Tag Archives: death

“I Sat Where They Sat”

Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days. —Ezekiel 3:15

The experiences of life play a big part in shaping who we are—your upbringing… your education… your friends… your sufferings. The things you go through in life have a profound effect on you. They may harden you, or soften you / embitter you (Job), or strengthen you (Paul).

It is hard to help someone when you’ve not experienced what they are going through. If I’m having a problem, I’d want to be with someone who has already been through the same thing.

When you have gone through a certain trial, you can be “touched” when someone else is going through the same things. You’ve been there. You’ve sat where they sit.

Have you experienced God’s mercy? Then you should be merciful to others.

Has God been kind and gracious to you? Then you should be kind and gracious to others.

Has God forgiven your sins? They you should forgive others who have sinned against you.

As Jesus said, “Freely you have received. Freely give.”

We should treat the lost with compassion because we were once lost ourselves. We know what it’s like to be lost. As God told His people, “Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Dt. 10:19). Paul reminded the Corinthians, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed” (2 Cor. 6:11).

When facing death, I want someone who has already gone through it!   Jesus will go with me through the valley of the shadow of death (Ps. 23), because He’s already been there and back again (Heb. 2:9)! But if you are not saved, you’ll go through death alone.

SUDDENLY!

“They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave” — Job 21:13

“In a moment shall they die…” — Job 34:20

The Bible speaks of men who died suddenly—Job’s children (Job 1:18-19) and King Herod (Acts 12:21-23).

I remember the day my father died of a heart attack in 1962. I was 15 years old. His obituary in the local newspaper read: “Hughes, Allan, of 4655 Winifred, Wayne, died suddenly Dec. 7.” He was only 44 years old and in good health. His death was completely unexpected. Everyone who knew him was shocked to hear he died. My entire life changed on that day. It has truly been said: “What a difference a day makes.” [My mother also died “suddenly” five months later.]

I was thinking recently about that word “suddenly.”  My Dad’s death came suddenly and without any warning. It took everyone by surprise.

Some people die of “old age” and of “natural causes.” Others succumb after a long lingering battle with cancer or ALS. When death finally comes it comes as no surprise. People have time to prepare for the inevitable.

However, for others, like my Dad, death comes swift and from “out of no where.” It could be in a traffic accident… a murder… SID’s… a sudden heart attack, etc.

My point is, no one knows exactly when death may come. “For man also knoweth not his time… when it falleth SUDDENLY upon them” (Eccl. 9:12). Therefore, a wise man will be prepared to face eternity at any moment. He will look at each new day as a gift and not waste a single minute to invest in his eternal home.

Are you ready to meet God? It could be sooner than you think. It could be today.

Dying Without Wisdom

They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it. Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom. —Job 4:20-21

Approximately 155,000 “are destroyed from morning to evening” everyday according to the CIA World Factbook. That is 107 people going into eternity ever minute!  The vast majority will “die, even without wisdom.”  They die lost and unsaved since “the fear of the Lord… that is wisdom (Job 28:28). To die without Jesus is to die without wisdom and perish forever in hell.

The saddest thing is, “they perish forever without any regarding it.” How many actually care if a soul dies without “the fear of the Lord?”  How many really care if anyone spends eternity burning in torment?

Do you regard the death of those who are perishing “without wisdom?”  What are you doing about it before one becomes part of the 107 who die every minute?

 

Fear of Death

Fear of Death

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. —Psalms 23:4

Researchers at the University of British Columbia recently discovered that the main ingredient in Tylenol, acetaminophen, can help calm “existential dread” (fear of death) in the same way it reduces the physical pain of a headache (The Week, May 10, 2013, p. 19).  So if you are freaked out at thought of dying, now you have an over-the-counter solution.

The Bible has a better solution.  Jesus has already taken the sting out of death for those who have received Him as their Savior (1 Cor. 15:55-57).  Through Jesus’ victory over death, He delivers “them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:14-15). For the child of God trusting the Lord, death holds no terror, but rather affords a glorious anticipation of release from the limitations of this earthly life into the liberation of the heavenly life.  As Paul said, “To die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).

In his book Facing Death, Billy Barnhouse, relates an experience of Donald Grey Barnhouse, one of America’s leading Bible teachers in the first half of the 20th century. Cancer took his first wife, leaving him with three children all under 12. On the day of the funeral, Barnhouse and his family were driving to the service when a large truck passed them, casting a noticeable shadow across their car. Turning to his oldest daughter, who was staring sadly out the window, Barnhouse asked, “Tell me, sweetheart, would you rather be run over by that truck or its shadow?” Looking curiously at her father, she replied, “By the shadow, I guess. It can’t hurt you.” Speaking to all his children, he said, “Your mother has not been overridden by death, but by the shadow of death. That is nothing to fear.”

Live and not Die

Live and not Die

Let Reuben live, and not die; —Deuteronomy 33:6

Today’s text was spoken as Moses gave his final blessing upon Israel before his death.  Among other things, Moses pronounced a blessing upon the tribe of Reuben— “Let Reuben live, and not die.”  That was good news for Reuben because he was a rascal!  He committed incest with his daddy Jacob’s wife, Bilhah (Gen. 35:22).  That wicked act was disgusting to God (Lev. 18:8; 27-28).  A similar situation occurred in the church at Corinth required church discipline (1 Cor. 5).

Reuben’s sin was costly. As the firstborn, he stood to receive the family birthright.  Reuben may have thought he got away with his sin. It is not mentioned again until Jacob, on his deathbed, assembled his family for the final blessing.  Suddenly Jacob took Reuben’s birthright and gave it to Joseph (Gen. 49:4; 1 Chron 5:1-2).

Reuben’s sin cost him his birthright.  But God’s grace says, “Let Reuben live, and not die.”  God had a similar word for David when he deserved to die for his sin—“The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.” (2 Sam. 12:13).

This should cause all of us to rejoice today. “We had the sentence of death in ourselves” (2 Cor. 1:9). But by trusting in the Lord, He has “delivered us from so great a death” (2 Cor. 1:10). As Jesus said, “Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die (John 11:26).

Thank God for grace that says, “Let [your name] live, and not die.”