Look at Psalm 126 with me today.
My grandfather was a farmer and I used to love visiting him on his farm. I loved to walk through the rows of his crops and look at all of the fruits and vegetables that had grown and pick the ones that were ripe. One time I visited when it wasn’t harvest time; it was time to sow the seed. I was too young to know that you had to sow the seed. When I visited and there weren’t any crops I asked, “where are all the fruits and vegetables?” He replied, “you have to plant the seed first and then wait for God to grow the crops!” My grandfather planted seed every season trusting that God would provide the rain, sun, and crops in its season! This is what we do with faithfulness! Keep sowing your seeds and know that God will produce a harvest of joy!
This psalm is thought to have been written in the time of Nehemiah and Ezra when the Israelites had been allowed to go back to Jerusalem to rebuild their city. If you know about this story, there were times where there was great productivity in rebuilding and times where it came to a halt because of enemy intrusion and other outside influences. This psalm is a psalm of lament and is thought to be during one of the times where they were at a standstill rebuilding the city.
The Israelites had seen such great progress in building the city. God had restored their fortunes but they kept getting interrupted, so they cried out to God to restore their fortunes like He had done in the past. Follow along with me.
Verses 1-2 read like a congregation of people looking back on the faithfulness of God in times past! It says “When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion…”
Then it shows their response! Verse 2 says they were filled with laughter and shouts of joy! This was a testimony to the rest of the world that made the surrounding nations say, “the Lord has done great things for them.”
Then in verse 3 it looks like the people as a congregation say together, “The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.”
I want to ask you to do something. This might feel a little weird and Im not sure who all will read this today, but will you just say out loud today, “The Lord has done great things for me.”
Alright, now say it again with confidence and look back on your life and reflect on all the great things that God has done for you! Say,”The lord has done great things for us!” As a church and individuals!
Verse 4 is the request or the “petition.” It says, “Restore our fortunes again like the streams of the Negeb.” So they are now asking God to provide for them their fortunes once again. The regions of Israel were dry and streams were dry for most of the year but when it would rain, the streams would turn into torrents and the desert would bloom to be like gardens! Look what they Israelites are asking! They are asking God to rain down provision so they will flourish and shout with joy once again! This is so good because it encourages us to pray to the Lord knowing that only He can restore us like He has done in the past!
Then the voice shifts like yesterday’s psalm. In verses 5 and 6 it is as if someone is speaking to the nation of Israel to encourage them. It says, “those who sow in tears, reap with shouts of joy”…then the same theme is repeated in verse 6.
The encouragement here is to keep on planting, working, serving, moving, even in a season of sadness because the season of Joy is just around the corner! Keep planting the seed and trusting that the Lord will provide!
What we do is we look at God’s provision and blessing in the past to encourage us to work in the drought trusting that He will provide a harvest of joy in the future! So many times we give up in the drought when the harvest is right around the corner!
May we as a church, no matter what we are going through, be able to look back on the great things God has done and continue to work knowing that HE WILL DO IT AGAIN! Be faithful in the drought! God will send rain! And joy will imminently follow!