Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 12:18-23,26-31; 8:2-12; 23:9-17; 1 Chronicles 11:10-14,20-47; 18:12-13
Children are precious (one cuddle with either one of the two newborns in our little assembly at Eagle Street will convince you of this, if you have any doubt!).
So, what does God want us to learn from death of David’s precious infant son? For instance, does the story prove that, at death, infants and small children go to heaven? The argument goes like this: David says “I will go to him, but he will not return to me” (v.23). Since David was “a man after God’s own heart,” he must be in heaven. Therefore, the baby must have gone to heaven because David is in heaven and he must be referring to it here.
This argument is actually an error–easily made–of reading into the text something that is not there. In truth, David is probably just referring to the grave, not to heaven, since the context is about death, which is unavoidable.
Perhaps the answer to my question is David’s response to the death. David’s wise servants did well to worry about telling him the news! What if he killed the one who told him? What if he tried to hurt himself? His reaction seems to throw even these servants off! He isn’t embittered against God, he doesn’t throw a temper tantrum, nor does he seem to grieve the loss for the rest of his life. He fully accepts God’s punishment for his sin. God should have taken David’s own life at this time to pay for the death of Uriah; but, in grace, He took the child’s. It’s easy to point fingers at God in times like this, blaming Him for our troubles, when we should be thanking Him for His grace and mercy toward us!