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Matthew 5:4

The Sorrows of Sin

5 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.


"There's an old story about a man who tried to save the city of Sodom from destruction by warning the citizens. But the people ignored him. One day someone asked, 'Why bother everyone? You can't change them.' 'Maybe I can't,' the man replied, 'but I still shout and scream to prevent them from changing me!'" (Daily Bread)

That is the story of someone whose heart carries the sins of others as its burden. A righteous man is often alone in the crowd. Outwardly he may shout and scream for others to give up their sinful lifestyles, but he mourns and grieves for those sins on the inside. He mourns because they mock his God; he mourns because they condemn themselves by their unbelief; he mourns because they lead the young into the same sinful lifestyle; and he mourns because they desecrate the holy things of God.

In the eighth chapter of Ezekiel, God shows the prophet a vision of the many abominations that would occur in the temple. Then, in Chapter 9, God calls His angels to pass through the city and kill all the men, women and children in the city, but in verse four we read His instructions to one angel:

"And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house." (Ezekiel 9:4-6)

Those who mourn over the sins of others will find mercy from God. The angel was instructed to mark the mourners so the other angels would know to spare them, as they brought judgment upon the city.

These same people would also mourn because of their own spiritual poverty. They recognize the struggle between spirit and flesh and they admit when their flesh wins out. They mourn because they do not have enough time alone with God; they mourn because they think wicked thoughts; they mourn because they get bitter; and they mourn because they themselves have not fully trusted in the promises of God. These mourners have recognized the imperfections of mankind and have not denied their own failures. They mourn, because they know that the God of love has been betrayed by the very ones whom He has loved.

Happy are they that mourn? This is an even more distinct dichotomy than the first of the nine beatitudes. They are happy because they are comforted in their grief by the Holy Spirit. God understands their hearts and has made provision for their comfort. Mourning over sin expresses a heart that is in agreement with God and God will comfort those who agree with Him.

There are others who mourn over the loss or lack of worldly things, but these receive no comfort, are not blessed and they are not the subject of this verse. They serve the god of this world and are the reasons why the righteous mourn. Do not be a part of this crowd. Align your heart and focus your life on the things of God and you will receive His comfort.

Before The Throne

Does your heart ache for the sin around you? Pray and God will comfort you. Do you hurt because you cannot seem to avoid sin. Ask God to assure you that there is no condemnation for them that love Him. Pray that He will soon eradicate sin from His creation. Thank Him for allowing you to see life through His eyes.

For Further Study:

(v.4)
** Ps 6:1-9; Ps 13:1-5; Ps 30:7-11; Ps 32:3-7; Ps 40:1-3; Ps 69:29-30; Ps 116:3-7; Ps 126:5-6; Isa 12:1; Isa 25:8; Isa 30:19; Isa 35:10; Isa 38:14-19; Isa 51:11-12; Isa 57:18; Isa 61:2-3; Isa 66:10; Jer 31:9-12, 16-17; Ezek 7:16; Ezek 9:4; Zech 12:10-14; Zech 13:1; Luke 6:21, 25; Luke 7:38, 50; Luke 16:25; John 16:20-22; 2Cor 1:4-7; 2Cor 7:9-10; Jas 1:12; Rev 7:14-17; Rev 21:4;

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