GENESIS 37:35 - Berean Lamp Memory Verse - (Mar 13-20)

Posted by Nathan Warner on

The Berean Lamp Memory Verse for this week is:

Then all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. And he said, ‘Surely I will go down to Sheol in mourning for my son’” (Genesis 37:35).

Death is oppressive. We weren’t created to experience death, nor the loss of loved ones. We were made for Eden, to live with God, where there was no death. And so we know in our spirits that death is unnatural and wrong. Yet, it was because of our rebellion against God in Eden that all living things came under the power of death. Death comes in many ways and at many times, and the trauma of death strikes deeply into our spirit, because it is deviant - it is an injustice to life. Yet, it is an injustice we forged for ourselves by our desire to go our own way in Eden. Even with death's unnatural twist in our fabric, there is still a general "order" that has become "normal" to us. People are born, grow old, and eventually die. We try to prepare ourselves for this, and we have become accustomed to this cycle happening around us (even as we are told it will happen to us one day). Yet, when we face the death of a loved one, we know in our hearts it is not right - nothing about it is "normal" or natural. And in confronting the unnatural nature of death, nothing seems more wrong than the loss of a child. The anguish and trauma is intense. Even in the "normal" way of the fallen life, it is not normal for children to die before their parents. Yet, sometimes they do. Jacob could not be comforted in his anguish when he thought his son Joseph was dead, and he felt he would die of the sorrow to go and be with his son. All the great men and women of the Bible grieved and mourned in anguish and sorrow over the deaths of loved ones.

When our parents die, we grieve because we can no longer share our lives with them, we no longer can take comfort in their presence or rely on them the way that we did. We feel the loss keenly. When we suffer the loss of a child, we are embittered that we will not be able to comfort and encourage them, we cannot take joy in their accomplishments or see them fulfill their dreams. We can no longer show them how much they are loved and how much they meant to us - how more precious than all the riches of the world they were to us - and how we would gladly give our own lives in exchange for them! Our lives are poisoned by the reality that that our children will not experience the good life God gives, nor will they have families of their own. The injustice of all death is terrifying, but we sense the loss of a child's life as the most unjust of all.

The devil is not oblivious to death's traumatic and unnatural effect on us, for he assisted the first suicide, that of Adam and Eve, and inspired the first homicide, that of Abel. Satan uses death to terrify and oppress us. He used the death of Job's children to torment the man of God - all in a singular effort to push Job to curse God to His face. Satan uses death to accuse God to us, because in our heart of hearts, we know death is wrong and we know God can undo it, if He wants. So when He doesn't prevent it, we are tempted in our emotional horror to accuse Him of allowing this unnatural evil to exist. And therein lies the truth, for mankind brought death on itself and man bears the guilt for its existence, even while God in His mercy has already de-fanged the power of death and will soon put death to death, ending it once and for all at the appropriate time.

For the Believer, this life is a dim and shadowed forward to the Book of Life, in which we will live together forever through Christ after this life. This is why Paul tells us that we should “not grieve as do the rest who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14). Why? Because Jesus has conquered the power of death, which is to forever separate us from God, each other, and life through our sin. Paul said we should grieve with hope, even though he knew he would still physically die one day, just as we still die physically. But unlike those who have no hope, we go to be with the Lord until the appointed time when we are resurrected into new bodies not subject to death. It is because Jesus conquered the power of death that Christians do not mourn as others mourn, without hope. For we have the promise that we will see our loved ones again and that they will live with us and we will be with them for all eternity where there will be no more parting or tears.

Yet, this still does not remove the pain and anguish that we feel with the unnatural injustice of death. We are told to mourn and grieve with those who grieve in this life. Death is heartbreaking.

May we grieve over death, may we mourn in hope - for while it pains us to be parted from loved ones in this life, we will be with them sooner than we expect. We will never be parted again and death will not shadow our hearts. May we take comfort in the truth that death does not have the final say on our loved ones and that they are safely with the Lord, even while we grieve their absence in our lives. Everyone we have lost is in God's hands - may we trust His hands. Even so, Amen.

