What is precious to you? Have you ever called your grandchild, “precious”? Your spouse? Are there things that you hold precious?
I checked the definition of the word “precious’ in the dictionary on my phone and these are some of the renderings: 1) of high price or great value; very valuable or costly; 2) highly esteemed for some spiritual, nonmaterial, or moral quality; 3) dear; beloved; 4) affectedly or excessively delicate, refined, or nice.
What is considered to be precious is different by different people. Here are two quotes of what some thought as the most precious thing in life.
The most precious things in life are not those you get for money. – Albert Einstein
The Bible is to me the most precious thing in the world, because it tells me his story; and what good men thought about him who knew him and accepted him. – George McDonald
Peter used the word “precious” in reference to Jesus on several occasions in his letters. In I Peter 1:18-19, he writes, “You know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed….but with the precious blood of Christ”. In II Peter 1:4 he writes that Jesus “has given us his great and precious promises.”
Precious appears in Scripture more than seventy times, always referring to things of value. An even deeper meaning is attached to “precious” in Psalm 116:15. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints”.
In this case, precious doesn’t mean desirable- but it does mean valuable. God doesn’t desire for His people to die, especially so in difficult circumstances as suggested in Psalm 116, Instead, the death of God’s people is safeguarded, watched over, protected and secured. Much as we safeguard something highly valuable, so God safeguards His people when they die. As Jesus protected His disciples in life, so God protects them in death.
We Christians should never fear death. The love of God that guards us, blesses us, and keeps us in this life will continue as we pass from this temporal world to eternal life with Christ. And our passing into His eternal presence is precious to Him.
So, when we lose in death a godly parent, a born-again friend, or a godly spouse, we can have comfort in knowing that while ii is a very unpleasant thing to us, it is a precious thing to God as he welcomes them into His heavenly kingdom.