Precious in the sight of the Lord
Call to worship
There is no one like the God of Israel, who rides on the heavens to help you and on the clouds in his majesty.
The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. (Deuteronomy 33:26-27)
Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:8) Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. (2 Timothy 1:2)
Hymn No 584: “The Lord’s my Shepherd”
Eulogy: Leon Kippin
Scripture Reading: 1Thess 4:13-18
Scripture Reading: Psalm 116
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” (Psalm 116:15)
We are not sure who wrote this Psalm. The language and expressions used in the Psalm lead us to believe it was king David.
God called David to be king over Israel. This shepherd-king did not have a life without trails and tribulations. Christians are not exempt from trial and tribulations. It comes our way. It is by faith in God that makes us look at it and acknowledge them as coming from God Who refines us and purifies and cleanse us through trail and tribulation.
David experienced the vicious attacks from within his own people. For the better part of his life he was a refugee under king Saul. He was almost speared twice. Saul sent his whole army after him. He lived in caves and had to flee to a neighbouring country. After he had become king, his own son, Absolom led a revolt against him and he was almost killed.
But through all this, he knew the presence of the God who called and saved him. He was sure and assured his was God’s servant. “Truly I am your servant. You freed me from the chains.”
And as he faced death more than once, he realises that God watches very carefully over him. God cared for him in the hours he entered into the valley of death. God was there, all the way. God did not forsake him in the most dreadful hours of his life. He realised that, not only his life, but also his death is precious to God.
Alma: a woman of faith. A woman who walked with God. Her faith was not secret to anyone here today. Her cheerful nature and friendly smile was a reflection of her living faith in the Lord. How dearly will we miss her and the time, talents, and efforts put into this church. And not only into this church, but into her family and friends.
But there were the last days. The days when she, better than anyone of us, knew she faced death. Even in those days, Alma kept smiling, her life was an example of courage and faith in the Lord. And she was not afraid of what lied ahead of her. “I am not afraid to die.” “I am going to be with God” “I know the Lord Jesus Christ, and I know the promises of his Word. I am ready to go.” She realised: Precious is in the eyes of the Lord the death of his saints.
This saint has gone to be with her God. He carried her through all her life, but especially through the last days when she could through the clouds of pain see a caring God who carried, protected and watched over her.
We will miss her. But we thank God for her life. May His name be praised. AMEN.