Seek him that makes the seven stars and Orion, and turns the shadow of death into the morning, and makes the day dark with night…
In the last days of a good man's life the fear of death is usually destroyed. I am not about to assert that death has no solemnity, nor would I in any way lessen your sense of its importance. But many of our common conceptions concerning death are false and unreal. We have mistaken figures of speech for facts represented by them. Of death as a physical evil little need be said. Not seldom it appears sadly painful. Death is viewed as essentially evil, because it is assumed to be the direct result of sin. It is a penal infliction — the shame and curse of life, the outcome of our guilty rebellion. Thinking thus concerning it, many Christians are as much in fear of death as the heathen. But this theory cannot be true. It is contrary to the laws of reason and the conclusions of science, and it is opposed to the very spirit of our religion. Scripture, rightly interpreted, gives it no support. Death, instead of beings retribution, is a relenting; instead of a curse, a blessing. Whatever of death Adam by his wrong-doing introduced, Christ by His work has thrust out. The physical change called death is not the result of sin. Instead of being a dread shadow hanging over life, it is a beneficent arrangement in the constitution of nature by the infinite mercy of God. It is recorded that, among the half pagan legends which floated about Ireland during the Middle Ages, there was one in which two islands were mentioned, and named respectively Life and Death. Upon the one its inhabitants could never die. Yet all the ills of human life came to its people. At length these did their work. The cruel immortality became a curse which consumed the joy and love of life, and the people learned to regard the opposite island as a haven of repose. Then soon, with all eagerness, their launched their boats upon the gloomy waters of the lake; they reached the isle of death, leaped upon its shore, and were at rest. Death is a change from a known to an unknown state of existence. It is simply one of those changes ordained in the constitution of things through which we must pass. The eternal life is ours now, and in this world. We are within the sweep of the eternal. There is no break in the continuity of a life. Present and future are but sections of the one immortal state. This earth-side is but a small part of life. From the lower to the higher is the law of growth. Life and progress never cease. Death will check neither. Is there not sublimity in the thought that death will but free the spirit from the clogs of flesh, and usher it into a world that gives play to all its powers? Then the death of the body is nothing to be feared. It is but the laying down present powers to take up others. By it the soul becomes conscious of its relations with a new world and a new order of beings. To every Christian heart this happy revelation should come with regenerating power. He alone need fear death who is abusing life. What we are now determines what we shall be then.
Parallel VersesKJV: Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:
WEB: seek him who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns the shadow of death into the morning, and makes the day dark with night; who calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out on the surface of the earth, Yahweh is his name,