Art Toombs Ministries

Online Bible Commentary

I Shall Go to Him 

2 Samuel 12:18 Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead. For they said, "Indeed, while the child was alive, we spoke to him, and he would not heed our voice. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He may do some harm!" 19 When David saw that his servants were whispering, David perceived that the child was dead. Therefore David said to his servants, "Is the child dead?" And they said, "He is dead." 20 So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate. 21 Then his servants said to him, "What is this 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." 22 And he said, "While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?' 23 But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." (NKJV

David fasted and wept for a week while his son lay dying. However, after his child died he picked himself up, went to worship the Lord, and then returned home and ate. After all of his weeping and fasting his servants thought David would fall apart upon the news of his child’s death. They asked him why he was acting the way he was and David replied “Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." 

Three points come to mind when pondering this passage. First, we must remember that everyone grieves differently. While it appeared that David had moved on from his child’s death, we know that David was still grieving inside and would be for some time. 

There is no right or wrong when it comes to grieving and there is no set timetable for how long we should grieve, as long as we do not harm ourselves or others. Hopefully, we can resume daily activities before too long but the grieving can continue for years or a lifetime. 

Secondly, David says that he can go to the child. This tells us that the child is in the arms of God. All children are under the eternal protection of God until the age of accountability. This is generally considered to be about the age of twelve. Once the child is able to make knowledgeable decisions he is accountable to God and must receive Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior in order to be saved from the penalty of his sins, which is eternal separation from God. 

Thirdly, David believed that he would be with his son again. So, he did not fall apart when he learned of his child’s death. To David his child was still alive, just in another place where he could not see or talk to him. Such is also the case with us. 

This passage should be of comfort to those of us who have lost small children, or who have lost loved ones of any age. We have the assurance of knowing we will be with our loved ones again. 

Even if we are uncertain if our loved one was a Christian we should always hold out hope of being with them again. We never know if they reached out to Jesus with their last breaths of life. 

We cannot bring back our loved ones who have passed away. Our Christian loved ones are in Heaven with their loved ones who also have passed away. 

They are in a beautiful place where they are warmed by the glory of God. They are no longer burdened by the cares of this world. They have perfect bodies never to have pain, disability or debility again. They are in a place where there are no tears and there is no death. 

We would not bring them back even if we could. However, we can go to them. We can be with them again, and for eternity.