my eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law. [psalm 119:136]
all my life, culture has driven into me that strength is demonstrated in stoicism, especially as a man, i am not to cry. and i often cry, when something has been taken from me, when i feel the guilt of sin, when i feel pain or a sudden loss. crying is the natural result of seeing the brokenness of the world, feeling the sting of death–the victory of sin.
the psalmist flips culture on its head by showing that he is so affected by the rejection of God’s law, God’s holiness, that he laments that God’s name and law is being profaned.
you don’t have to look around very long to see the world is broken. lamentations, weeping and woe are everywhere in the Bible, a result of sin and loss. Jesus weeps when he learns of lazarus’ death. Jesus laments over jerusalem because they have not kept his Father’s law. [matthew 23:37]
it is ok to cry because we long for another world through tears.
for we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. [romans 8:22-23]
one day, there will be no more rejection of God’s Word. God will execute final judgement for those who do not keep his law, where there will be crying for eternity.
but he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see abraham and isaac and jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. [luke 13:27-28]
and for those of us who seek his presence–
“he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” [revelation 21:4]
we won’t have a need for crying, there will only be worship–we will be home with our savior, Jesus.
~ conor eastman