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Monday, September 08, 2014

Tears in Heaven?

In Scriptural usage, 'tears' most often are associated with 'mourning'! It was David, king of Israel, who gave us this proverb, 'those who sow in tears shall reap in joy' ( Psalm 126:5 ) ! David's words here have reference, in the context of the History of Israel, to the fact that the work of the Christ, while He mourned over the People of the Covenant who were too blind to see, brought much joy to the Father & His company, for as Scripture also says, 'there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance' ( Luke 15:7-referring to those blind, Pharisaical Jews who thought they were made righteous by the works of the Law )!

He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces;
 the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.
Isaiah 25:8

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, 
there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. 
There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
Revelation 21:4

We know that it begins with the 'heart'! Jesus told the mixed multitudes in His 'Sermon on the Mount' ( Matthew 5:21-30 ) that evil begins in the heart, then eventually works out through the hands! As with evil, so with good; it begins in the heart, we purpose, first, within our heart, to do good, then our hands & feet carry out those actions!

The 'tears' of His People referred to their laboring under bondage! When God's children were suffering in Egypt, the Lord told Moses, 'I have surely seen the oppression of My people who [ are ] in Egypt, and I have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrow' ( Exodus 3:7 ). These are the tears that our Heavenly Father would wipe away, and wipe them away He did, in the Person of Jesus the Christ! As Moses led His People in the Exodus out of the sin & degradation of Egypt, so the Son of God led His People in a New Exodus out of the sin & degradation of Israel under that first [ covenant ], for they had become as Egypt in their idolatry & adultery!

The hope of many Christians today involves the notion that there will be 'No More Tears in Heaven'! Physically speaking, we imagine, there will be no more death, pain, sorrow or crying! We know, however that these things are not always 'evil'; metaphorically, as well as physically speaking, death is a necessity of life; without the death of one ( thing ), there can be no life for another! Without pain, of some sort, no matter how great or small, there can be no gain! If we do not feel sorrow, whether it be over something we have done amiss, or whether because we will miss one who has left this physical plane of existence, then we ourselves have lost our own life! Crying is itself not a bad thing; although it often involves sorrow & mourning, tears also appear at moments of great joy!

'Why are you crying?', one might ask; 'it's because I'm so happy', is the reply that you may hear! Tears are not a bad thing; whether they are in mourning for personal or corporate sin, they often lead to repentance; when they are in mourning the loss of a loved one, then 'joy comes in the morning' ( Psalm 30:5 )!

Whether you believe that we are in 'Heaven', or the Presence of God now, or not, tears are a blessed reality! As long as we are in this physical existence, there will always be tears; that is a biological fact! If we would escape physical tears, we must escape this physicality; no more pain & suffering yes, but no more joy either! There ARE 'Tears in Heaven'; tears of Joy, the Joy that only comes with Freedom, Freedom from Bondage, & Freedom to Be!

Let us always welcome those tears, whether of joy or sorrow, for they have become our salvation!

Charles Haddon Shank

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