Watching After Others

“Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed.”Psalm 119:136

The majority of this chapter in the psalms is a yearning that God would teach his laws to the person who is writing. But this verse stood out, as it seems to be an outward, rather than an inward, focus. The author seems to be observing how God's laws are not kept by others, and it breaks his heart to see the failure of others.

It is one thing to have a yearning for my own adherence to God's word, but quite another to be broken over the failure of others to follow. My own tendency is to be fairly insular about such things – minding my own business, and letting others mind theirs. But shouldn't my own heart be broken by the observance of anyone breaking God's law? If His law is perfect, and if I believe the Bible when it says that keeping the law is important to anyone's salvation (coupled with grace), then shouldn't I be motivated to help others to follow it, and weep when it is not? This requires an empathy for the fate of others, not just for my own.


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