Respecting the Dead

John Koedyker

READ : Amos 2:1-3

I will not turn away its punishment because he burned the bones of the King of Edom

into lime. (v. 1 NKJV)

The subject addressed in these verses may at first seem unusual to us. But it is
obviously important to God. God was angered that Moab unearthed the remains of the King of
Edom and burned them so that they turned into lime powder.

There was a reason for God’s wrath against this act. Of course, in the ancient world
there was a vague but widely held view that the bones of the dead would someday be
resurrected and brought to life. By completely pulverizing the bones of their enemy, the
people of Moab were trying to ensure he would never pose a threat to them again. It wasn’t
enough that their enemy was dead; they wanted to deny him a future life!

In contrast to these horrible tactics, it is good that we intentionally show respect
for those who have died. Things like sending a sympathy card, visiting the funeral home,
or attending a funeral are important ways to show respect. A friend once made the
observation, “It is never wrong to attend a funeral.” It not only shows your respect for
the person, it shows you care for the survivors. Funerals can also be occasions for
forgiveness. Let any wrongs or offenses the person may have committed against us be buried
with them. If God is forgiving, we must be too.


Father, help us to show respect to all people, both living and dead. Amen.