The Bible has more to say about the life of David than any other person. We first meet him in 1 Samuel 16 as the young man who would one day be king. Both 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles follow his reign, and the beginning of 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles speak of his old age and death. Many of the Psalms were penned by David, and in them we are given insight into his life, struggles, and faith.
One of the saddest, and yet exceptional moments of David’s life on record is the fallout from his sin with Bathsheba. His sins in this situation are many: laziness (2 Samuel 11:1), lust (2 Samuel 11:2), adultery (2 Samuel 11:3-4), deceit and laying a stumbling block (2 Samuel 11:5-13) & even pre-meditated murder (2 Samuel 11:14-17).
The first half of his sin spiral was entered into willingly and with excitement. The latter half was his attempt to cover up the first. He couldn’t bear to acknowledge his sin before his people, so he did whatever he could to hide it. And doing so cost several innocent men their lives (2 Samuel 11:16-17).
At the beginning of 2 Samuel 12, a prophet of God confronted David. Nathan hears the king confess his sin, and reveals that he would be forgiven (2 Samuel 12:13), but the child who would be born to Bathsheba would die (2 Samuel 12:14).
After his birth, the child became ill (2 Samuel 12:15). David fasted and prayed for days for his son, but on the seventh day of his short life, the child died (2 Samuel 12:16-18). David’s servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, but noticing that they all whispered, he realized the child was dead. He got up, washed himself and ate. His servants were confused about his actions (2 Samuel 12:19-21). His explanation reveals an understanding of life and the afterlife. He would no longer see his son in this world, but he held onto the hope of seeing him in eternity.
David declared his faith in eternal life, but much more, his statement is a commitment to do God’s will. One cannot have the hope of heaven and walk in sin. If he would see his son again, then he must obey the Lord, not his own desires.
Anyone who has lost a child clings to the same hope expressed here. In a prominent place at our home, a plaque reads:
We shall go to Jesse, but Jesse shall not return to us.
We serve a great God who desires for us to be with Him forever. He knows the pain of losing a child, for He lost His own Son for a time, as Jesus came to redeem us from sin.
This record in the life of David gives hope to all who have lost a young one, experienced a miscarriage, etc.. If we serve the Lord faithfully, if we direct our focus to heavenly matters and make it our aim to be with the Lord eternally, we have the promise of God, we will meet and share eternity with these little ones who were not long for this world.