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.