By Johnie Edwards
The shedding of tears, on the part of many, is about a thing of the past! Even crying at funerals is seldom seen anymore as it is suppose to be a sign of stability not to cry. The Psalmist said, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy” (Psa. 126:5). There are different kinds of tears mentioned in the Bible. Let’s take a look at some.
Tears of Warning
Paul shed tears because he knew that brethren would not listen to the truth and would depart from it. He said, “Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears” (Acts 20:31). Even though the Bible is filled with warnings, most do very little heeding. The purpose of a watchman was to “hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me,” (Ezek. 3:17) said God. We would all do well to listen to the warnings of God. One reason Noah was said to have walked with God was that he listened to the warnings of God and “prepared an ark to the saving of his house. . . ” (Heb. 11:7).
Tears of Sadness
The Ephesians wept as Paul bid them goodbye on leaving the work at Ephesus. “And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him” (Acts 20:36-37).
Too many times preachers leave a place of work with malice toward the elders and the elders toward the preacher. My brethren, this ought not to be! A lot of churches have a pre-set time frame in which a preacher is to work and when that time is up, he must go regardless of how good the work is going, and this is sad. Some places just about “eat” the preacher up when he first begins a new work and after he has been there a short while, they wished they had! There just needs to be a better and closer tie between elders and preachers
Tears of Sympathy
“Jesus wept” (Jn. 11:35). Jesus wept because He cared when others were in sorrow. Mary and Martha had just lost their brother to death. Even though Jesus could and did resurrect Lazarus from the dead, He still showed concern. I am afraid that many are too cold and indifferent toward others who sorrow. Someone says, “I thought we ought not sorrow when a Christian dies.” No, you have that wrong! Paul told the Thessalonians “that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope” (1 Thess. 4:13). Let’s not get too proud to cry.
Tears Over Sin
Jeremiah of the Old Testament has often been called the “weeping prophet” because he cried over the sinful condition of God’s people. Israel was guilty of backsliding, playing the harlot, and forgetting God; they could not blush and they would not walk in the old paths. Such is enough to make the righteous cry. Jesus wept over the sinful condition of God’s people. “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd” (Matt. 9:36). Sin in our society is the order of the day and most of us do very little about it. It would do us all good to look at the sinful condition of most people and allow our tears of concern to lead us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11).
Guardian of Truth XXX: 18, p. 562
September 18, 1986