Translations: Chinese GB Big5

Rest in Peace

Isaiah 57:1,2
The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.

Comment

Why did so-and-so die? Why did God take them away? This is a question which the grieving often ask concerning the death of loved ones. While this passage doesn't answer that question comprehensively it does give us some insight concerning the death of righteous people. And notice that he speaks categorically of the "righteous". There indeed people who are righteous. And I don't mean simply "positionally" righteous, but rather those who actually "walk uprightly". They live upright and godly lives.

Now it seems at least under the circumstances of the time if one would simply ponder the question taking it to heart one would infer that they died to be taken away from the evil to come.  Much as God may appear callous concerning the death of his righteous ones in that they might be taken away at an early age or otherwise before one would expect, or at the hands of evil men, yet "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." Ps 116:15 The righteous can look forward to rest and peace and thus death has little sting associated with it. "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" 1Cor 15:55 Death is even preferable as Paul says, "We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord."2Cor 5:8 Indeed "The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." John 12:25

In contrast to this the unrighteous are "held in slavery by their fear of death." Heb 2:15 And even if they don't fear death, they should. For on the other side of death there awaits them no rest or peace. Such was the case of the rich man of Luke 16 who ended up "in hell, where he was in torment." Luke 16:23 "There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked." Isa 57:21


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