A Devotion

Lindsay and I had a chance to come home for a little bit. We will be able to stay at the hospital again tonight. I just got off the phone with Pierce's nurse and he is doing well (again, relatively speaking of course). They should have the results of the brain scan tonight. We trust that the report will be good. The next hurdle will be trying to close the PDA vein in his chest. Hopefully, within the next day or two the creatan levels in his kidneys will be low enough that they can administer the drug that will close that vein. Pray that that will be the case and that the medicine will effectively close the valve and surgery will not be needed. Pray that the PDA closes with one dosage of the medicine.

His nurse just flipped him around in his bed again and they were amazed at how well he did. Pat, his nurse today, told me that most of the time when they flip babies they have to adjust their oxygen settings, but Pierce was fine. I am telling you, your prayers are being received answered by the Father; keep lifting them up.

Since we came home, I decided to read Dale Ralph Davis' commentary on 2 Samuel 12:15-25. The passage itself reads:

And the LORD afflicted the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and he became sick. David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. On the seventh day the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, "Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us. How then can we say to him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm." But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, "Is the child dead?" They said, "He is dead." Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate. Then his servants said to him, "What is this thing 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." He said, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, 'Who knows whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?' But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me." Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. And the LORD loved him and sent a message by Nathan the prophet. So he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.

Before I comment on the passage itself, for my Hebrew Exegesis class this semester I have a major paper due and about a month ago I chose this very passage to base it on. Is that not crazy? I chose this passage because I love King David. David and Peter are in a close tie for my two favorite historical figures(btw, Pierce is the Anglo version of Peter, which means rock). David is the epitome of a man; he is a ferocious warrior, a passionate lover, and a man after God's own heart. He has also fallen as a believer into heinous sin and has despised and rejected the God he loves (2 Samuel 12:9). Nevertheless, God's grace never leaves him. And the passage of 2 Sam 12:15-25 proves that. Davis says that David is "in the grip of grace" here in this passage. You can even take a look at a psalm such as Psalm 3 and see this (mentioned in an earlier blog post). This psalm is written sometime after David's fall into sin with Bathsheeba. It is a psalm of complete confidence in the Lord. Thousands of his own son's soldiers were pursuing David to kill him. But David had full, complete trust in the Lord, even though he had failed as a king, even though he failed as a believer (Listen Tim Keller's incredible exposition on this passage here). There is no way David could have trusted in God based on his performance. No, he trusted in God because of who God is. And that is what 2 Sam 2:12-25 is all about.

In 2 Sam 2:13-14, though David repents of his sin, the prophet Nathan pronounces God's judgment to David for the sin; David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.
14 Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the LORD, the child who is born to you shall die." There is no condemnation for David (Romans 8:1), but nevertheless the child that Bathsheba bore out of this adulterous relationship will die. Judgment has been pronounced. Does David just accept it and go on his way? No. David locked himself in his house and fasted and pleaded with the Lord to spare the child's life. The elders of his house did not understand what David was doing and tried to get him to get up off the ground and eat (v.17). Judgment had been proclaimed, why bother? When the child died after 7 days, the servants were scared to tell David the news for fear that he might kill himself (v.18). But when David figured out that the child died, he got up, cleaned himself off, put on some nice clothes, a little bit of cologne, and then went to the house of the Lord to worship (v.20). Afterwords, he went back home and asked his chefs to make him some food (v.20). The servants couldn't figure it out (v.21). David was just so distraught over the child that they thought he was having an emotional breakdown and was going to kill himself, now he is grubbing. But what does David say to them; He said, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, 'Who knows whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?' But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me" (vv.22-23).

Though judgment had been proclaimed, David knew his God intimately. David knew that grace isn't something that God just does, grace is a major part of God's character. And that is why Davis can say that David is caught "in the grip of grace."

