Let Me Die Like This!
"By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff"
There is no gift in all the world to be compared with God’s gift of faith. Rich indeed is that immortal soul to whom God has graciously granted faith in Christ!
“Oh, gift of gifts! Oh, grace of faith! My God, how can it be
That Thou, Who hast discerning love, shoulds’t give that gift to me!
Ah, Grace! Into unlikeliest hearts it is thy boast to come,
The glory of thy light to find in darkest spots a home.
Thy choice, O God of goodness, then I lovingly adore;
O, give me grace to keep Thy grace, and grace to long for more!”
Faith is a precious gift! We find it precious in life. In trials and temptations, in heartaches and sorrows, in troubles and tribulations, in the fiery furnace and in the raging sea, faith proves itself blessed. But never is faith so precious as it shall be when the cold sweat of death is on our brow and we are about to leave this world.
Matthew Henry wrote, “Though the grace of faith is of universal use throughout our whole lives, yet it is especially so when we come to die. Faith has its greatest work to do at last, to help believers to finish well, to die to the Lord, so as to honor him, by patience, hope, and joy—so as to leave a witness behind them of the truth of God’s Word and the excellency of his ways, for the conviction and establishment of all who attend them in their dying moments.”
How greatly God is glorified when His people leave this world with their flag flying at full mast. His worthy name is marvelously honored when the Spirit triumphs over the flesh, when world is consciously and gladly left behind for heaven.
Three Examples of Faith
In Hebrews 11:20-22 the Holy Spirit furnishes us with three examples of faith in the final crisis and conflict of life (Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph). God hereby assures his trembling and doubting children, that he who has begun a good work in us will perform it unto our last day. He who has sovereignly and graciously given us this precious grace of faith will not allow it to languish when its support is most needed. God, who enables us to exercise faith in the vigor of life, will not withdraw his quickening power and grace when we are about to leave this world.
I do not suggest or imply that all true believers leave the world in jubilant triumphant confidence. I do not suggest or imply that God’s saints have no struggles in their dying hour. But I am saying what the Scriptures clearly teach—God will sustain our souls in faith unto the end (Phil. 1:6).
Preparation for Death
Though we naturally shy away from thoughts about death and try to avoid talking about it, we must all prepare to meet God. As believers, we need instruction from the Book of God in preparation for death and the comforts that can be ours in those last hours. Satan is ever seeking to strike terror in the hearts of God’s children. I want you to know the groundlessness and hollowness of his lies.
A God-given and a God-sustained faith is not only sufficient to enable the feeblest saints to overcome the weakness of the flesh, the attractions of the world, and the temptations of Satan, but it is also able to give us a triumphant passage through death. I love that passage in Moses’ song of triumph that speaks of God silencing our enemies and giving his people easy passage through death unto heavenly glory (Ex. 15:16-18).
"Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O Lord, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased. Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established. The Lord shall reign for ever and ever."
It is written, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Balaam said, “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his” (Num. 23:10). Well might he wish to do so! The believer’s last experience in this world shall be his best. “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day” (Pro. 4:18).
This body may convulse with pain, and physical unconsciousness set-in, yet my soul, once it is freed from this body of flesh, shall be blest with a sight and sense of my precious Redeemer such as I have never yet enjoyed! We see this verified in Acts 7, where we read about Stephen’s very last experience in this world. – “He being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55).
“Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace” (Ps. 37:37). A peaceful death has concluded the troublesome life of many. C. H. Spurgeon wrote, “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.”
Jacob’s pilgrimage through this world was stormy; but the waters were smooth as he entered his desired haven. Much of his life was cloudy and dark; but it was radiant in the end. Blessed is that man or woman who dies like Jacob. Jacob died worshipping God. Let me die like that—worshipping God. Truly, faith’s last act is its most blessed and delightful act, bringing us into heaven’s glory land with Christ!