We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

1 Kings 14:13: The Death of a Child

Recently I received a devastating phone call. A six-month-old baby girl had just died. She was their first child. And though she lived for just a short time, she brought incredible joy and meaning to her parents’ lives. The young couple will be forever changed by this experience, and–as they are a part of our family–we too will be forever changed.

To make matters worse, we later learned that the babysitter was responsible for the death of this beautiful, fun-loving child. The death was ruled a homicide, adding sorrow and creating even deeper wounds. The young couple is overwhelmed with a myriad of unanswered questions.

If I were the parent, the first question I’d ask is, “Why, God? You are all-powerful and all-knowing. Why didn’t You stop this angry woman from shaking my baby?”

When a child dies we grope for answers. In desperation we question God’s goodness. We wonder if our child is in Heaven.

Thankfully, God has not left us in the dark. In the NT we know that Jesus blessed the little children saying “. . . for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” In the Old Testament there is an obscure but insightful text on the death of a child.

In I Kings 14:13 we read:

“And all Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something pleasing to the LORD, the God of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam.” (You may wish to read 1 Kings 14:1-13 for the context of this story.)

God does indeed call some children home early. Why? Certainly we don’t have all the answers. But we see that in this case He finds something in the child that pleases Him, and that He desires for him to come home. I know that the death of a child is a devastating loss for us all, but it appears to be both the child’s and heaven’s gain.

Published in: on January 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

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