In Psalm 116:15 we read, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." The psalmist is not intending to say in this passage that God likes it when His people die. Rather, the death of His saints is something that God does not allow easily. He is reluctant to see His people die because death is an enemy.
I think about that when I read of my brothers and sisters being martyred in various parts of the world. Recently three Christians were brutally tortured and killed in southeastern Turkey because of their ministry of publishing and distributing Bibles and other Christian literature. Those who killed them said that they did so to protect Islam from the spread of Christianity. Two of those who died left behind wives and children. The third had only been a Christian for two years. We do not know why God allowed these dear saints to die for their faith, but we do know that their deaths were not in vain or something that God easily allowed.
On March 26, evangelist Taddese Tefera Akufo was beaten to death by militant Muslims in Jimma, Ethiopia. He and two female coworkers were evangelizing on Merkato Street when a mob of Muslims emerged from a mosque. The two women were able to flee but the militants dragged Taddese inside the building and beat him to death. The killing was apparently a direct attack against a local evangelism campaign. In an attempt to shift the blame, local Muslims have opened a case against Christians that falsely accuses them of entering mosques in order to forcibly convert Muslims. As I think of this precious life given in the service of the Lord, I wonder why the Lord would allow it to be cut short in this way. And yet I know that "precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." And so I am called to trust Him in the midst of unanswered questions.
On March 21, Christianah Oluwatoyin Olusase, a Christian teacher at Government Day Secondary School in Gombe, Nigeria state was brutally murdered by a group of Muslim girl students. On the evening of March 26, two sisters, Margaret and Fadhila Naoum, were repeatedly stabbed and strangled to death in their home in Kirkuk, Iraq. Two Christians in Jijiga, Ethiopia were killed in late April when Muslims threw a bomb at a funeral procession. The list goes on and on....
"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."
These words are a comfort to God's people in their times of sorrow and grieving. And we are grateful that because of the financial support of many Christians here in Canada that we are able to stand with the families of those who mourn and provide comfort by letting them know that they and their loved ones have not been forgotten by their brothers and sisters.