Published March 21, 2013
While serving my first pastorate, fresh out of seminary, I was called upon to preach the funeral of a toddler who drowned in the bathtub. I had to find a biblical basis for hope for the grieving parents, grandparents, and other extended family as well as the church family and community who were stunned by this tragedy.
I discovered the biblical account of the death of David’s infant son in 2 Samuel 12. In the second half of verse 23, David said, “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” Psalm 23:6 records David also saying, “I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”
So, by simple analogy, David was going where the child went; David was going to the house of the Lord forever; therefore the child had gone to the house of the Lord (heaven). This does not deal with all the questions that could be raised about original sin and inherited guilt, but it is a plain teaching about ultimate destiny that can be easily understood.
I hope this serves as a point of comfort and hope for all those who have lost small children to death across the years.
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