2 Samuel 12:22–23: “And he said, ‘While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, “Who can tell whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?” But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.’”

March 19th, 2020 by Pastor Ed in devotional

King David sinned. And rather than turn to the Lord and repent at his first sin, he tried to cover his tracks, which caused him to sin more and more. By the end, he had gotten a married woman, Bathsheba, pregnant; tried to trick her husband into thinking he was the father; and when that failed, had her husband killed in battle. As a result, God told David that the child he had with Bathsheba would not live. David spent 7 days praying, fasting, mourning, and humbling himself before the Lord in the hopes that God might deliver his son from death. But God still said, “No.” And the child died.

We notice how David quietly accepted this discipline from the Lord. He got up, shaved, anointed himself, dressed, worshiped God, and then ate. He had repented and was again a man under submission, just as he had been in the days of Saul. He explained his seemingly disinterested behavior to his servants: “Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” By faith in God’s character, he relinquished his child to God and began to look to the future. David knew that he would be reunited with his infant son, and that they would ultimately spend eternity together with the Lord. We do believe babies go to heaven, not because they deserve it, but because of God’s grace.

David’s attitude reminds us of the true story of Horatio Spafford, the writer of the hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul.” This hymn was written after 3 traumatic events in Spafford’s life: the death of his only son in 1871; followed shortly by the Great Chicago Fire, which ruined him financially; and then in 1873 the death of his 4 daughters. Spafford had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the S.S. Ville du Havre, but had to send them on ahead without him because he was delayed on business. While crossing the Atlantic, their ship collided with a sailing ship, the Loch Earn, and sank rapidly. All 4 of Spafford’s daughters died. His wife, Anna, survived and sent him a telegram that read: “Saved alone.” Shortly afterwards, Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife; and as the ship passed near where his daughters had drowned, he felt a comfort that could only be from God. He was inspired to write these words:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

“LORD, please bless our lives today so that we may be a blessing to others.”