I have been to some interesting funerals. I have been to funerals that were mere celebrations and memories of a treasured life. They were not celebrations because people were happy to see the person gone, but because as the attendees reflected on the life of the person, they realized just how blessed they were to have been touched by the deceased. They also had great confidence that the deceased was now in the presence of the Lord because the life and the testimony the deceased reflected true fruit of salvation.
Then there have been those other funerals. It seems that when a person dies, suddenly he or she becomes a great saintly hero no matter how terrible of a life they lived. I have been to funerals of people who were selfish, cruel, and wicked throughout life. People at those funerals behaved strangely. Instead of admitting the obvious, these people reach way back in the recesses of their memories to find some sweet or kind thought about the deceased. Sometimes they even lied. The kind sentiments said at these funerals is often the product of compassion for family members of the deceased.
Joshua 1:1 “Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying,”
Joshua was writing, and he remembered Moses after Moses died. He called Moses “the servant of the LORD.” What a wonderful thing for someone to say about another person! Was Joshua lying, though? Was he just being kind or compassionate?
Joshua 1:2 “ Moses my servant is dead…”
God, who never lies, said the same thing about Moses. He called him “my servant.” It is one thing to have people say something kind about you. It is even greater to have the Lord say something good about you.
There is one thing about what Joshua and God said about Moses that will be true about all of us one day.
Joshua: “… after the death of Moses…”
God: “Moses… is dead.”
One day, that will be said of us all. We will die. That is something we cannot avoid. The part that can be changed is what is said about us after death.
“Mom, my faithful friend, is dead”
“My wife, and dearest companion, is dead.”
“My co-worker, my greatest encourager, is dead.”
“My fellow church member, my dependable leader, teacher and example, is dead.”
When I die I want people to be able to be honest about me. I hope they can say good things about me when I am gone. I hope thoughts of me will bring them joy. I hope words like, faithful, honest, loving, and Godly flow off their lips from a clear conscience. Through Christ and His power, I can be those things.
More than the kind words of people, I hope that when my life is finished, my God will be able to say something good about me. The thought of these words motivate me greatly.
“Well done thou good and faithful servant…”