 

Other verses to consider:

DEATH - A RESULT OF MAN'S REBELLION

“But from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die’” (Genesis 3:3).

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).

“Man, who is born of woman, is short-lived and full of turmoil. Like a flower he comes forth and withers. He also flees like a shadow and does not remain. You also open Your eyes on him and bring him into judgment with Yourself. Who can make the clean out of the unclean? No one! Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with You; and his limits You have set so that he cannot pass” (Job 14:1-5).

“What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah” (Psalm 89:48).

GOD DOES NOT DESIRE DEATH

“‘For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,’ declares the Lord God. ‘Therefore, repent and live’” (Ezekiel 18:32).

“Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His godly ones” (Psalm 116:15).

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).

THE TRAUMA AND OPPRESSION OF DEATH AND LOSS

“So Nathan went to his house. Then the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s widow bore to David, so that he was very sick. David therefore inquired of God for the child; and David fasted and went and lay all night on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him in order to raise him up from the ground, but he was unwilling and would not eat food with them. Then it happened on the seventh day that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, ‘Behold, while the child was still alive, we spoke to him and he did not listen to our voice. How then can we tell him that the child is dead, since he might do himself harm!’ But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead; so David said to his servants, ‘Is the child dead?’ And they said, ‘He is dead.’ So David arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he came into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he came to his own house, and when he requested, they set food before him and he ate. Then his servants said to him, ‘What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.’ He said, ‘While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, “Who knows, the Lord may be gracious to me, that the child may live.” But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me’” (2 Samuel 12:5-23).

“But Jacob said, ‘My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he alone is left. If harm should befall him on the journey you are taking, then you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow’” (Genesis 42:38).

“Now as for me, when I came from Paddan, Rachel died, to my sorrow, in the land of Canaan on the journey, when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).” (Genesis 48:7)

“When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they lamented there with a very great and sorrowful lamentation; and he observed seven days mourning for his father” (Genesis 50:10).

“The king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And thus he said as he walked, ‘O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!’” (2 Samuel 18:33).

“Then he examined it and said, ‘It is my son’s tunic. A wild beast has devoured him; Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!’ So Jacob tore his clothes, and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days. Then all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. And he said, ‘Surely I will go down to Sheol in mourning for my son’” (Genesis 37:33-35).

“Then all his brothers and all his sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversities that the Lord had brought on him. And each one gave him one piece of money, and each a ring of gold” (Job 42:11).

“Thus says the Lord, ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; She refuses to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more’” (Jeremiah 31:15).

“Sarah died in Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan; and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her” (Genesis 23:2).

“Thus says the Lord, ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; She refuses to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more’” (Jeremiah 31:15).

“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14).

“I go about mourning without comfort; I stand up in the assembly and cry out for help” (Job 30:28).

“I will say to God my rock, ‘Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?’” (Psalm 42:9)

“Though I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my sad countenance and be cheerful,’ I am afraid of all my pains, I know that You will not acquit me” (Job 9:27-28).

“A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken” (Proverbs 15:13).

GOD ANSWERS US

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified” (Isaiah 61:1-3).

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).


JESUS CONQUERED THE POWER OF DEATH

“Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives” (Hebrews 2:14-15).

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (John 5:54).

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14).

“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39).

“For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’” (1 Corinthians 15:53-55)

“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:8-10).

GOD WILL DO AWAY WITH DEATH SOON

“He will swallow up death for all time, And the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken” (Isaiah 25:8).

“For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death” (1 Corinthians 15:25-26).

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.’ And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true’” (Revelation 21:3-5).

Tags: anguish, death, devil, eden, god, hope, jesus, jesús, loss, mourn, mourning, oppression, pain, rebellion, satan, sin, suffering

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