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"Thy Word Have I Hid In Mine Heart..." Psalm 119 : 11

The Death of the Righteous

Let me die the death of the righteous.
10th April
C. H. Spurgeon
With believers it may rain in the morning, thunder at midday, and pour torrents in the afternoon, but it must clear up ere the sun go down.
The Scripture uses many terms to describe the death of the Christian. Paul said, 'The time of my departure is at hand' (II Tim. 4:6). The word departure is a nautical term; it depicts the untying of the ships moorings, the lifting of her anchors, and the slipping of the vessel away from the quayside and out to the ocean. Peter likens death for the child of God to the dismantling of a tent. Speaking of his own impending death, he said, 'Shortly I must put off this my tabernacle,' or tent (II Pet. 1:14). A tent is a frail, temporary structure. One day the Christian will exchange the tent of this life for the everlasting mansions of heaven. Peter also tells us that the Christian's death is an exodus, or a'going out.' This is the meaning of the word 'decease' in II Peter 1:15.

It is used also in Luke 9:31 in reference to Christ's death. As the Lord was transfigured, Moses and Elijah appeared and spoke of His decease. Peter was there that day and obviously never forgot that word. He knew that as Christ took His exodus from this world in triumph, so would he. So death holds no terror for the righteous, or justified man. He dies with a quiet conscience; he dies in the arms of a Friend. He loses nothing, but gains everything.

Tragically, Balaam's expressed desire to die such a death was the vain talk of a hypocrite. How could he die the death of the righteous when he would not live the life of the righteous? He lived in rebellion against God. He would have cursed Israel had he not been restrained by the Lord. He actually died fighting against the righteous. No man has any hope of dying the death of the righteous unless he lays hold of the righteousness of God which is in Christ Jesus. To everyone who truly does so, 'an entrance shall be ministered . . . abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ' (II Pet. 1:11).