Psalm 116:15

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 15. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints, and therefore he did not suffer the Psalmist to die, but delivered his soul from death. This seems to indicate that the song was meant to remind Jewish families of the mercies received by any one of the household, supposing him to have been sore sick and to have been restored to health, for the Lord values the lives of his saints, and often spares them where others perish. They shall not die prematurely; they shall be immortal till their work is done; and when their time shall come to die, then their deaths shall be precious. The Lord watches over their dying beds, smooths their pillows, sustains their hearts, and receives their souls. Those who are redeemed with precious blood are so dear to God that even their deaths are precious to him. The deathbeds of saints are very precious to the church, she often learns much from them; they are very precious to all believers, who delight to treasure up the last words of the departed; but they are most of all precious to the Lord Jehovah himself, who views the triumphant deaths of his gracious ones with sacred delight. If we have walked before him in the land of the living, we need not fear to die before him when the hour of our departure is at hand.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 15. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. It is of value or importance in such respects as the following: --

Verse 15. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. The death of the saints is precious in the Lord's sight. First, because he "seeth not as man seeth." He judgeth not according to the appearance; he sees all things as they really are, not partially: he traces the duration of his people, not upon the map of time, but upon the infinite scale of eternity; he weighs their happiness, not in the little balance of earthly enjoyment, but in the even and equipoised balance of the sanctuary. In the next place, I think the death of the saints is precious in the Lord's sight, because they are taken from the evil to come; they are delivered from the burden of the flesh; ransomed by the blood of the Redeemer, they are his purchased possession, and now he receives them to himself. Sin and sorrow for ever cease; there is no more death, the death of Christ is their redemption; by death he overcame him that had the power of death; therefore, they in him are enabled to say, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" Again, the death of the saints is precious in the Lord's sight, for in it he often sees the very finest evidences of the work of his own Spirit upon the soul; he sees faith in opposition to sense, leaning upon the promises of God. Reposing upon him who is mighty to save, he sees hope even against hope, anchoring the soul secure and steadfast on him who is passed within the veil; he sees patience acquiescing in a Father's will -- humility bending beneath his sovereign hand -- love issuing from a grateful heart. Again, the death of the saints is precious in the Lord's sight, as it draws out the tenderness of surviving Christian friends, and is abundant in the thanksgivings of many an anxious heart; it elicits the sympathies of Christian charity, and realises that communion of saints, of which the Apostle speaks, when he says, "if one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; if one rejoice they all joy."... The death of saints is precious, because the sympathy of prayer is poured forth from many a kindly Christian heart... Nor is this all -- the death of saints is precious, for that is their day of seeing Jesus face to face. Patrick Pounden's Sermon in "The Irish Pulpit," 1831.

Verse 15. Precious. Their death is precious (jakar); the word of the text is, in pretio fuit, magni estimatum est. See how the word is translated in other texts.

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