Jeremiah 43:1-44:30; Psalms 71, 116
Psalm 116 is a psalm of hope and filled with praise. The writer reminds us that “The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion” (vs 5). It goes on to say God protects and gives rest, that he answers prayers and gets us through tough times.
And how can we repay God for all he does for us? Verses 12-14 tell us God wants us to obey him, to live lives that honor him.
But then in verse 15 the psalmist throws in a verse that seems kind of random to me. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” It’s really the only verse in this psalm that talks about death.
I know this verse has been used at funerals and is a comfort to those of us who grieve over the home-going of a believer. But because it seems so out of place here I wonder if the psalmist isn’t talking about another kind of death.
Jesus used the example of a seed that dies before it can grow. Paul said he was crucified with Christ, yet he lives. Dying to self is a theme repeated often in the New Testament. And I wonder if this isn’t what the psalmist is talking about, too.
He goes on to say, “O Lord, truly I am your servant”.
Just a thought. And a reminder that this life isn’t about me. It’s about God. May I give up control, die to self, and allow God to have his way in my life. Then I can say with the psalmist:
“Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” (vs 7)