I had a discussion last week with several people. It began by an innocent comment involving the timing of a person's death. Now, I don't mean to step on anyone's toes at all. That is not my intention. The woman who made the surprising comment is a godly woman who I admire greatly and respect her even more. It had never dawned on me that she held this particular viewpoint. What is it you ask?!
The comment which had been made was, "Well, if our son were to die over in Iraq then I know that he would have died that same moment here at home. The Lord would have just used a different medium to accomplish His desired will." My friend then responded, "Well, God knows when you are going to die but I don't believe He has planned it. Since He knows the beginning from the end He knows when you are going to die."
I asked her if she had any Biblical support to back up her reasoning. She never really shared any, other than she did mention Hezekiah asking the Lord for 15 more years at the time of his near death. Of course, I had intended to use Hezekiah for one of my sources. :) (2 Kings 20:5-6)
I thought for a minute as other people were throwing out questions. Then I shared, "It seems to me that God Who, according to Acts, has "determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live," [Acts 17:26 NIV] would be in control of the times people die. Furthermore, I do believe that in Psalm 139: 16 it states very clearly, "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." I went on and shared that God is so precise to know the number of the hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30) why wouldn't he also determine the day of your death?
The more I thought about it the more convinced I became. After all, God is not a god of confusion. Why would He be so careful about where you live, how many hairs He places on your head but not care about the detail of your death? Finally I thought, "God planned His own Son's birth thousands of years before He was ever born and prophesied when that would be. He also planned His exact hour of death. If God planned His birth and death why wouldn't He plan our births and deaths? Ours just aren't prophesied like Jesus' was."
I guess the above is why I believe that it isn't cancer that kills someone, nor is it a car crash, or war or any other act that is so often associated with death. When a person dies it is their appointment with God. God may have used the car crash, or the cancer or the "whatever" to accomplish His divine will, but He alone is the one who calls us before Him.
That for me, brings such comfort. However, I can understand why some people may not be so comforted with these thoughts. Hebrews 9:27 makes it very clear that it "is appointed to man to die once and then comes judgment..." My friend, if you are one who has not trusted Christ for your future won't you please do it now?