Malankara World

What Shall I Do To Be Saved?

By Rev. Dr. Curian Kaniyamparambil

Question 108. David says, "The dead does not praise t he Lord, all those gone down into silence" (Psalms 115:17). Why then pray for the dead?

When we read the very next verse, it will be clear...

"It is we who bless the Lord, both now and forever." (Psalms 115:18).

David says he will praise the Lord now and forever. So won't David die? Didn't he die? David says that he and people like him, will praise the Lord even after they die (i.e. forever). Who are the 'dead' referred to in Psalms 115:17?

God created Adam and made him the caretaker of Garden of Eden and told him From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die (Gen. 2:17). But Adam ate it, but lived another 900 years!

In the parable of the Lost Son, the lost son's father says, "your brother (the lost son) was dead and has come to life again." (Luke 15:32). But he had not died at that time! To the people who were alive, and listened to Jesus, He told them "I have come to give you life."

In all these verses, the word dead is used to represent sin or death of the soul. Therefore, life means a sinless soul, not referring to the physical body. St. Paul also says, "You were dead in your transgressions and sins" (Eph 2:1). In all these quotations, death and life refers to the death and life of the soul and not of the physical body. It is clear whom David refers to as the dead and gone into silence. David here says that a person dead in sins and transgressions cannot praise the Lord.

From the Scofield Bible (Eccle. 9:5-6); What is mentioned in this is just a view of the preacher, son of David; and not a divine revelation about the state of the dead. He as a natural man under the sun, doesn't see any difference between a dead man and a dead lion (9:5). No one will take 9:2 as a divine revelation. But it is specifically asserted in scriptures that there is life and consciousness between death and resurrection (Is 14:9-11; Matt 22:32; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-31, John 11:26; 2 Cor 5:6-8; Phil 1:21-23, Rev 6:9-11).

If anyone is still stubborn and believes in this argument, please read on.

Let us assume that David meant literally what he wrote. St. John has written in Revelations that the dead are with our Lord (Refer to Previous Question). Whom should we believe? David or John? (Actually these are all words by God and it will never be conflicting). In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets. In these last days, he spoke to us through His Son, whom he created the universe (Hebrews 1:1). So David lived in an era in which the revelation was in part. But St. John gives to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, by reporting what he saw. John received the revelation that is complete through Jesus Christ.

TOC Section 1 (Q 1-26) | Section 2 (Q 27-56) | Section 3 (Q 57-81) | Section 4 (Q 82-115) | Previous Chapter | Next Chapter

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