A reminder and exhortation to the righteous are both found in this passage. First of all, one is useful on this earth only when he is alive. Secondly, God approves of righteous living, so keep on living in such a manner.
Let’s start with the common sense, “A living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing.” A running Model T is better than a junked Lamborghini; a functional typewriter is better than a smashed iPad; a living peasant is better than a dead president.