“You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?”
David refers to God’s book. This is not a reference to the Word of God; for he tells us that the content of this book is David’s tears. He is not the only writer to refer to a book that God possesses. The Apostle John wrote,
“But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” Revelation 21:27
The Old Testament prophet Malachi also refers to this book,
“Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name.” Malachi 3:16
These writers are speaking of a book whose author is God, and the subject is the saints. It is a book that contains the names of all who have trusted in Christ for salvation. As a result, they have become citizens of heaven, and children of God. It is of the utmost importance that your name be found on this scroll.
John further explained its importance,
“And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15
Whether it is the same book, or another one that David is referring to, we cannot know. In addition to our names being listed, David makes clear that our difficulties are recorded as well. He states that our tears are saved in His book. In poetic fashion, Jesus illustrated God’s love for us when He stated,
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30
There is nothing we face that God does not know about. He watches closely the affairs of our lives. He does not watch as an uninvolved observer. Instead, He allows and even uses, the struggles we face to draw us nearer to Himself, and produce His character in our lives. A good friend of mine used the term “Father-Filtered”, to describe how God allows the trials we face. In the midst of these trials, God is carefully watching; providing His sustaining grace and even writing down our sorrows. I have to believe they are recorded, as they have to do with future rewards.
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12
Malachi’s reference to this book is in the context of our communication about God with one another. He states that when the saints talk about God, heaven is listening and recording the conversation. Think about the majesty of that. When you are facing a trial and call a friend who counsels you with the Word, Heaven watches and writes it down. When you share a praise report or a verse that especially touched your heart, God Himself writes it down in a book. Perhaps, the greatest thing we can share is the simple truth of the Gospel with our family, friends and neighbors. This passage has always made me wonder how large my book is. I don’t want to get to heaven and find that mine is the size of a bulletin or Bible tract. Let’s be sure to communicate the things of God so that our book is more like a set of books or a full library.
- What is David’s response to fear?
- Is fear starting to take rule over your life? Lay it before Jesus and do what David says. Verses 3-4.
- Where are your tears?
- Dwell on verse 13 for a moment… God really does love you!