You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle.” Psalm 56:8
David lived, let’s just say, a complicated life. He showed tremendous heroism but also tragic failure. He worshipped God with all his might, but the amount of bloodshed he caused kept him from building a temple to God. He made Israel secure from its enemies but had a time when he fought for the enemy! Like I said, complicated!
This Sunday Pastor Jevon will share some of these complications with us and help us enter the soul of someone who doesn’t always get it right yet seeks to honor God. In other words, we all could use this sermon!
In one of David’s Psalms, 56, he pours out his heart to God and mentions his own tears. The Psalms reference tears frequently. The writers teach us much about not dismissing our tears or being embarrassed by them. The psalmists would have us see our tears as sacred.
So in Psalm 56:8 David says, “put my tears in your bottle.” What does he mean? Archaeologists discovered in some ancient tombs what they came to discover as tear bottles. People had the practice of keeping a special bottle to collect their tears in life. When they were buried their tear bottles would be placed with them. It was a way of acknowledging how God is aware of and even shares our tears.
In a moment of personal anguish, David took this thought to another level. “Put my tears in your bottle!” He was saying God makes our tears God’s own. That’s how much we matter to God.
There is a story about a mother whose mother died. She was sad and had long hours of tears. Her little daughter tried to comfort her mother. She cuddled up next to her one day and said, “Mommy, if you don’t stop crying, I’m afraid you’ll turn into a tear.” Her mother smiled and asked, “If I do, would you wipe me with a tissue?” Her daughter said, “No, I’d put you in my eye.”
What a beautiful, profound statement of love. This is how David felt God loves us.
I hope the Psalms speak to you with new meaning this summer. I’ll look forward to worshipping with you Sunday. See you then!