A God-fearing Father (II)

This series of blogs shares my remembrances of the life and death of my father, John Beeke (d. 1993).

On Wednesday, three days after my father died, we needed fresh strength to conduct the funeral. Early that morning our dear mother was given grace to surrender our father into the Lord’s hands. How strengthening it was to hear her say on a good foundation just before my ascending the pulpit, “I can no longer wish him back!” The funeral message was based on Revelation 7:15, “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.” Our major theme was “The Redeemed before the Throne of God.” We considered three thoughts: (1) who are before the throne of God—they who had come out of great tribulation, especially soul tribulation (Rev. 7:14); (2) why they are before the throne of God—”therefore,” that is, because out of sovereign grace their robes are washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb (v. 14); (3) what they experience before the throne of God—the Lamb in the midst of the throne and an eternal serving of Him in the heavenly temple (v. 15b; also vv. 16–17).

At the graveside, my two brothers led the committal service. Elder James Beeke (from Chilliwack) spoke on Psalm 103:13, “Like as a father pitieth His children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear Him.” Elder John R. Beeke (from St. Catharines) spoke some concluding words, thanked the friends for their support, and closed with prayer. The Lord gave help in the midst of sorrow.

As far as our dear father himself is concerned, he could not have asked for a better death. He died, as an elder said to me, “while in harness,” yes, while engaged in doing what was the love of his heart and his very life—the Lord’s cause and service. As a brother deacon in Kalamazoo said, “In his last prayer on earth he asked for a crumb, and received a crown.” He is above all strife.

Comments

  1. John Van Voorhis

    “I can no longer wish him back!” What a glorious awareness, but one I’m afraid is not fully appreciated by so many, even professing Christians. In the first few weeks after my wife’s homegoing, I would awaken in the morning and start to speak to her. Then I would quickly say, “But oh! She is not here. She is with you, dear Lord, and infinitely happy for eternity!” And so, I too could no longer wish her back. She found pain hard to endure, and thankfully, God had kept her from intense pain from her cancer until the last few days. But now, I knew, she never would know pain, or even annoyance, frustration, or even a shade of grief, again. I look forward to joining her there.

  2. Mike Mathis

    You were certainly blessed brother. Both of your parents knew the God of the Covenant. Only one of mine does. When my father died I had to leave his soul in the hands of God because he had certainly not led a Godly life at all. Unless he had close dealings with God on his deathbed then my dad passed into a Christless eternity. I’m thankful that you don’t have to bear that burden.