Kids & Parenting
Although the subject of infant deaths may seem ultra sensitive to grieving parents, we as ministers must assure them that it is clear from Scripture that God has given us a most sure and clear answer as to their eternal state. This answer is so plainly given in Scripture, that if the text is read clearly and considered logically, there can be no other conclusion than that given in the text. 2 Samuel 12:22-23 says, “And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.3” David, under inspiration of the Holy Ghost, has completely and most assuredly answered the question. His servants were befuddled by David’s cattywampus behavior; the king’s son had just died after David had prayed and fasted for his deliverance, yet he [David] washed himself and ate bread–hardly normal activity for a grieving father. What does this “weird” behavior tell us about the situation? It tells us that though David surely was grieved at his son’s passing, he was not lost in grief; he knew that his son was in the presence of God and that there would once again be a reunion. Is it not reading too far into the text? Why certainly not! One famous commentator wrote on this subject, “…to him [the child] to heaven, to a state of blessedness, which even the Old Testament saints had some expectation of. Godly parents have great reason to hope concerning their children that die in infancy that it is well with their souls in the other world; for the promise is to us and to our seed, which shall be performed to those that do not put a bar in their own door, as infants do not….God calls those His children that are born unto him; and if they be his, he will save them. This may comfort us when our children are removed from us by death, they are better provided for, both in work and and wealth, than they could have been in this world. We shall be with them shortly, to part no more.4” While some may argue that it is not fair for God to allow a sinner [baby] into Heaven, we find from this passage, plainly, that David had confidence that he would see his dead child again. Now obviously there was the reality that he [David] would go to the grave, yet there is a peace and tranquility in David that the assurance of the grave could not have given; he knew that that little infant was safely held in the arms of the Almighty. So, whenever we as ministers encounter a troubled and grieving set of parents, may we remember the simple truth of 2 Samuel 12:22-23. Though the poor little infant is dead and cannot be brought back, the parents–overwhelmed with grief, and rightly so–will see their little one again. This is not simply vain, wishful thinking; it is the truth of Holy Scripture. Let us pray we never have to face such a trial, but in the hour we do, let us turn to these sure, comforting words penned by another human father who looked beyond the temporal grief and into the gates of heaven in full assurance that he and his child would soon meet again.
3 King James Version
4 Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Second Samuel
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