2 Samuel 12:15-17
Verse 16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground.
Now that David has repented for his sins regarding Bathsheba and her husband Uriah, the Lord sets into motion what He had told the king would be the punishment for his sin. No more had the prophet left and the baby became ill. David knew it was coming but nothing can prepare a parent for the torture of helplessness when one of your children is deathly ill.
David knew God was faithful and would keep His word but David also knew God to be a gracious Father, it was in this understanding of the Lord which David finds himself pleading for the baby’s life. He knew he had sinned but he had also repented, couldn’t God save the poor infant? Of course the answer was yes, but just because God can do something doesn’t mean He sees it as best. David needed to feel the pain of his sin, know the true seriousness of the things he had done. Yes, he had repented but repentance doesn’t assure no consequences. Cause and effect were still rules of natural law.
Like anyone faced with a consequence thinking it is too much for us to endure, David begged for God’s goodness to rule in his favor. This poor child didn’t deserve to pay the price for his parent’s sins, why wouldn’t God acknowledge that and let him live? David fasted and deserted the comforts he normally enjoyed as king. Refusing to lie on his bed and not eating to the point his servants were getting concerned about him. Normally a manly man, his servants were seeing his grief over this baby and were becoming increasingly concerned for his welfare.
David had repented, he knew the laws regarding his sins but the king also knew the love of a father. He saw his youngest son suffering and he could do nothing about it. Worse yet, he knew his son was suffering because of his actions and thoughts. He would have seen the pain of his wife watching the child who was probably her firstborn, struggling to survive. We don’t know if David told her what Nathan had said or not but the new couple were experiencing some of their lowest days as they helplessly watched their son get weaker and weaker.
Once again those surrounding the couple are put in a position of seeing and not being able to keep things from happening. They would have been bothered by the baby’s illness as well as the king and his wife’s reactions. They were helpless not knowing how to comfort people who were mourning more than just their son.
Making It Personal
When have you felt helpless at someone’s grief? Have you ever begged God to keep the consequences of your sin from happening? Why do you think you deserve to be consequence free?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever been so sad you don’t want to eat? Do you ever feel sad when you have to live with the results of your sins? Why do you think Jesus gives you consequences for your sins?
Father, You are a gracious God and we never deserve Your grace. Help us learn to accept our consequences and use them as reminders of how damaging sin is in our lives and how much You paid so we don’t have to experience the real consequence of our sin – death. In Jesus’ name, amen.