“The sins of others work for good to the godly, as they produce holy sorrow. God’s people weep for what they cannot reform. . . . Wicked men make merry with sin. . . . But the godly are weeping doves.”- Thomas Watson, A Divine Cordial, (1663)
“Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed.”- Psalm 119:136 (NIV)
Aubrey Sampson concludes Chapter 2 of The Louder Song as she talks about the fourth and final type of lament.
4. The Repentant Lament. For a period of time, Romanians referred to Christians living there as ‘The Repenters.’ Aubrey states that she loves that description. Because, as followers of Jesus, we commit to follow the way of Jesus through repentance. Thus, our lives should look different.
As a result, when faced with God’s holiness — His sacrifice, grace, love, and rule — we find ourselves humbled by our own sin and our desperate need for salvation. Furthermore, we also lament for the sins of others.
In his essay A Divine Cordial, Thomas Watson described Christians as weeping doves. Aubrey extends his thought:
“The godly are weeping doves. What a lovely image — it contains sorrow for sin and the shalom of Christ all at once. As followers of Jesus, we are people of both — the cross and the Kingdom. We know Christ and his sufferings, but we also know the victory of his resurrection. Therefore, our laments should reflect it all — regret and return to the Lord.”
In conclusion, despite the form or type of lament in Scripture, time and time again we see how God aligns Himself with suffering people. Consider Jesus, Man of Sorrows. Jesus not only knew lament intimately, but He also became lament for us. Hence, Jesus has no fear of our honest expressions of pain. As we dive deeper into intimacy with Jesus, our sorrow turns back into praise. Lament = the rope keeping us tethered to His presence.
Today’s question: What holy sorrow do you feel for the sins of others? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Talking to the ceiling fan”