This post is part of the series His Encouragement
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Welcome! Welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible passage and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you.
David replied, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.”
Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife…
— 2 Samuel 12:22-24a, NLT
I have read the account of David and Bathsheba’s first child many times before. 2 Samuel 12 describes how David’s secret sins (raping and impregnating Bathsheba, ordering the cold-blooded murder of her husband Uriah, and then marrying her to cover up his crimes) were revealed by God through Nathan the Prophet. David repented of his sins yet the poor newborn child still fell deathly ill.
While the child struggled for life, David pleaded for mercy and healing. He fasted, he prayed, he wept, he laid prostrate on the ground, he refused any form of comfort for seven long, agonizing days. There is no doubt that the Lord, Creator of the universe and Redeemer of humanity, could have reached out and miraculously healed the stricken baby. For reasons we do not know or understand, He chose not to intervene and so the child died.
When word of the baby’s death reached David, he rose, washed, worshiped at the Tabernacle, and then returned to normal life activities. Sometimes we read this part and wonder, as his own servants did, how is it that David wrestled with the Lord so deeply while the child still lived but the moment the child passed, he seems to have moved on?
The answer lies in the words that David spoke: “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.” (vs 22-23)
Intellectually, I thought I understood. While the child still lived, there was always the opportunity for the Lord to intervene. However, when the baby died, it was in one sense a permanent answer to his pleading and prayers. Yet, take a look at the last thing David said: “Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.”
The Bible is clear that death, though a separation, is not the end. There is a resurrection coming! We are told in John 5:28-29, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life…” It was preached by the apostles (Acts 4:1-3), again by Paul (Philippians 3:10-12), and expounded on later in Revelation 20 and 21. There will come a day — Oh, that glorious, glorious day! — when the clouds are rolled back as a scroll, the trump of the Lord shall resound throughout the world, and the Lord shall descend!
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
— 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, KJV
I can now say that I understand David like I never have before.
Around 8:45 am on Thursday, September 27, 2018, my beautiful and amazing mother, Lynne Fisher, passed from life into the rest of death.
She passed peacefully, taking her last breath just as I walked into the house. This entire year has been very long and painful, but the last seven months have been especially challenging. Since April, we like David plead and prayed, fasted, and wept. The Lord gave us almost two extra months — for my mother should have never survived the emergency surgery at the beginning of August. So this morning when I felt for a pulse and felt none, yes, the tears came. My dad sobbed.
We grieve but it is a grief just slightly softened by the hope in the resurrection, of being reunited. Now I can say “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:56, KJV) Oh, yes, it hurts to be separated from someone you love. I will miss walking into my mom’s dream house and find her cooking in the kitchen. I will miss sending her the “good morning” texts almost every day. I will miss calling her when I need reassurance or advice. I will miss her smile, her laugh… I will miss her! But there is also a small sense of relief. Relief that she is no longer in excruciating pain and agony, that she is no longer wasting away to literally skin and bones, that she is at peace.
I understand David in a way I never have before, and it is well with my soul.
Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday as well:
- Trisha of Joy of Reading
- Nicole of The Christian Fiction Girl
- Jessica of A Baker’s Perspective
- Becca of The Becca Files
- Jenny Lynn
- Gina of Stories by Gina
Continue reading this series:
His Encouragement: Rely only on God