Tuesday, October 9, 2012

He Washed My Eyes With Tears

Last Sabbath evening I came across a word that at first made me laugh. When I thought about it, it reminded me of the one night I almost shed tears. I'll spare you the details. Lachrymatory- tear bottle. My favourite song this week has been a special one. It was composed by By Ira F. Stamphill, "He Washed My Eyes With Tears."

He Washed My Eyes With Tears
He washed my eyes with tears That I might see,  
The broken heart I had Was good for me;
He tore it all apart And looked inside,
He found it full of fear And foolish pride.
He swept away the things That made me blind,
And then I saw the clouds Were silver-lined.
And now I understand 'Twas best for me,
He washed my eyes with tears That I might see.
He washed my eyes with tears That I might see
The glory of Himself Revealed to me;
I did not know that He Had wounded hands,
I saw the blood He spilt Upon the sands.
I saw the marks of shame, And wept and cried,
He was my substitute, For me He died.

And now I'm Glad He came So tenderly,
And washed my eyes with tears That I might see.
And washed my eyes with tears
That I might see.

A dear friend of mine was telling me about a nightmare she had last night. That she dreamt that I had beaten her badly and woke up with a drumful of tears and bitterness. But it was just a dream. Most people believe that real men never shed tears, not to mention crying. I totally disagree. The very fact that they do laugh demands that they do the opposite when situations reverse. Some situations must milk tears even from the driest eye. Even if my fellow men will force me to compromise on this, they will have to admit that they all have at least an oasis of tears in every eye. Ask them if they've never shed a tear under cover of their bedsheets. If you want to prove me wrong, just sprinkle a pinch of salt into your right eye, I guess it should be the driest. Don't get me wrong. I am talking about the tears you shed when your sins weigh heavily on you and consequently groan for mercy and forgiveness. All saints without exception must shed tears at some point. Stamphill's song made complete sense to me when I heard it beside the following commentaries on Psalms 6:6; 56:8. Read these excerpts thoughtfully:

Showers be better than dews, yet it is sufficient if God at least hath bedewed our hearts, and hath given us some sign of a penitent heart. If we have not rivers of waters to pour forth with David, neither fountains flowing with Mary Magdalene, nor as Jeremy, desire to have a fountain in our head to weep day and night, nor with Peter weep bitterly; yet if we lament that we cannot lament, and mourn that we cannot mourn: yea, if we have the smallest sobs of sorrow and tears of compunction, if they be true and not counterfeit, they will make us acceptable to God; for as the woman with the bloody issue that touched the hem of Christ's garment, was no less welcome to Christ than Thomas, who put his fingers in the print of the nails; so, God looketh not at the quantity, but the sincerity of our repentance.

My bed. The place of his sin is the place of his repentance, and so it should be; yea, when we behold the place where we have offended, we should be pricked in the heart, and there again crave him pardon. As Adam sinned in the garden, and Christ sweat bloody tears in the garden. "Examine your hearts upon your beds, and convert unto the Lord;" and whereas ye have stretched forth yourselves upon your bed to devise evil things, repent there and make them sanctuaries to God. Sanctify by your tears every place which ye have polluted by sin. And let us seek Christ Jesus on our own bed, with the spouse in the Canticles, who saith, "By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth."~ Archibald Symson.

I water my couch with my tears. Let us water our bed every night with our tears. Do not only blow upon it with intermissive blasts, for then like fire, it will resurge and flame the more. Sin is like a stinking candle newly put out, it is soon lighted again. It may receive a wound, but like a dog it will easily lick itself whole; a little forbearance multiplies it like Hydra's heads. Therefore, whatsoever aspersion the sin of the day has brought upon us, let the tears of the night wash away. Thomas Adams.

Put thou my tears in thy bottle (Psalms 56:8). Among other things in the collection of Mr. Abbott, of Cairo, he had a lachrymatory, or tear bottle, which had been found in a tomb at Thebes. This interested me very much. The custom in old times was, when a person was ill or in great distress, for his friends to 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 event. This is what David referred to in Psalms 56:8 . Put thou my tears into thy bottle. But it implies much more than at first suggests itself, and much more than I can attempt to write. For instance, it is as if David had said, "Visit me, and behold my tears;" ("O visit me with thy salvation!") for without such visit there could be no bottling of his tears. "Thou tellest my wanderings; O visit me, and behold my anguish; put my tears into thy bottle," for "they have been my meat day and night." Psalms 42:3 . "Keep them before thee, by way of remembrance, and when thou seest the bottle, O think of him whose tears it contains. Are they not in thy book?" That is, God's book of remembrance, that was written for those "who thought upon his name" ( Malachi 3:16 ), just as the kings of old used to keep a book of chronicles of important events. See Esther 6:1-11 . John Gadsby, 1860.

Please remember these words next time you grieve because of your sins.


  1. JUSTINE NYANGARESI10/10/12 06:42

    I like the conviction and the heart of repentance that puts out that newly lit candle of sin. amen

  2. Wise Solomon says that "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." Proverbs 28:13. The conditions of obtaining mercy of God are simple and just and reasonable. The Lord does not require us to do some
    grievous thing in order that we may have the forgiveness of sin. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages,
    or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to
    the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression; but he that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall have mercy. I think today we rarely use sackcloths as a symbol of remorse. But today, just as David's time, the troubled soul still bleeds tears. To put out the candle of sin completely, one must make a complete about turn just as Isaiah recommends in 55:7.


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