Devotional

The Sorrow of God

Michael Beck Michael Beck

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37)

Most people sorrow because they’re not getting something. God sorrows when He is prevented from giving. There is no self-pity in God; only sadness that men go without the good things He would freely give them. He came to His own, ready to give, but they received Him not. He is the King who bids men to the wedding of His Son; but “they would not come.” (Matt. 22:3) Oh how His great and generous heart yearns to bless and fill to overflowing! And the response of men: “Israel would none of me.” (Ps. 81:11)

The clarion call of God is “Come!” He has a prepared a table with good things for “whosoever will.” He declares, “Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” (Ps. 81:10) But lips stay shut. The table filled with good things remains untouched. And so God mourns, not for Himself, but for those who needlessly go without. He weeps over Jerusalem because she doesn’t know the time of her visitation and the things which would bring her peace.

The world sorrows because it fails to get more of this earth’s “good” things. If we must sorrow, let us sorrow as God does. The sorrow of God is the sorrow of love spurned. Let us weep over our Jerusalem that will not receive the good news we carry. God’s wrath will be poured out; but now is not the time for anger – it is the time to bear our Lord’s sorrow.


Michael Beck is a pastor in New York City and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.