2001-06-28 - Tears
Originally Published 1996-05-09
Last week someone asked me to help them find a reference to 'tears', and I was intrigued with the topic. Psalm 126 contains the familiar verse that reminds us that though we sow in tears, we shall reap in joy. The psalm was originally penned by the returning captives from Babylon to Jerusalem. Yet, we sow seeds in the hearts of men in this world through tribulation and sadness. This world just seems to beat on us every chance it gets. Who can look at the starving children, the abused children, the injustice and hate in this world and not be wounded? And yet, God brings the increase! We sew and do not always get to see the return. But our rejoicing will be the same at the last day as we enter eternity.
2 Kings 20:5 the Lord informs Hezekiah "I have heard your prayer, and I have seen your tears; behold I will heal you." The prayer and tears of an earthly King are no different than those of anyone else in the eyes of God. From the person who has come to the end of themselves, and cries out to God for help, to the child of God who has any need or request. He hears and sees our tears.
Psalm 56:8 is a very interesting verse. "Thou hast taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Thy Bottle; Are they not in Thy book?" David unearths treasure for us. The Lord God of all Creation keeps our tears in a bottle and records them in a book. So, as there is a Book of Life and other special records in the possession of the Lord, there is a Book of Tears. This is a measure of how much He cares for us in our trials. He is ever-present, and the source of all love and good things. What a Savior.
Ecclesiastes 4:1 recalls the tears of the oppressed. I dare say, if the Lord Jesus delays much longer, we shall all in Christ know these tears.
Luke 7 recounts the joyful tears of the harlot who washes Jesus' feet with her tears of joy. She dared burst in to the house of a local religious leader who had invited Jesus to his home. She had apparently heard Jesus speak and present the good news that she could be accepted. Regardless of her past, she was loved by God. God broke her heart in joy and repentance. She cared not for the rules of this world that would forbid her entrance, and cared only to thank Him who had set her aching heart free. Where Simon, the Pharisee, would have cast her out, Jesus told her that "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." (Luke 7:50) " and the one who comes unto Me, I will certainly not cast out!" (John 6:37b) An amazing promise from our Lord.
2 Timothy 1:4 tells Timothy that his dear friend and mentor, Paul, remembered Timothy's tears. Whether these tears where from the time of his repentance, during his service to Christ, or at their last parting, they are all dear to Paul and indeed to the Lord.
Finally, in Revelation 7 and 21 we have the promise of Jesus Christ that He will one day wipe away all tears from our eyes. Tears of grief as we realize more fully the willfulness that creates the need for Him to suffer and die for us, and the depth of that suffering, perhaps? So much more to be sure. I do not have my Greek New Testament here, so I will take one liberty and go out on a limb. I believe these tears are the tears of sadness. They will be no more in the Kingdom of God, but tears of joy? I can see no limit to the joy of Eternity with the Lord Who loves us so much. Tears of joy as over the ages, He slowly unveils the facets of Himself to us, and the facets of His grace, mercy and unending love.
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.