Weeping Tears into a Bottle?
“Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” Psalm 56:8
King Saul, the first King of Israel, harassed and attempted to kill David on many occasions. Saul sent armies to destroy David, but David always managed to get away, often just barely escaping. Throughout all of this David never tried to retaliate or harm King Saul. Why wouldn’t he defend himself under these extreme circumstances? Well, it was because David was serving God instead of himself. He knew God appointed Saul as the first King of Israel, so who was David to tell God that Saul shouldn’t be King. Who was David to kill the king? No, it was David’s honor and privilege to serve God, so that’s exactly what he did. He evaded and avoided King Saul until God chose the time and place for David to assume the throne.
In the verse above you find David talking to God about King Saul’s
relentless harassment. In his sorrow, David asks God to put his tears into God’s bottle. What bottle is David talking about? It was a custom in the Middle East and other locations to save tears in a little bottle during times of extreme sorrow. No one knows the exact origin of this practice, but David wrote about this over 3,000 years ago and it appears that at that time it was already common practice. So, David wanted God to put his tears into God’s bottle, and then David asked a question. “Are they not in thy book?” Well, what book is he talking about? A clue is found in Malachi 3:16, “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.” It was a book of remembrance. We know it today as the book of life found in Philippians 4:3 and the book of Revelation. It’s a book of the deeds of men and women that will be used to righteously judge them for their sins and their righteous deeds. So, David is asking God if his deeds and shed tears are written in God’s book, and of course they are.
All of our deeds, good or bad, are written in the book of life. All our tears shed in sorrow or grief in service to our Lord are in God’s tear bottle and written down eternally in his book of remembrance. For those that have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, the good deeds are remembered and the bad deeds forgiven and forgotten. For those that haven’t accepted the free gift of salvation, by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, all is remembered. Just think about that – all is remembered and written down as irrefutable proof – all is remembered.
In Luke 7:38 we find Jesus in a meeting with Apostles and Pharisees and a woman enters in, “And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.” Some scholars say that the tears she used were the tears she was weeping, yet others feel it was a combination of her current tears and the tears porn from a tiny bottle that she had collected over the years – tears of shame from her sinful life. She was offering up a sacrifice of tears and scented oils to the Lord as an act of repentance for her many, many sins. The Pharisees were astonished at this. How could Jesus allow a horrible sinner like this touch him? Jesus answered, “…Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:44-48
Her sins were not forgiven for what she did, but for what she believed. She knew that Jesus was Lord and Savior and her reaction to that realization was her repentance and this incredible act of love and kindness – she washed his feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, anointed them with oil and kissed them in gratefulness. She had accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior and now had eternal life and an eternal relationship with the creator of the universe. Just imagine what she might have felt when they finally crucified her Lord. Imagine the anguish and further tears she shed, and started refilling her little tear bottle. Then imagine the joy she felt when she finally passed on to be with Jesus in heaven – triumphant on his throne, but still her friend, Savior and Lord. He wiped the last tears from her eyes and her little tear bottle was never needed again.
Anyone can have this amazing free gift of salvation, and anyone – regardless of their past sins – can have this free gift of God’s grace through their faith in Jesus. Why don’t you come to him now? He’s waiting for you, and he’s only a prayer away.