He shall gather the lambs within his arms

2 Samuel 12:15-23

2 Samuel 12:15

God is true to his word, whether he threatens or promises.

2 Samuel 12:16

We are permitted to pray against coming ills. If David was not forbidden to plead even when the divine will had been declared, how much more may we appeal to God while as yet his purposes are unknown to us.

2 Samuel 12:17

They feared for his health, but he was ready to sacrifice himself for his poor suffering babe. He was a tender father, and it pricked him to the heart to see his child suffering through the father’s sin. Perhaps it was during this period that repentance was having its perfect work, and he was regaining the smile of his heavenly Father.

2 Samuel 12:20

While the child lived he pleaded for its life, but when it was dead he submitted at once to the divine will. He seems also to have realised his pardon by faith in the atoning sacrifice, and therefore with humble gratitude went up again to the house of the Lord to worship, and returned to his palace to pursue the ordinary avocations of life. Some by their long mourning after the loss of children appear to be angry with God, and maintain a spirit of rebellion against him. Such was not David’s mind.

2 Samuel 12:21

Those who are not themselves taught of God cannot understand the believer’s conduct. He neither rejoices nor mourns according to the world’s fashion, but allows his judgment to act, and his better feelings to have full play. This makes independent and consistent Christians appear to be odd and singular.

2 Samuel 12:22, 23

A great deal is suggested by the words “I shall go to him.” David could not have thought his child to be annihilated; it would have given him no comfort to hope to be annihilated too. Far less could David have imagined that the child was in misery, for he did not expect to go there at death. The father believed his babe to be in heaven, and expected to meet him there; and we also believe that all the dear little ones who die in infancy are in glory. We say all little ones, because this child was the offspring of shame, and if it be where David now is, we feel sure that all other departed infants are there also.


“Millions of infant souls compose

The family above.”


By the death of his babe the first blow of the rod fell upon David, and throughout the remainder of his life he found his trials multiplied.


It is the Lord whose chast’ning hand

Has filled the cup of woe;

The shaft of death by his command

Hath struck the fatal blow.


It is the Lord and he is good,

Unchangeably the same;

Though sorrow rises like a flood,

I’ll bless his holy name.


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