The Bible says, “For these things I weep, mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me” (Lamentations 1:16).
The word lament means a “loud expression of grief; mourning; weeping and wailing.” A lamentation is a “poem, song, or tune that expresses grief.” And that’s what the book of Lamentations is about.
Jeremiah is often called “the weeping prophet.” He preached hard against the sins of Israel and called on them to weep over their sins and repent and turn back to God. He told them that they could judge themselves and weep then over their sins and repent or they would be judged by God and would weep later under the suffering He brought on them (Jeremiah 4). When they didn’t heed his message and were judged by God for their sins, Jeremiah still wept over what he saw happening to his people. He wept because children starved to death in the street (2:11, 12), because the women ate their infants (2:20, 4:10), and because the women were ravaged (sexually abused) (5:11). Jeremiah wept because he said; “Mine eye (what I see happening) affecteth mine heart” (Lamentations 3:51).
We may, because of our desire to comfort someone ask them, “What are you crying about?” We all cry for different reasons. What a person cries about says a lot about them. What one person cries about another person laughs about. We can cry at the wrong time as well as laugh at the wrong time (Ecclesiastes 3:4; Romans 12:15). We can control both and change our mourning to laughter and our laughter to mourning(Nehemiah 8:9-12; James 4:9).
Some people cry their eyes dry watching a TV show that’s nothing but fantasy. Others weep over the real and terribly sins of our nation and cry out to God for His mercy and forgiveness and for revival (Ezra 9:4-7). Some people cry when they lose a ball game, but can’t cry over a family member who’s lost and on their way to Hell’s eternal flames. Others cry when they see the underprivileged and less gifted win a small but significant victory.
Some people cry about things that won’t matter two seconds on the other side of eternity but laugh at the Truth that shows them how to prepare for eternity.
We cry about things we’re sensitive to and about things that are important to us. We don’t weep over sin because we’ve become desensitized to sin and because our relationship to our Heavenly Father isn’t all that important.
We weep tears of joy and tears of sorrow. And as the song says, “Tears Are a Language God Understands.” We today should be weeping and mourning over the sins of our nation (Ezekial 9), and ask God to give our nation the spirit of repentance that we might turn back to Him.
One day there’ll be no more tears for those who know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, because the curse of sin will be removed forever, and all the things that cause us pain and sorrow now will be gone and God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes (Isaiah 25:8; Revelations 7:17, 21:4).
Then and only then there’ll be nothing to cry about.
James H. Cagle lives in Ray City, Ga., and is a former Hamilton County resident.