Can The Dead Watch Over Us?
Do the dead watch over us?
The above questions have been thrown at me lately since I have recently lost someone very dear to me. It is never easy losing a mother especially one who was and is still so very much loved. Those who knew the bond we shared try to ease the grief by stating that she is watching over me. I have been told that her spirit lingered in the house for some time after she died that she will be my guardian angel from now on and that she will never leave me alone after this.
I know that this is one of the only ways that people know how to comfort someone who is mourning and I understand that, but, can the dead really watch over us?
What does the Bible say?
It was my mother who taught me to search the Scriptures for the truth about things and so I searched them when this question came up. Oddly, I had spoken to her about whether or not those in heaven or hell can see what is going on on earth which is slightly different from the dead being able to watch over their loved ones but they are both somewhat connected.
Looking in the Bible, I found the story of Lazarus and the rich man and a few other verses that seemed to all say the same thing.
In the story of Lazarus and the rich man, neither Lazarus (who was in Paradise) nor the rich man ( who was in hell) looked down to earth. Lazarus was too busy being comforted by Abraham and the rich man was too busy being tormented. ( see Luke 16) It appears, according to Jesus' account, that those in heaven and hell are more occupied with the eternal rather than the temporal. It also seems that in eternity there is the clear understanding, whether one is in heaven or in hell, that God is in control.
In the Book of Hebrews it says:
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment..." (9:27)
In Psalm 103 it also says:
"As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more." (103:15-16)
If man's place shall know him no more as the psalmist says, then the spirit will not and cannot linger.
But what about Samuel?
Didn't his spirit rise up from the grave when Saul asked the witch to call him? How is it that Samuel, the real Samuel, was able to come in spirit to Saul? Is this possibly why people believe that the dead visit us and watch over us?
Personally, I have always believed that Samuel's appearance to Saul was an exception that was personally ordained by God. It was the one time He allowed the spirit of a dead person to come and speak to a living person and it was for a purpose. The dead, as far as I see it, need permission, or rather have to be sent by God Himself to someone who is living in order to be able visit them.
My friend, Caleb DRC, has enlightened me on the whole topic of Samuel and Saul and you can read what he says in the comments below.
What do you think?
Can the dead see us and watch over us?
Who are the dead?
You may think that this is a silly question but it is very important. The Lord says that He is not a God of the dead but of the living. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all those who belong to God are not dead. Jesus says that they are alive. Since those whose lives are hidden with Christ are not dead then it stands to reason that the argument should be that the living watch over the living or that the dead watch over the dead.
It is confusing but nonetheless, after studying the Scriptures, I do not see how it could be so. I remember my mother. I love her dearly. I grieve daily and it is a hard time but when I hear that she is watching over me I get no comfort.
Because she is someone I love and who loved Christ more that anything. The Lord God was her only God and she walked beside Him in this life. Why should she have to look back down to this wretched earth and continue with these worldly worries when the majestic face of her father is before her?
That is what is a comfort.
Knowing that she is resting and that she is able to have the peace that passes all understanding. That she is able today, through Jesus Christ, to see the face of God and live! This is what keeps me going day by day.
Can the dead see us and watch over us?
I say no.
There is the business of eternity that they are occupied with. Those in hell cannot help themselves far less for those on earth and those in heaven trust in the Lord to help their loved ones.
- To Love Is To Grieve
Grief is a part of life that occurs when one loves. In order to love one must be prepared to grieve. A study on this concept and the reasons why it just may be true.