Tuesday, March 6, 2012
The Pie Was Done
2 Samuel 12 contains a message of arresting importance. In their sin David and Bathsheba have conceived a child. After Uriah’s death they marry to cover up the shame. But the child becomes deathly ill.
David separates himself for intense fasting and prayer for the little boy’s recovery. But the child dies all the same. When his servants bring him the bad news, David simply washes up and returns to normal activity with nothing more being said than to comfort his grieving new wife.
Listen to his answer:
23. But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.
It was King David’s assurance that this child of tender years would not be at peril of God’s wrath. As an innocent, he would clearly be a recipient of mercy and bound for the place of the righteous dead, a place which the father saw as his own intended destination.
What does this say about the panic in some churches and families for the administration of infant baptism, of Christening. How do the supposedly evangelical churches participate in this, and then go on with a message of “repentance unto life” for the adult crowd? Would a young man whose parents had done all the right things through the church stand in any peril of conviction, of judgment? Would he still need his own “sorry night for sin”?
What does this story say also about prayer for the dead, about the Mass, about purgatory? David’s comment was that no further effort would be effective. It was a done deal. The pie was out of the oven.
Some might counter that this was all Old Testament. In the New I see only John the Baptist and the early disciples administering baptism. No evidence anywhere of an infant being Christened. The spirit of the event was always that of repentance, identification, and testimony.
Read very carefully Mark 16:16b.