Sunday, November 24, 2013

Why Some People Die

This verse has been preying on my brain the past few days.

"The righteous man perishes, and no one takes it to heart;
And the devout men are taken away, while no one understands.
For the righteous man is taken away from evil.
He enters into peace;
They rest in their beds (or perhaps, graves)
Each one who walked in his upright way."
Isaiah 57: 1, 2

At the risk of offending some of my more conservative Christian friends, I'd like to handle the text a bit, and rewrite it my own words:

"A truly good man dies, and everybody is mystified by it.
And people who've served God all their lives die, and we moan, 'Why did they have to die?' because don't understand what's going on.
They died because God was taking them out of this evil, broken world.
The good man is finally at peace.
The godly men are resting safely after devoting themselves to God for a lifetime."
How many times, when someone dies, do we react as if a tragedy has occurred? "But they died!!" we exclaim, as if (of course) dying were the most horrific thing that could happen to anyone. That's a worldly perspective. It's not God's perspective, who orchestrates our deaths and determines our lives afterward. The Christian is delivered from a world full of: danger, evil, meanness, unkindness, uncertainty, fear. He is taken to a place of absolute safety where his needs are fully met and there's nothing to fear ... ever.

And we call that a tragedy. What's wrong with us?

A dear elderly friend said lately, "There's a lot of living going on, both here and in heaven." Her husband died unexpectedly two weeks ago. What a wonderful, clear understanding she has! When I mentioned these verses in Isaiah to her, her eyes lit up, and she knew exactly which verses I meant -- she'd been studying them too.

Her husband has been delivered from all manner of evil, and a weary life. He stepped directly from one life into the other life. He now has everything we all long for.

It's difficult to fight against the mentality of the culture that teaches us to fear death, avoid death, deny death, and treat it as the ultimate human tragedy. Christians should reject this thinking. Neither is death a friend. Death is simply a conquered enemy, lying slain on the field of humanity's battle now, these 2000 years. When a Christian passes from this living into the next living, one of the things he steps over is the limp, dry corpse of death, on that battlefield conquered by Jesus.


  1. there are no premature deaths and everyone is terminal from the first breath. it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. if it lives, it will die...a time to be born, a time to die. my only consolation has been, Dave made his peace with God only five days before he died.
    even so, the grief is crushing.

  2. Very well said, my dear and brilliant friend.

  3. Perhaps if I lay up more treasure in heaven I will appreciate these blessed truths even more. Christ is the victory!

  4. Great positive post. Thank you.

    I try to focus on my dear husband's new life with Jesus, just on the other side of the veil, instead of his last 4 months of illness. Even though, those last 4 months are priceless, as our love for each other grew ever stronger.

    When he took his last breath, he was instantly with Jesus, how glorious is that!!!!

    But like Thistle Cove wrote, "the grief is crushing." I miss my husband daily.


  5. I've become convinced over the last few months that death is definitely not the worst thing that can happen to a believer.


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