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For My Dying Friends
“The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount.” (Deuteronomy 1:6)
We are all dying. These mortal bodies shall soon return to the dust. At God’s appointed time, these earthly tabernacles shall be dissolved. But we have some friends who know they are dying. Their frames are declining rapidly. Each breath is weaker. Soon they will enter into their everlasting rest with Christ in glory. To you, the Lord Jesus says, “Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount.” Commenting on this word from God our Savior, Robert Hawker wrote…
“Pause, my soul, and remark the gracious words of God to Israel. They were just entering the border of Canaan at that time. Forty years long had they been in a wilderness state: many ups and downs, battles and restings, conflicts and trials. God graciously said, ‘It is long enough.’ ‘There is a rest that remaineth for the people of God.’
Hark, my soul, doth Jesus speak to thee to the same account? Hast thou indeed dwelt long enough in this mount of exercises, sin, sorrow, and temptation? Hast thou seen enough of the emptiness of all creature comforts to satisfy thee? Hast thou felt enough of a body of sin and death, which drags down the soul, to make thee groan under it, being burdened? Is there anything now worth living for? Are not the glories above worth dying for? Doth Jesus call thee, invite thee, allure thee, to come up to the Canaan which he hath taken possession of in the name of his redeemed? And wilt thou not mount up upon the wings of faith, love, and longing desire, to be forever with the Lord? Doth Jesus say thou hast dwelt long enough here below? And wilt thou not say the same? Doth Jesus call thee to his arms? And wilt thou say, ‘Not yet, Lord’?
Ah my soul, art thou indeed in love with this prison? Dost thou wish to wear thy chains a little longer? And is this thy kindness to thy friend? Precious Lord, break down every intervening thought or passion that would rob thee of thy glory and my soul of thy presence, and give me to cry out —– ‘Hasten, my beloved! And be thou as a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.’”
What a joyous prospect! The fact is, God’s elect shall never die (John 11:26). When we have “dwelt long enough in this” house of clay, our souls will soon move out of these earthly bodies into “an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1). Our bodies will sleep in the earth until the resurrection morning. Then these bodies shall be raised in the glory of Christ and joined again to our souls. Body and soul in sinless immortality shall forever be with the Lord in life.
We live “in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Titus 1:2). Being justified by his grace, we are “heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). Soon, we shall have our inheritance in, with, and by the Lord Jesus Christ. — Oh, blessed hope!