2 SAMUEL 12:21-23
Pastor Stephen Muncherian
March 31, 2001
I’d like to share three verses from 2 Samuel 12 - verses 21-23 - verses which speak of the heart of a father who has just lost his son.
King David had son who became ill and it was obvious that God would take the child through death. David prayed. David fasted. He went and laid out on the ground - prostrate - crying out to God for his son - begging for a miracle - for days unmoving. He was so distraught that his servants were concerned about his physical and emotional health. Even though David prayed and poured out his father’s heart before God - after 7 days, the child died.
When his son died, David’s servants were afraid to tell him. They said, “We saw what he was like when the child was sick. How can we tell him the child’s dead? Who knows what he might do.” David - seeing his servants whispering - finally gets them to tell him the truth.
When he learns that his son has died, David gets up off the ground - takes a bath - changes into clean clothes - goes to the house of the Lord and worships. He then goes home and eats.
2 Samuel 12:21-23: Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the Lord may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’ But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
Its easy to understand why David’s servants asked the questions they did. David’s response seems hard to understand - almost cold - unfeeling. Yet, David was man of deep passion and feeling.
In John chapter 9 there’s an account of Jesus healing a blind man. Jesus is in Jerusalem - and as He’s walking through the streets - He passes by a man who has been blind since birth.
And immediately the disciples - as they’re looking at this blind man - begging on the side of the road - the disciples ask Jesus, “Who sin was it that caused him to be born blind? His own or his parents?” - Why did this happen?
Jesus answers, “His blindness has nothing to do with his sins or his parent’s sins. He’s blind so that God’s power might be seen at work in him.” The whole purpose of this is to show God at work.
Jesus spits on the ground - makes clay out of the dirt and spit - and puts the clay on the blind mans eyes - tells the blind man to go wash in the pool of Siloam. And so this man who’s been blind since birth - goes and washes in the pool - and comes back seeing.
How many times had this man’s parents asked the same question - like the disciples - Why? As they watched their son grow up blind - Why? And the neighbors and relatives - Why did it happen this way? Why did God allow this? Where is God in all this?
Like so many times when all we’re left with is “why?” questions. Why does someone so young - with so many possibilities - so loved - like ______ - why did she get sick? Why did she have to go through all that?
What David understood we need to hear. Even though we don’t know the answers - God does. That’s really hard to hear - and its hard to trust God at times like this. But, God is a work - even when we can only ask why. God is still God even if someone is blind - or sick - or dies.
David’s response tells us that there are other “why” questions that we can ask. Sometimes we only think about the negative ones: Why didn’t God do something? Why did God let this happen?
But, there are other “why” questions. And today - I’d like to encourage us to to think about these too. Why does God love us? Why should He? God - who is infinite - all powerful - in need of nothing - loves us. God who so loves us - that He came - and lived with us - and died on the cross for us - He paid with His blood - the cost of our sin which separates us from a relationship with God. God - through Jesus - makes it possible for us to have a relationship with Him. God - through Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope of eternal life.
Who really understands death? Who really understands resurrection? Or, what goes on beyond the physical life - the forgiveness of our sin and spiritual rebirth? We don’t understand and so we ask why. But, God understands. And in Jesus Christ God has given us the best answer we can understand.
The Bible tells us that Jesus - who is the power of resurrection and is alive - will return. Those how have fallen asleep - physically died - trusting in Jesus as their Savior - will rise. We who remain - trusting Jesus - will meet them and we will live eternally with God. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) Without Jesus there is no hope. Death is the end. Life is empty. With Jesus there is always hope. Life goes on with God.
This was David’s hope, “I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” That was ______’s hope. When she was younger ______ made a decision to trust in Jesus as her Savior - to ask forgiveness for her sins and to place her life in God’s hands. In these later days - suffering with cancer - lying in bed - at times only able to express a simple “Glory to God” - she was still trusting in Jesus. Today, that faith is realized. While she is physically dead - and we ask why - she is healed - alive - living in God’s answer - living eternally with Him.
God has given us emotions to grieve. He has given us the ability to ask why? He has also given us the ability to choose to accept His answer. This morning, if you have not placed your trust in Jesus as your Savior - choose His answer. Trust Him with your life. If you know Jesus personally as your Savior - then thank Him - even today - for life and hope.