The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.
Not a Place for Tears
There were probably a few tears shed at the last banquet you attended. Maybe the father of the bride gave a moving toast that eloquently recalled tender-hearted memories of his little girl, now all grown up and ready to start a family of her own. Perhaps a grown-up daughter stood up at her parents’ 50th Anniversary and talked about how her parents had inspired her by their Godly example in the best of times and also the worst. Tears are often an unintended part of the banquet agenda.
But the great banquet, the prophet Isaiah mentions in our reading for today, will be different. Isaiah speaks about how that day will be for the drying of tears rather than the shedding of tears. Why? Because the things that hurt our hearts belong to this sinful world and our existence on this side of heaven.
There’s another gem in this verse that’s a little more subtle; but equally powerful. Pay special attention to the One who is wiping away the tears. It’s none other than the Sovereign LORD. That’s a name for God that connotes power and strength. Yet, here he is, tenderly wiping away the tears from our eyes like a mother comforting her distressed child. “It’s all right,” the Sovereign LORD will say, “I’ve got you. You’re home.”
In a world of tears, we often find ourselves waiting for the next promotion, relationship, or package from Amazon that will bring us joy and ease our pain. “Things will be better then!” we tell ourselves. And it’s true that God graciously gives us blessings in this world that make us smile. But earthly joys don’t last long, and we find that our times of joy are mixed with moments of tears. That’s actually not an entirely bad thing. The fleeting and fickle nature of earthly joys reminds us of a different time and a better place still to come—the grand and glorious heavenly banquet where the Sovereign LORD himself will wipe every tear from our eyes.
Sovereign LORD, I watch and eagerly wait for the day that I will see you face to face. Until that day, help me to be grateful for my earthly joys and use my times of sadness to make me long for a better eternal day in your presence. Amen.