“My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.” (ESV)
How do you feel about God’s commands? Here in v. 136 of Psalm 119, the psalmist has poured hundreds of words into his proclamation of his love for and devotion to God’s law. Here he lands on an idea that is worth considering for a moment. Again: How do you feel about God’s law?
For the psalmist, his passion is obvious. It breaks his heart to the point of shedding tears to see it broken. On a scale of apathy to your eyes shedding “streams of tears,” where do you fall? Better yet, where does your behavior suggest you fall? Are you bothered by it (especially in your own life), or do you mostly take it in stride? Does it make you angry, or do you prefer to “not judge other people”?
The truth is that you should be bothered by it at least some. You should be bothered by it if you truly understand who God is and how important are His words. God is the author of life and His words bring life to those who heed them. In our own lives, violating His words is to unleash the power of sin and death on not only us, but the people around us. The same rings true in the lives of others, but they may or may not know it.
If it is a fellow follower of Jesus who is not heeding God’s commands, we have a duty to gently call them back to the path of life. If it is one who makes no such claim, we have a duty to help them see why obeying God’s commands is the only thing that will lead to the life they are seeking (this is called apologetics).
Seeing God’s laws broken should bother us to the point that it moves us to action. What action will be determined by how close we are to the situation and how well we know the people involved in it. But, if we ignore it as professed followers of Jesus, we are revealing that our commitment to our Lord isn’t where it ought to be.