Isaiah 57:1 - Premature Death A Blessing?

Isa. 57:1; Premature Death A Blessing?

Isa 57:1 (KJV)  The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to
heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the
righteous is taken away from the evil to come.

Isa 57:1 (NLT)  The righteous pass away; the godly often die
before their time. And no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems
to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come.

Isa 57:1 (CWB)  Good people die and no one considers why.
Devout men are taken away and no one understands.  But the Lord takes
them away to spare them from evil.

Isaiah takes comfort in the thought that in times such as those
described in this chapter the death of the righteous delivers them from
greater evils that would befall them were they to live on. [SDA

Why do righteous people sometimes pass from the scene when they
are most needed in society? Isaiah's insight into this question is:
The righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk
uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death. [Victor
Teacher's Commentary]

These two verses give us an important perspective on life and
death. In general the Bible views death as an enemy, and sees long life
as a blessing and gift from God. Yet death holds no terror for the
believer. In fact, there are times when life itself is a greater burden.
Here Isaiah observed that the premature death of a righteous man may
well be a loving gift given by the LORD. What a powerful pair of
verses to recall or to share when someone we know dies young. What
assurance, here in the Old Testament, that upon dying those who walk
uprightly "enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death." [The
365-Day Devotional Commentary]

The pious are often removed in order that they may not be
exposed to evils which they would experience should they live. (Barnes'

A new dimension is added to the understanding of death. It can
be a deliverance from catastrophe and suffering, rather than merely
a punishment for sin. God can use death to spare His righteous
people worse horrors. [Disciple SB]

God takes good people away from this evil world for one
important reason. They can then be safe from the impure things that
constantly threaten to contaminate them. Godly people find ultimate
security only when they leave their present habitation to be with their
Creator. [Disciple SB]

Once upon a time a Man of God and a traveler took a journey
together. About sundown the first day the Man of God led the traveler to a
modest home and knocked on the door. A kind man invited them in and
treated them like royalty. After a very pleasant evening together the
host showed them a goblet made of pure gold. "This cup means very
much to me because my neighbor, who has been an enemy, gave it to me
as a token of friendship."
The next morning the Man of God and the traveler thanked their
host and started on their way. They had only walked a short distance
when the Man of God said, "Wait here. I forgot something." He went
back to the house and secretly entered the door. When he returned he
had the beautiful gold goblet.
The traveler was shocked. Why had the Man of God taken it?
That night the two stopped at a large landowner's mansion. "Bam,
team, ham," went the large brass knocker. Finally, the door swung
open, and a tall inebriated man shouted, "Yeah, wadda you want?"
When the tyrannical landowner heard their request for lodging,
he grunted, "Wadda ya think I run here, a hotel?" As they turned to
leave, he yelled, "You can sleep in the barn if you want."
In the middle of the night the landowner crept to the pack that
belonged to the Man of God, searched it, and quietly removed the goblet.
The traveler wanted to stop the thief but the Man of God whispered,
"Wait. All will be well." Again the traveler was confused by the
strange behavior of the Man of God.
The next night they found themselves in a dense forest known to
be the home of a band of robbers. They knocked at the door of a
small cabin. The father hesitated when the men asked for lodging, but
his boy insisted they should stay.
After supper the boy settled himself at the foot of the Man of
God and listened attentively to the stories he told. He seemed drawn
to the Man of God and in the morning asked his father if he could
go with them to the fork in the road and show them the way. As they
crossed the narrow bridge the boy slipped and fell into the raging
river. The traveler plunged into the icy water to save the lad, but it
was too late. And all this time the Man of God did nothing.
This was too much for the traveler. In agony he shouted to the
Man of God, "What kind of a person are you anyway? You steal from
the kind man, allow a tyrant to steal from you, and then just stand
by while a boy drowns! Why? Tell me why!"
At last the Man of God said, "It is not for most travelers to
understand the ways of God, but for a moment I will open your eyes. The cup
the enemy had given to the kind man was poisoned, and I wanted no
harm to come to him. I allowed the landowner to steal the goblet
because he may choose to drink from it, and the peasants will be free
from his rule. And the boy," tears came to his eyes, "the boy loved
me. But his father was the head of a gang of robbers, and if the boy
had lived, he, because of his love for his father, would have
followed in his father's steps. I allowed him to die to save him for
The traveler at last nodded his head, "I understand," he said.
[Creating Love by Kay Kuzma. p.163]

Isa 55:8 (KJV)  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither
are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isa 55:9 (KJV)  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so
are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your

It is a sign that God intends war when he calls home his
ambassadors. (Matthew Henry's Commentary)

It has been often remarked that, previously to the execution of
God's judgments upon a wicked place, he has removed good men from it,
that they might not suffer with the wicked. When great and good men
are removed by death, or otherwise, from any place, the remaining
inhabitants have much cause to tremble. (Adam Clarke Commentary)

1 Th 4:16 (KJV)  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven
with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of
God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1 Th 4:17 (KJV)  Then we which are alive and remain shall be
caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the
air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1 Th 4:18 (KJV)  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

The living righteous are changed "in a moment, in the twinkling
of an eye." At the voice of God they were glorified; now they are
made immortal and with the risen saints are caught up to meet their
Lord in the air. Angels "gather together His elect from the four
winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Little children are borne
by holy angels to their mothers' arms. Friends long separated by
death are united, nevermore to part, and with songs of gladness ascend
together to the City of God.  {GC 645}

We cannot look at the cross and still think our lives are of no
account to God. [Your Daily Walk SB]