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The Lord Regards All Our Suffering and Even Records Our Grief

Psalm 56:8 (ESV) … “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?”

Every step which the fugitive (David) had taken when pursued by his enemies, was not only observed but thought worthy of counting and recording. We perhaps are so confused after a long course of trouble, that we hardly know where we have or where we have not been; but the omniscient and considerate Father of our spirits remembers all in detail, for he has counted them over as men count their gold, for even the trial of our faith is precious in his sight. “Put thou my tears into thy bottle.”

His sorrows were so many that there would need a great wine-skin to hold them all. There is no allusion to the little complimentary lachrymatories of fashionable and fanciful Romans, it is a robuster metaphor by far; such floods of tears had David wept that a leathern bottle would scarce hold them.

David trusts that the Lord will be so considerate of his tears as to store them up as men do the juice of the vine, and he hopes that the place of storage will be a special one—“thy bottle,” not a bottle. “Are they not in thy book?” Yes, they are recorded there, but let not only the record but the grief itself be present to thee. Look on my griefs as real things, for these move the heart more than a mere account, however exact. How condescending is the Lord! How exact his knowledge of us! How generous his estimations! How tender his regard![1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: Psalms 27-57 (Vol. 2, p. 466). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

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