It is “appointed unto man once to die” (Heb. 9:27), we should wisely and soberly approach death with planning and not shunning. As I think about the time that I must die, I think of the words of Balaam in Num. 23:10, “Let me die the death of the righteous.”
Let me die the death of the righteous that my family may be strengthened by my example. A righteous man’s legacy enriches lives to greater duty. There is no regret about “what might have been.” Comfort lies in the knowledge that faithful Christians are rewarded in heaven. The wise man of long ago said, “A good name is better than precious ointment” (Eccl. 7:1-4). Ointments were costly in his day. They were counted among the riches of the day. Riches cannot buy a good name, but it will live forever. A good name left to our heirs is better than all the earth’s silver and gold.
Let me die the death of the righteous that my friends might have hope by seeing Christianity lived before their eyes. Let me be faithful in living the Christian life. Let me show compassion toward people by caring and ministering unto them. Truly it is more blessed to give than receive.
Let me die the death of the righteous that I might have confidence at death. “Perfect love casts out fear” (1 Jn. 4:18). How sorrowful to come to life’s end not prepared for judgment. What a terrible thought to know the soul is lost forever. What a rejoicing to know the hope of the Christian-a hope both sure and steadfast, a peace that passes all understanding.
Let me die the death of the righteous that some soul might be led to Christ. The good that men do lives after them. Abel “being dead yet speaks” (Heb. 11:14). “Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write:’Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Yes,” says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them” (Rev 14:13) Sermons preached, lessons written, and words spoken live on in the hearts of men. Memories and examples of lives already lived sometime motivate men to faithfulness.
In order to die the death of the righteous, we must verily live the life of the righteous. We must have obeyed the gospel of Christ (1 Cor 15:1-4 ff; Rom 10:9,10; Acts 2:38). We must have worshiped God in spirit and in truth (Jn 4:23,24). We must have continued in the apostle’s doctrine (2 Jn 9). We must have been tried and over come (2 Tim 3:12 f; Jam 1:12). Then and only then shall we receive a crown of life (Rev 2:10).
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Psa. 116:15). And so I pray, “Lord when I die, let me die the death of the righteous.”