January 23, 2020

Preparing to Die

Written by Tripp Prince

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 23, 2020

David said, “My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the Lord should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations. Therefore I will make preparations for it.” So David made extensive preparations before his death. 1 Chronicles 22:5

Does the thought of your own death motivate you to act or does it paralyze you with fear? Though no one likes to think about the reality of death, our failure to do so can actually be a missed opportunity for intentional Christian living. Put another way, death invites us to live each day with purpose and intentionality. It helps us to realize we cannot build forever, cannot go on indefinitely, and are not the masters of our own destiny. 

David had a vision that would outlive him. He had spent his life, flawed as he surely was, devoted to the building up of God’s Kingdom and the right worship that the Lord surely deserves. This vision included a great and splendid temple, a “house to be built for the Lord.” And yet, the Lord was clear that it would not be David’s project to see through. This story reminds me of an ancient Greek proverb: “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never enjoy.”    

Will your greatest achievements and visions die with you? Does your own denial of death mean you fail to plan for the future? One of David’s wisest and greatest achievements is one that he never actually completed himself. As the end of 1 Chronicles 22:5 notes, “David made extensive preparations before his death.”

There are practical preparations for death that are wise to make. Updating (or creating) a will, planning your funeral service, and organizing your finances and debts, to name but a few. However, our temporal concerns can blind us to the spiritual significance and opportunities of our final days. 

God gives his children gifts that are meant to be used until their dying day. No matter where you find yourself today, young or old, in perfect health of suffering from severe illness, your story has a future because your story is found in the never-ending story of God. With David as our example, let us invest in the life of God’s Kingdom, offering all we have in the days we have, and inviting those who come along behind us to pick up where we leave off.


Father, thank you that you are near to us in life and death, and wherever we find ourselves, you invite us to live every day with intentionality and purpose. Amen. 


What would it look like for you to make “extensive preparations” before your death?

Related Reading

Psalm 107:13-14; Matthew 4:16; Romans 6:5

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A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never enjoy. #WisdomHunters #death #truth #Jesus

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5 minute video – Enfield Hymns: 


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