You have kept count of my tossing’s;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
I learned something from this verse. I wrote it down because something spoke to me. I guess it was the reference to collecting tears in a bottle. I thought it was very poetic. Before I started writing this piece I wanted to read what the Biblical scholars had to say about this verse.
What I discovered is that not only was the phrase poetic, it was also a custom that has been practiced throughout history.
It was a custom that when one would suffer great distress, friends would come to comfort them. These friends brought with them a bottle called a lachrymatory or simply put, a tear bottle. The friends would collect the tears of the distraught person in this bottle and then later give it to the person as a memorial to the harrowing times they had gone through.
There are instances where ancient tombs have been dug up and they found a lachrymatory filled with tears. I would assume it was the tears of those who mourned the death. Interesting, isn’t it.
I also read a commentary speaking about David’s reference to a tear bottle in this verse. It said that the saving of his tears was not for washing away sin. No amount of tears and remorse will remove sin. This is done only by the grace of God. The tears that David would save were to be shown to the wicked who caused the tears and let them know why they were condemned.
But I see it a bit differently.
The tears that are saved in a bottle and in the book of God, are there as a reminder to those who shed the tears. Much like the practice of bottling them to give to those who shed the tears as a memorial, so are the tears that are bottled by God.
God puts them in the book in our hearts and pulls them out to remind us of what we have survived. The tears serve to let us not forget what we have experienced and what we have learned from the experience. The memories of tears not only serve to teach us but also to remind us of who we are and how strong we are.
We live and grow through our life experiences. Sometimes we grow the most in knowledge and righteousness through the dark times.
During those dark times we are sure we never want to remember them. But as the pain fades and the spirit grows we look back and realize the lessons we learned have strengthen our souls.
So put your tears in a bottle and remember, with grace, righteousness and God in your heart you survived.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.