II Samuel 12:13-23

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

THE DEATH OF AN INFANT

INTRODUCTION

In this message I want to show that the Bible teaches that a child who dies before reaching the age of accountability will go to heaven regardless of who or what his parents are. Now the age of accountability is defined as the age when a child is capable of understanding the gospel message, which teaches that Christ died for our sins, that He was buried, and that He rose again from the dead on the third day. This age varies from person to person but is ordinarily around age 4 or 5 years of age. It is possible that some with serious brain injuries or retardation may never reach the age of accountability.

It is always sad to hear of the death of an infant or young child. It is always hard on the parents. Parents ordinarily die before their children die, and we expect that they will eventually die. However, it is not always this way. It is a terrible loss for a mom and dad when a miscarriage occurs.

It is also hard to hear that a child has been murdered by abortion. Yes, I said murdered. Abortion is not a matter of women's health. Murdering a baby in his mother's womb does not make a woman healthier. It has nothing whatsoever to do with her health. Furthermore, it is not a matter of women's rights or reproductive rights. Life begins at conception when God places a living soul in the womb of the baby's mother. The Bible always speaks of pregnancy as a woman being with child regardless of what your liberal politicians want you to believe. It is no more a woman's right to murder her child before it is born than it is right for a woman to murder her child after it has been born. God is the Author of Scripture, and if He says that the woman is with child, then this fetus in her womb is a real live human being regardless of how many days have passed since the mother conceived. Abortion became legal in the United States of America when the Supreme Court legislated this murderous action from the bench in Roe versus Wade. It was never passed by congress and signed into law by the President of the United States. It has resulted in some 55,000,000 babies being legally aborted in our country to date. In the eyes of God, this murderous trend is a terrible blot on our nation's history and will be judged. In my mind it's already happening. In fact, in my mind it's too bad that all these people who promote abortion weren't aborted in their mother's wombs; but God in His grace and mercy allowed them to be born in spite of His knowing what they would ultimately do. I find it amazing that those whose morals allow them to promote abortion express such great concern about our moral obligation on other matters. As a nation, we have lost our bearings and are heading in the wrong direction; but what do expect when God is removed from the equation?

The question must be raised: What happens to the infant when it dies, whether it is before or after birth? Does it go to heaven? Does it go to hell because it did not receive Christ as personal Savior? What does the Bible say? Where does what some refer to as original sin fit into the mix?

Some teach that, if the child has been baptized, he will go to heaven because his original sin has been washed away in baptism. They also teach that if he hasn't been baptized, the child will never get to heaven. Roman Catholics teach that if a child who has had his original sin washed away in baptism dies, he will go to Limbo, a place in between heaven and hell. The Bible knows of no such teaching.

A good question to be debated by fundamentalists is whether one goes to hell because of his sin nature or because of his sin. Those, who have placed their trust in baptism to wash way their so-called original sin, have opted for it being the sin nature. However, the Scripture teaches very clearly that it is the commission of sin which condemns us to hell.

Ezekiel 18:20 - The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

Consider the import of Romans 2-12

Romans 2:1-12 - 1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. 3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God. 12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law.

Consider also the import of John 3:18 :

John 3:18 - (18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Let's take note that -

I. NO CHILD DIES ACCIDENTLY AS FAR AS GOD IS CONCERNED

Psalms 37:23 - The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Proverbs 16:9 - A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

Job 1:21 - And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

As we have seen in II Samuel 12:13-14 -

II. A CHILD MAY DIE AS A RESULT OF HIS PARENT'S SIN - 12:13-14

II Samuel 12:13-14 - (13) And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. (14) Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

It should be noted that not all babies who die, die as a result of sin committed by their parents. You should never assume that you know why a child dies. This is God's business, and you cannot really tell.

A similar question is raised in John 9:1-3 .

John 9:1-3 - And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

It is apparent that -

III. DAVID'S CHILD HAD NOT SINNED

He was a newborn baby.

Jonah 4:11 - (11) And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

God desired to spare the thousands of children of the wicked Ninevites who were not old enough to tell the difference between their right hand and their left hand. It is highly unlikely that all 120,000 of them were dyslexic.

It is also apparent that -

IV. DAVID'S CHILD HAD NOT REJECTED ANY LIGHT FROM GENERAL REVELATION

General revelation has to do with the creation showing that there must be a God Who created everything, with providence - how it rains on the just and the unjust, and with conscience - how everyone has an inborn sense of right and wrong.

Psalms 19:1 - The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Romans 2:14-15 - 14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.

Acts 14:15-17 - 15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: 16 Who in times past suffered [i.e. allowed] all nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.

It is furthermore apparent that -

V. DAVID'S CHILD HAD NOT REJECTED CHRIST AS SAVIOR

He was not old enough to understand the gospel message.

However, we note that -

VI. THE LORD STRUCK DAVID'S CHILD AND IT BECAME VERY SICK - 12:15

II Samuel 12:15 - And Nathan departed unto his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.

As a result of his child's being very sick -

VII. DAVID PRAYED FOR HIS CHILD - 12:16-17

II Samuel 12:16-17 - (16) David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. (17) And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.

David did just what every godly parent would do. He begged God to spare the child's life.

However, David did not become angry or rebellious. He accepted God's chastisement.

Finally, as God said through Nathan the prophet -

VIII. DAVID'S CHILD DIED - 12:18

II Samuel 12:18 - And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto [i.e. listen to] our voice: how will he then vex [i.e. harm] himself, if we tell him that the child is dead?

As a result of his servants whispering -

IX. DAVID LEARNED OF HIS CHILD'S DEATH - 12:19

II Samuel 12:19 - But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead.

Contrary to what his servants feared -

X. DAVID WORSHIPED THE LORD - 12:20

II Samuel 12:20 - Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel [i.e. changed his clothes], and came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.

David's behavior surprised his servants; so -

XI. DAVID EXPLAINED HIS BEHAVIOR - 12:21-22

II Samuel 12:21-22 - (21) Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. (22) 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?

Not only did David explain his behavior, but -

XII. DAVID DECLARED HIS BELIEF - 12:23

II Samuel 12:23 - 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.

We believe that David, the man after God's own heart, was a saved man and that he will spend eternity in heaven. We believe that this verse provides assurance to us that children who die before they reach the age of accountability will likewise spend eternity in heaven.

CONCLUSION:

This passage has brought comfort to countless people whose children have died in infancy. May it bring comfort to you also, and may you use it to comfort others.