For his anger endures but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Day and night constitute the sum of human existence; they are emblematical of joy and sorrow. In figurative language, hope and joy are invariably clad in a vesture of light, whilst fear and grief are robed in sable. The language of our text cannot be applied to the trials and afflictions of the ungodly, but we would notice some of those occasions of weeping which may reasonably be expected to terminate in joy. Of this nature are —
I. THE TEARS THAT FLOW FROM CONVICTION OF SIN and penitential sorrow.
II. The grief that arises FROM CONSCIOUS BACKSLIDING or from the upbraidings of a tender conscience. There is no feeling more oppressively painful than that of being a conscious traitor: and the anguish of the backslider is closely allied to this. Of whatever nature his sins may be, his profoundest grief will arise from their opposition to the Divine nature. "Against Thee, Thee only," etc.
III. Those that arise FROM THE SENSE OF SPIRITUAL DESERTION. There are times when we "walk in darkness and have no light," and we receive no communications of grace to raise our drooping spirits. The light of God's countenance is withdrawn. But this loneliness of soul, this desolation of spirit, shall be removed, and the light shall again shine.
IV. THOSE CAUSED BY TEMPORAL AFFLICTIONS, such as loss, bereavement, death. Conclusion.
1. Let the sentiment of the text preserve you from a gloomy despondency.
2. Disarm death of its terrors.
3. Let each individual ask himself, if he be interested in the truth of my text? Will the source of your weeping become a spring of joy? Can you reasonably expect it should be so? It all depends on your being at peace with God. How is it with you?
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.