Psalm 56:8: “You number my wanderings; / Put my tears into Your bottle; / Are they not in Your book?”

November 29th, 2020 by Pastor Ed in devotional

This psalm records David’s trust in God after being seized by the Philistines. His circumstances were overwhelming and discouraging, but he chose to take his eyes off what he was experiencing and focus them instead on God. As he began to think of the sufficiency of God, it reminded him of how carefully God watched over him. “You number my wanderings” could be translated “You have charted my every step.” What an amazing thought. Our heavenly Father is concerned enough to observe every step of our life, both when we are on the right path and when we are on the wrong path.

David wrote of how God uses 2 different record keeping systems to note our tears, much like a double ledger. He stores them in a bottle and makes a notation of them in a book, a written register. In antique stores in Israel, you can easily find many delicate, ancient vials called lachrymatory bottles for sale. There was a custom as far back as David’s day that when a person was ill or in great distress, his friends would go to see him and take with them a tear bottle. Then, as the tears rolled down the cheeks of the sufferer, they were caught in these bottles, sealed up, and preserved as a memorial of the person’s pain. David was saying something like, “God visit me and observe my tears.”

Since we are to first try to take everything literally, we must ask ourselves why God takes such careful note of our tears? By bottling them, He assures us that they are remembered every time the bottle is observed. If we think of this in terms of Jesus’ weeping, we can only imagine how carefully Father God must have stored up those tears. God charts our steps and records our tears, marking our struggles and trials, to show us just how closely He notices and cares for us. Nothing about our lives ever escapes Father God’s observation, and that is why we, like David, can find peace in difficult times.

“Thank You, LORD, that You are watching over our lives this day. Please keep us in the center of Your will and not wandering aimlessly.”