Psa 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
I and several family members witnessed the final hours of my mother-in-law, Grace Opificius, on Tuesday, June 24, 2019, when she drew her last breath at 12:30 am. She is now at home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8).
In Bible language, “saints” include every even very ordinary believers, so my mother-in-law is most definitely included in that category. There may be some faiths where a funeral is a very sad, even frightening, occasion. But for those who truly have been saved, while we may experience sorrow here, it is most certainly a time of rejoicing for any departed saint to be welcomed into heaven.
Known in our home affectionately as Grandma Grace, she was delighted to engage in Real Bible Study. For the first five years of the posts on this site, I often had her read my post before I hit the key to make it live on the Internet. I had her check what I wrote for clarity and suitability.
We studied the Bible together as a family. We did more than just read the Bible. We studied the Bible using the cross-reference Bible study method. We worked our way through a set of cross references by reading each reference in turn, round robin style.
We spent much time studying Bible prophecy. I read aloud from George N. H. Peters, The Theocratic Kingdom, and read through most of the three volumes twice.
We also studied Bible doctrines. We were especially interested in what the Bible actually teaches about the mode of Christian baptism. I read aloud to the family not only the relevant passages in the Bible, but also some older printed books on the subject.
I enjoyed taking Grandma Grace to Bible studies with members of my adult Sunday school class.
I also took her each month to get her food allotment. We had good fellowship during the ride to and from where she needed to go.
Grandma Grace served at a local elementary school as a “foster grandparent.” She helped students with their work, as needed. One boy was especially needy, and during a parent-teacher conference, Grandma Grace mentioned to the boy’s grandmother that her son-in-law had written a reading program that might help him. The grandmother bought a copy, and the boy did much better the rest of the way through school. Now my reading program is available on Amazon. Just search for the title, The Language Enrichment Program.
Some years before that, Grandma Grace drove me around. She took my wife and I to the hospital each time a son was born. When I was shot in the school parking lot in Detroit, she drove my wife and two young sons to come get me and take me home from the hospital.
I think I have been closer to my mother-in-law, Grandma Grace, than I was to my own mother! We will dearly miss her, but we know she is in a better place now.
For those who read here and have the time and inclination, I provide below the cross references for Psalm 116:15 from the Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury:
Precious. Note: That is, the Lord accounts the death of His saints of so much importance, that he will not suffer their enemies cut them off before His appointed time; all the circumstances of their death being regulated by infinite wisdom and love for their final and eternal benefit. William Kay notes: “Precious;”—not lightly permitted:—and, when permitted, prized by Him as the final act of self-surrender, in which their souls are made partakers of Christ’s atonement,—sprinkled at their exodus with the blood of the Paschal Lamb. “The Apostolical Constitutions recommend this (among other passages from the Psalms) for use at the funerals of the faithful. In the Decian persecution, Babylas, Bishop of Antioch, sang these words cheerfully on his way to martyrdom” (Delitszch). Psa 9:12; Psa 31:15; *Psa 37:32; *Psa 37:33; Psa 49:7-8; *Psa 72:14; Psa 126:5, 6; Psa 139:17, 1Sa 3:1; *1Sa 25:29; 1Sa 26:21, 2Ki 1:14, *Job 5:26, Pro 20:15, Isa 28:16, Hos 11:4, Mat 26:7, *Luk 16:22, *Rev 1:18; **Rev 14:13.
the death. Gen 4:10, Num 23:10, +**1Co 15:55.
of his saints. or, separated ones (CB). Psa 4:3; Psa 16:3; Psa 31:23; Psa 37:28, 1Sa 18:30, 2Ki 20:6, Isa 38:5, Act 12:17, Eph 3:18.