was precious and beautiful and worshipful just to praise God that He had drawn her to Himself and she was with Him. We know that, and it was awesome.
I just think about everyone who has died in Christ. Praise God. Because of the gospel, God has taken the very worst thing that could happen to you or me, and He has turned it into the best thing that can happen to you or me, because we have eternal life. To live is Christ and to die is gain. It’s gain, so, of course, it’s precious. It’s precious gain.
Praising Jesus for His Death on the Cross
God, we praise you for sending your son to die on the cross for our sins, for His resurrection from the dead, for His victory over the grave for His ascension on high, for His promise. He is the resurrection, the life, and he who believes in me will never die. Even though he dies, he will live forever. We praise you for the precious death of saints. We praise you for ushering them into your presence, for that reality that will be true by your grace, by your grace in my life, God, that I can actually anticipate, and when I breathe my last breath, that you’re going to welcome me into your presence.
I trust through Jesus, through Jesus alone, not through any righteousness of my own, but totally to the righteousness of Jesus, and not just for me, but for all who trust in you. For everyone who is listening right now who’s trusted in you, God, I pray that if there’s anyone listening to this right now who does not have confidence facing death, that you would draw them to Jesus in this moment, God, that you would draw them to Jesus right now today to trust in Jesus, His life, His death, His resurrection, to believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord, confess from their mouth Jesus is Lord, believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead, that they would be saved, Romans 10:9.
Psalm 116:15 Praises Jesus for Conquering Sin and Death
So God, please, do that work in people’s hearts and lives right now and use our lives to do that work in more and more people’s lives, God here and around the world. God, I pray for the Vanjara people in India, no known believers. Oh God, please, please, please, none of them, if they were to die right now would be precious in this way. God, please bring Vanjara men and women and kids to know your love in Jesus, to know Jesus who’s conquered death and sin on our behalf.
God, we praise you for the precious death of saints. We praise you that our deaths will be precious because of Jesus. We pray for the spread of this good news so that every tribe, tongue, and nation people would know. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. Jesus’ name we pray who makes all this possible. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.