You Will Being Me unto Death
James Smith, 1861
"I know that you will bring me unto death, and to the house appointed for all living." Job 30:23
DEATH is a subject of every day occurrence. It is a subject in which all are interested. The Lord is constantly calling our attention to it. He speaks to us by it. He bids us improve it. He wishes to make us better by it. It is very well to look at it in reference to others. It is better to look at it as an event that must happen to ourselves. Let us therefore for a few minutes, look at the words of Job, adopting them as our own. "I know that you will bring me unto death, and to the house appointed for all living."
The Fact Known."I know that you will bring me unto death." God will certainly bring us unto death; there can be no mistake about that. He may bring us unto death suddenly — this entirely rests with him. He may bring us unto death very soon — for we are not sure of a day. A day! we are not sure of an hour. An hour! the next minute I may be a corpse! God will bring me unto death, but I know not when — it depends entirely on his will. I know not where — this is also fixed by his decree. I know not how — this will only be revealed by his providence. I may be cut down by a sudden stroke, or I may be removed by a long lingering illness.
We know that he will bring us unto death, for he has asserted it in his Word. And daily observation proves it. If God will bring us unto death — then man cannot save us. However skillful the physician, however kind the attendants, however wealthy the individual — there is no escaping our divine appointment with death.
"To the house appointed for all living." Death is
under a divine appointment, there is a time, a fixed time to die. The
grave is appointed to be our home. Whether the vault, the grave, or the
ocean — it is our last home on this earth. What a home! Look at it — it is
dark and dreary, it is damp and cold, it is lonely and narrow — and yet it
is capacious enough, to receive us all! It is prepared alike for the rich
and the poor, the prince and the peasant, the proud monarch and the humble
pauper. To each, and all, the sentence, refers, "Dust you are — and unto
dust you shall return."
The Use We Should Make of this Fact.It should prevent carnal security. We must die — we may die soon — and suddenly; let us therefore watch and be sober.
It should prevent trifling, especially with the soul and its salvation, with eternity and its solemnities.
It should prevent indecision, and bring us to a point on all essential matters, especially as to closing with Christ, and confessing him.
It should prevent procrastination, it says in the most emphatic manner, "Behold! Now is the accepted time." We should think of death seriously, of our own death, for it is a solemn subject. We should think of it frequently, for it is a most beneficial subject.
We should inquire, what is necessary in order to die safely — happily — and honorably? In reply to which we may say, there must be faith in Christ — the faith that receives Christ, that confides in Christ, and that trusts in Christ alone. There must be prayer — constant, hearty, persevering prayer. There must be penitence — or sorrow for sin, hatred to sin, and forsaking of sin. There must be reconciliation to God, on the ground of the death of Jesus. There must be obedience, or doing the will of God from the heart. In a word, the best preparation for death, is constantly looking to Jesus. Looking off from everything else, and looking to Jesus for all that we need, for soul and body, for life and death, for time and eternity.
Reader, you must die — are you ready? You must die soon, and you may die suddenly — if you did, how would it be with you? Heaven or Hell follows death — to which would it introduce you? If you were called to die today — would you die in peace? Have you peace with God? Have you peace of conscience? Are you at peace with all mankind? How important it is, to be in that state at present, which we wish to be in, when we come to die.
Do you live now — as you will wish you had when you come on your dying pillow?
This is one of the lessons taught to us. May we learn it, and reduce it to practice. May we commence every day, as if it would probably be our last; and may we lay down to rest at night, as if it was probable, that we might never awake again in this world.
Gracious Lord, as we know that you will bring us unto death — O bring us to Christ first! Let us be washed in his blood, clothed in his righteousness, and so be saved from wrath through him!
Blessed Jesus, you are the resurrection and the life, put forth your resurrection power in us, raising us from a death in sin, unto a life of righteousness, that we may reign in life by you!
Holy Spirit, you are the Great Sanctifier of God's elect, sanctify us, and prepare us to meet death with joy, to overcome death, and to pass through its perils singing praises unto God!