Can I Bring Him Back Again?



  King David, the Man of God, was a dirty rotten sinner.  King David, the Man of God through whom the Messiah of Israel was promised (and came) was a murderer, schemer, and adulterer.  God would at times step in and “correct” David, chastise him, for his poor (to put it mildly) conduct.  David committed adultery with Bathsheba, wife of Uriah.  Rather than end the relationship, David arranged things as King to leave Uriah isolated at the front lines of the battle field against a powerful army.  In other words, he conspired to murder him.  After he succeeded in killing Uriah, he and Bathsheba had a child together.  Nathan the prophet predicted what would come next,
 
Then Nathan went to his house. And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he became sick.  There are consequences for the things we do.  For David and Bathsheba, they would have to suffer the loss of the child that resulted from their adulterous relationship.

David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them.   Even though he knows it is Gods doing, David still submits himself to Gods authority.  He doesn’t rebel, he prays directly to the God he knows is in control of the situation.  

On the seventh day the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us. How then can we say to him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm.”   David stayed in fasting and prayer for the child for seven days.  He was in such a bad way, those around him were afraid he would hurt himself if they hold him the child had actually died.  The expectation and tradition of the time was for the closest survivors to mourn for 3-4 days after the death of someone, then those around them would encourage them to get up, get dressed, and begin to move on.  David’s behavior was totally unexpected by his servants.  He went into deep distress and mourning while the child was alive.  How much worse would he be when he hears the child is gone?

But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” They said, “He is dead.” Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate.  They had nothing to worry about.  As soon as he figured out the child was dead, David unexpectedly hopped up, cleaned up, went to church and began moving on.

Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; 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 whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”   His servants are puzzled.   He was non functional while the child was still alive, but now that the child he prayed and fasted for has actually died, he seems like nothing is wrong.  But as David explains, he prayed for the child to live, that God may spare the child.  But now that the child is gone, what is he to pray for?  The child died as punishment for his sin.  He mourned, prayed and fasted for seven days.  There is nothing else for David to pray for.  He can’t bring the child back.  We see this today, with people who have lost people after long battles with illness.  We wonder how they can carry on so quickly.  We forget that, like David, they’ve already gone through their mourning process.  They’ve gone to God, prayed, and many times have made their peace.  They’ve been able to say goodbye to their loved ones, know their loved ones had made peace, and are able to quickly carry on when those around them are wondering “How?” We weren’t watching as they went through their mourning process.  We expect them to be paralyzed with grief.  We don’t understand they’ve already been through that paralysis, and have already gone through the various stages of grief.  When the passing actually occurs, it’s actually the end of the process for them, not the beginning.  There’s nothing left to pray for.  They’ve already said their goodbyes.
 
 

“Then Nathan went to his house. And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he became sick. David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. On the seventh day the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us. How then can we say to him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm.” But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” They said, “He is dead.” Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate. Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; 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 whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.””
‭‭2 Samuel‬ ‭12:15-23‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/2sa.12.15-23.esv

 

John Lewis

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