Sorrow Over Sins

My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law. (Psalm 119:136)

In my late forties I finally became attracted to Psalm 119. Formerly it was one of those chapters I would dread in the chapter-a-day Bible reading plan. I taught several weeks of brief studies on it to open our Wednesday evening prayer times a few years ago. I had broken through. Check that, God’s Spirit had broken through. Now, in my early fifties, I return to it regularly. It is made up of 176 verses, every one of which considers God’s word in some way. And the backdrop of it is prayer and meditation. What could be more needful in the midst of the spiritual warfare of our day than meditating on God’s word about God’s word and then offering your thoughts and requests to our Lord in prayer?

My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law. Isn’t it an arresting comment? He weeps at the observation of people in rebellion against God’s good precepts. Let me ask myself, do I even weep over my own sin, not mention the sins of others? We do well to examine ourselves and consider our own consciences and convictions. The psalmist’s primary object of concern is God and his honor and glory. And second, he is sorrowful over lost sinners.

This causes us to recall a passage from Luke: As [Jesus] approached and saw the city, he wept for it, saying, “If you knew this day what would bring peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes … you did not recognize the time when God visited you” (19:41, 42, 44b CSB). Destruction would come in A.D. 70. They had rejected their Savior. And Jesus wept over their sin. Does the rampant sin and rebellion against God all around us cause us to weep and to plead with God for deliverance for the lost sinners in our midst? I want my heart to be heavy and my conscience tender as I observe those “as sheep without a shepherd.”

PRAYER: Dear Lord, our Savior was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. My we have his heart of love for the least and the lost. Help me to desire your honor and glory over all things. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About Joseph V. (Josh) Carmichael

Board Certified Chaplain. Ordained Minister. Adjunct Professor. Writer. Husband to my dear wife. Father of six young men. (PhD, SBTS; MDiv, RTS; MBA, UA)
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