by: Pastor Al Austria
Psalm 56:8 You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?
As another year ends, most people recall all the things (most particularly the good ones) that happened to them in relation to family, work and friends. Some would say that this time of the year is the proper time to count all blessings. Some even count not just the good ones but even the failures that made them strive to improve. Some count the happy days, while some number tough and challenging ones. The reason for doing these finds its common ground in how these facts help us be motivated for the coming year.
Psalm 56:8 is David’s exhortation for those who needed motivation. But the difference is, it is not he who’s numbering but God. Here David proclaims the care and concern of God upon him in counting his tossings and tears. Tossings are wanderings, grievances or sorrows as what other translation of the Bible says. Putting tears in the bottle is one custom of the Hebrews wherein mourners put their tears in the bottle as a memorial of sympathy to a relative or a friend who died.
Verse 8 is David’s testimony about God’s care and sympathy for us, that He did not only see and know our afflictions and pain, He numbers it and even stores the amount of tears we have shed to His bottle, a picture expressing that no amount of suffering for His glory’s sake, for righteousness’ sake will ever amount for nothing. He counts all of it. And God also takes into account all the cries for help we laid down at His feet in prayer, by writing it down in His book, again a wonderful picture of the attention God gives towards His children.
So whenever we are in pain or in sorrow, let us not forget that Christ our Lord sympathizes with us, in fact promised us, that He will be with us unto the end of the age (Matthew 28:20) to sustain us until the time He comes in power and glory to put an end to all sorrows. On that time, He will put an end to the putting of our tears into His bottle, because He will permanently wipe away every tears from our eyes. On that day, there will be no more death, nor mourning, nor crying, nor pain, for the former things have passed away (Revelations 21:4). On that there will be only progressing joy with our Savior. Let us all therefore be motivated by these truth in the years that will come until Jesus comes. Amen.