Making the Most of our Funerals

The Bible tells us that Solomon, the King of Israel and the son of David, was the wisest man who lived during the years when the Old Testament was written. Here are a few words attributed to him.

A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth. It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart. Ecclesiastes 7:1-2

It’s easy to understand the first line of these verses. Everyone would agree that a good name is a desirable attribute.

It gets a little more difficult when Solomon says that a funeral is better than the birth of a newborn… and a festive party.

Statements like this make no sense. Well, unless we’re willing to stop our involvement in the rat race of life for a moment and do what he did.

Surely Solomon appreciated the miracle of childbirth, and he would have known full well that happiness could be found when friends threw a party. These were good things, so how did he come to this conclusion?

With much wisdom, Solomon allowed funerals to be an opportunity. Even though he understood every death brings pain, suffering, loss, and hurt, he also found it brought opportunity to remember… to reflect… to realize.

It was an opportunity to remember the one who had passed from this life. It was an opportunity to remember their contributions to the lives of others. It was an opportunity to remember how much they will be missed.

It was an opportunity to reflect on the fact that life is short. Even if we’re given what is considered a long life, it is still a vapor. He too could expect a funeral in his future, and there was no guarantee it would not come today.

Most importantly, it was an opportunity for him to realize that a life without God was utterly meaningless. God gives us funerals to make us think about Him.

In these verses, Solomon is encouraging, “Don’t waste the opportunities that come with funerals. We don’t know all the things that we need to know, so thank God that He gives us funerals to slow down our pace of life and cause us to remember, reflect, and realize that the Creator of this world wants our attention. He wants us to know Him!”

He so greatly wants us to know Him, that He sent His Son to die on a cross and redeem us from our sin.

Because of the painful trials of suffering and death, Solomon came to the most important conclusion that all need to know.

Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. Ecclesiastes 12:13

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About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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7 Responses to Making the Most of our Funerals

  1. 4hispraise says:

    Pain is the mother of strength for all of us. Thank you for dealing with the subject so honestly.

  2. Joyce de vivre says:

    Isn’t it amazing that we are alive today, and we can reflect on how many friends or relatives that we still have to tell about Christ? :) A life lived for God, is a death of victory! God bless!

  3. I have had quite a few of my extended family members die in the past few years, and their deaths have brought about closure, healing, salvation, restoration peace, love and even joy. Funerals are such a wonderful way to bring people together, to think about our eternity, and to dwell upon our loving Creator who wants us to dwell in His presence forevermore. I always find it amazing how the Holy Spirit works on people’s hearts during funerals. Let us pray we do not waste opportunities to share the Good News during this time!

  4. granbee says:

    “God gives us funerals to make us think about Him” Indeed, how many of us have witnessed family members coming to Christ through living through the suffering and death of a loved one who was living and dying in a state of Grace?

  5. I used to hate going to funerals, but my uncle did a sermon on this and made me look at them in an entirely new way – much the same as this article. Thanks, MT.

  6. ptl2010 says:

    What will be the point of your life between birth and death? Vanities of vanities or For me to live is Christ?

  7. Pingback: Making the Most of our Funerals | Resting in His Grace

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