This judgment by God on David was actually an act of love. God gave David enough grace to know Him intimately. And this is worked out here in David's response. David does not dishonor God by trying to put Him in a box. He knows that God is a God who has "crowned him with steadfast love and mercy" (Psalm 103:4). David knows that God has the power and authority to relent his judgment and save the child. It would be incredibly miraculous for God to do this after He has proclaimed the judgment through Nathan, but David knew God could do it. God is the ultimate judge and final authority. "Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died--more than that, who was raised--who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us" (Romans 8:33). David loves and respects Nathan, but Nathan isn't the ultimate judge. David knew that as long as that child was still alive, God could heal him and reverse his judgment. In short, David is asking from God something that seems totally impossible. And in this, God is honored and David is blessed. God is honored because David is saying in the pits of his heart, "I know you are the sovereign Lord and you can do anything, please be gracious and reverse this judgment." David is blessed because he is exercising a level of faith that is scarcely attained (David also is blessed with another child, Solomon, in vv.24-25 who goes on to be one of the greatest men to ever lived).

What I am NOT saying here: The reasons why Lindsay and I are in this situation are unknown. Only a fool would speculate to understand why God allowed for Pierce to come early. I cannot say that some guilt incurred by personal sin is the reason why Pierce came early. It could be, but I do not know? Certainly, sin is the ultimate cause. Sin has tainted every aspect of creation, especially child birth (Gen 3:16). Sin is the reason why we get sick and die. It has been conquered through Christ, but sin is still ravaging this world until God makes it new (2 Pet 3:13). Sin is the cause for all of our pain and suffering at some level. I am also not saying that sin is o.k. If you sin, you will die (Romans 8:13). We should never presume on God's grace. Actually, as God's love grows in your heart you will hate sin more and more and begin to do everything to avoid it. There is grace for any sin, any sin. David proves that. But it is extremely dangerous to play a sin game of Russian roulette with God.

What I am saying here: Lindsay and myself do not deserve to have God's grace. Grace by definition is a "gift." But we know that God is gracious and He loves to shower His grace on us. Furthermore, we know God can make Pierce the "miracle baby of all miracle babies." We believe that with all our heart because God has given us the grace to have that kind of faith. Like David, we are not going to God flaunting how good we have been or how spiritual we are. No, we go to God first of all because of Jesus Christ. We can go boldly to the throne of grace because of Jesus. We are wretched sinners! If I did not believe that Jesus has covered us with His blood I would have no hope for myself, Lindsay, or Pierce. Second, we know God has the power to heal Pierce. That is why we are not just praying for him to simply survive, we are praying for a full restoration, no complications or anything. We pray that Pierce will continue to baffle the medical staff, you who are following the blog, and us because of what God in Christ is doing through him. And it is not because we deserve it. Like David, we are just pleading to the One that has the power over sin and death. We are pleading to the only one that can cast our sin as far as the east is from the west, look down upon us and say "I love you more than your little mind can fathom. You don't deserve for Me to heal Pierce, you really don't deserve anything from me. But I gave my Son up so that I could love you intensely forever. And I am going to display My love to you by sustaining you through this trial, building your character, your endurance, your hope, and by miraculously healing your son. I can do this, I alone. I am the Great "I am" and there is no other god besides me. I love you, I love you, I love you. I gave my Son for you, how will I not graciously give you all things." That is where we are at, that is where David was at in 2 Sam 12, that is where all believers in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords are at, whether they recognize it or not. It is where the entire world is at with common grace. Those who hate God would not enjoy the things that they do in their short life if Jesus had not come.

Continue to pray for Pierce in this time. Jesus loves him more than any of us do.
We will be heading back to the hospital shortly. We will give you an update on his brain scan.

Grace and peace,

Nik, Lindsay, and Pierce


  1. God is good and He is always good. It is all grace. I am going to put this on my blog. The Word is the only thing that will sustain you through whatever lies ahead, and obviously you know that. I love you guys with all my heart. Lynn

  2. Hey Lindsay,

    I am a friend of Anne Chen's and she sent me your blog. I'm really sorry to hear how hard this must be for you guys. I understand because I went through a similar jouney. last year I went into labor when my daughter was 25 weeks and was in hospital for a week on magnesium sulfate before I had her at 26 weeks gestation.
    She was in hospital for 105 days, had a PDA ligation (operation to sew up PDA) was on oxygen for several months and so on. We are Christians too. God has been so faithful to us and helped us so much a long the way but it was a long hard journey. If you ever wanted to talk to someone who has been through something similar and maybe can give you a little of info if you need to ask any questions I would be happy to talk to you. I am not saying I know all your pain . Every story is different but I know how hard it is. You are welcome to email. I am praying for your precious baby. God has him in his hand.
    My name is Anna and my email is annalhamman@gmail.com