January 22, 2012

God’s Bottle of Tears – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?” (Psalm 56:8).

In this passage David affords us an amazing insight into the tender, compassionate, caring heart of the one who spoke this universe into existence, the majestic, all powerful being who is described in scripture as our heavenly Father. He has a book which records our tears. He has a tear bottle, perhaps a tear bottle for each of His wandering children.

Ancient “tear bottles,” made similar to wineskins, have actually been excavated by archaeologists in Israel. This discovery is reflected in the New English Translation’s rendition of this passage.

“You keep track of my misery. Put my tears in your leather container! Are they not recorded in your scroll?”

Evidently these small vessels were used to catch and preserve the owner’s tears during times of grief. We recall that this psalm was written by David when he was being pursued by Saul, while at the same time surrounded by Philistines in the city of Goliath. Perhaps David had his own tear bottle. David obviously believed that in some sense, God was also storing up his own personal tears in His own heavenly bottle of tears. The Holy Spirit chose to record a description of a moving event in the life of Jesus which also implies a divine awareness of tears.

“And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume.” (Luke 7:37-38).

This woman heaped honor on Jesus by applying precious ointment or perfume to His feet after she had first washed His feet with tears. Some scholars think, as is implied by the text, that these tears came from a tear bottle containing her own tears, which was emptied on His feet. Others argue that those tear bottles that have been found actually contained the collected tears of mourners at a burial site.

Regardless, we are effectively reminded of what we are prone to forget. God knows. He knows our wanderings, our sorrows and all our tears. They are not insignificant to Him. He stores them up. He is not unaware and He does not forget!

 

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