Don’t Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart

Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. I do not include supplemental material on Sundays, but I do publish a suggested Scripture reading. Please be sure to subscribe to this page so you can follow along every day. Thanks for reading!

Reading the Word

Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on soda.(Proverbs 25:20, ESV)

Weep for Yourselves

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Reading the Word

Luke 23:27–31 (ESV)

27 And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. 28 But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Understanding and Applying the Word

As Jesus traveled the path to the cross, there were many women who were following along and mourning for him. This is a reminder to us that not everyone wanted Jesus to die. There were those who loved and believed Jesus. When Jesus saw them, he told them not to weep for him, but to weep for themselves and their children. Jesus knew that in only a few years (A.D. 70) the Jewish people would face great suffering and difficulty when the Romans destroyed both Jerusalem and its temple.

The Romans were willing to execute an innocent man (Jesus). This is what Jesus meant when he said, “For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” Jesus is the innocent, green wood that is facing the fire of the Romans. But how much worse will it be when the wood is dry? How much worse will it be when the target is not innocent? That will be the case when the Romans destroy Jerusalem. It will be a ruthless destruction. And it was.

Jesus’ words to these women were to point out that the women were weeping for the wrong thing. Jesus’ rejection meant judgment for the nation. Rejection of Jesus means judgment for each and every one of us. We must warn the world of sin and judgment and tell them of the salvation that is available through Christ.

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The Lord Has Done Great Things for Us

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Reading the Word

Psalm 126:1–6 (ESV)

1  When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
2  Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
3  The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad.

4  Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like streams in the Negeb!
5  Those who sow in tears
shall reap with shouts of joy!
6  He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.

Understanding and Applying the Word

The Lord is a God of restoration. In the Old Testament, we see how he restores the nation of Israel after defeat by its enemies. Such a turnaround results in joy and celebration.

The entire Bible is a story of restoration. It is a story of how God is restoring the entire creation to what it was meant to be. In the beginning, God created all things good, but when mankind rebelled against God through disobedience, sin entered the world and God’s good creation was corrupted resulting in suffering and death. God, in his grace towards us, promised to send one who would deliver mankind from the power of sin (Genesis 3:15).

As we read the Bible, we learn that the promised one was Jesus Christ, who died to pay for our sins and give us life. Those who turn to Christ in repentance and trust are promised eternal life in a restored creation without sin. Revelation 21 describes what that new world will be like:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” (Revelation 21:1–7, ESV)

There will be no mourning or crying or pain or death anymore. Our tears will be turned to joy and we will be with the Lord! Praise the Lord. He has truly done great things for us through Jesus Christ.

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