The great robber of our loves and joys

(Horatius Bonar, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ")

"No one can live forever; all will die. No one can
 escape the power of the grave." Psalm 89:48

We cannot but hate DEATH, even when we have
ceased to fear it, and know that for us its sting
has been extracted. We hate it, and thrust it from
us. We loath its advances, and wage daily war with
it. We seek by every contrivance of skill to overcome
it and ward off its stroke. We hate it because of its
darkness, and its coldness, and its silence. We hate
it as the great robber of our loves and joys--who
gives nothing, but takes everything!

Death cuts so many ties.

Death rends so many hearts.

Death silences so many voices.

Death thins so many firesides.

Death comes with its dark veil, its screen of ice . . .
  between friend and friend,
  between soul and soul,
  between parent and child,
  between husband and wife,
  between sister and brother.

Of human sympathies, death has none.

Death concerns not itself about our joys or sorrows.

Death spares no dear one, and restores no lost one.

Death is pitiless and silent.

Death is as powerful as it is inexorable.

Death strikes down the weak, and wrestles with
the strong until they succumb and fall.

Death is, in God's eyes, even more than in ours . . .
  an enemy,
  a destroyer,
  a demon,
  a criminal,
  a robber!

For six thousand years death has been . . .
  the fulfiller of God's purposes,
  His rod for the chastisement of His saints,
  His scourge for clearing earth of His enemies
--yet He hates it! And as soon as His ends with
it are accomplished, He will show His displeasure
against it by casting it into the lake of fire!

"And death and the grave were thrown into the
 lake of fire!" Revelation 20:14

We look beyond the tomb and see the glory! Our eye
rests not upon corruption, but upon incorruption! We
shall arise! The reign of death is hastening to a close,
the reign of life about to commence its eternal gladness!
Our true life is coming! The conqueror is on His way!
He will redeem His own people from the power of the
grave, and swallow up death in victory!

"Behold, I am coming soon!" He cries.

We respond, "Amen! Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"

"But as for me, God will redeem my life. He will
 snatch me from the power of death!" Psalm 49:15

The eye shall not be dim, and the ear shall not be dull,
and the brow shall not wrinkle, nor the hair be gray, nor
the limbs totter, nor the memory fail. There shall be no
more curse, nor death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain;
for the former things have passed away! The Lamb who
is in the midst of the throne shall lead us to the living
fountains of waters, and God Himself shall wipe away
all tears from our eyes!