For his anger endures but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
I. WEEPING. It is at even that she comes to all our homes. When she enters, we close the shutters, and very often put out the candle, and in the glow of the dying embers on the hearth talk to her a while.
1. Weeping is sure to come to us when the shadow of death rests upon our home. She tells us that there seldom was a home so dark as ours, or a trial so great; that such a loss can never be fully made up; that now we are only just beginning to find out what life is.
2. Weeping comes in times of adversity and anxious care. With pensive countenance and in sad tones she says that Providence is full of mystery, and that in all ages she has known some of the best people who were thus sadly perplexed. She tells us that she well remembers how Asaph long ago used to say (Psalm 73:1, 2, 5, 18). She reminds us how David, too, and other saints felt the same burden of mystery, and adds that no one has ever found the solution. She is not surprised that we are troubled; we well might be.
3. Weeping comes in those trying hours when friendships disappoint us and close and tender relationships become strained. She suggests that human nature is, notwithstanding all its professions, selfish and untrustworthy; that the exclamation of the psalmist is, sooner or later, the exclamation of all who have known much of the world and its ways: "Put not your trust in princes," etc.
4. Weeping is sure to come to us in the hour of our humiliation and shame. In the dim glimmer of the fire on the hearth she brings to our notice stains on our garment which, she assures us, would look a thousand times worse if we saw them in the proper light — saw them as others see them; and, above all, as God sees them.
II. WEEPING VANISHES OUT OF SIGHT IN THE GREY LIGHT OF DAWN, AND JOY enters our dwelling. The blinds are drawn up again, the fire is rekindled upon the hearth; and then, in the growing light of day that streams through the window, Joy talks to us a while. We repeat to her what Weeping has told us, and Joy replies that Weeping is a true teacher, that it is her prerogative to utter many a truth which only she can teach, but that she overlooks others none the less important.
1. For instance, that in speaking to us of our bereavement as a loss for which nothing can compensate, she forgot to tell us of the meeting again; of the memory of that dear one which will be to us a life-long inspiration; of the upward direction which such a bereavement should give to our thoughts and aspirations; and of how it may be one of God's ways of uniting us to Himself by associating His home with ours.
2. Again, Joy reminds us that when Weeping spoke of affliction as being the mystery which has perplexed God's saints in all the ages, and of how she had heard Asaph say, "As for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked," etc. (Psalm 73:2-13), she forgot to tell us the rest that Asaph said: how that he began the psalm with, "Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart"; and how that, further on, in speaking of the prosperity of the wicked, he exclaims (vers. 16-20 and 25, 26). "She forgot to tell you, too," adds Joy, "what another psalmist said (Psalm 119:67). "Yes," continues Joy, "Weeping is a good teacher, but she has a poor memory for aught that is joyous; she only remembers the sad."
3. Joy pauses, and then, with a still brighter glow upon her countenance, and a clearer ring in her voice, she continues, And when Weeping spoke to you of your sin, she gave you but half the truth. When she told you that you could never remove the stains of sin which God saw upon your garment, she forgot to say that "the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth," etc.
Parallel VersesKJV: For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.