Thursday, May 26, 2011

Psalm 126

Sow in Tears . . . Reap in Joy
A Song of Ascents

My Bible notes that this psalm is a request for God to extend the benefits of the return from exile to more than the initial few who returned from Babylon.  The psalmist recounts the joy of those who have returned (verses 1-3) and offers a prayer and a blessing for those yet to return (verses 4-6). 

Spurgeon offers this observation:
We see here not only that Zion abides, but that her joy returns after sorrow.  This is a song after a great deliverance from oppression. 
This psalm is in its right place and most fittingly follows its predecessor, for as in Ps 125:1-5, we read that the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous, we here see it removed from them to their great joy.
The word "turn" would seem to be the keynote of the song: it is a Psalm of conversion—conversion from captivity; and it may well be used to set forth the rapture of a pardoned soul when the anger of the Lord is turned away from it.
The Psalm divides itself into
  • a narrative (vs 1-2)
  • a song (vs 3),
  • a prayer (vs 4),
  • a promise (vs 5-6)
This picture below of my two sons with our family pet hangs in my house, in a frame with Psalm 126:3 painted on it.  One week in December, 2005, all three in the picture came very close to death in 3 separate incidents.  Each time, God was merciful and spared them.  For that, my heart sings and I will give praise for the rest of my life for the great things God did for me and my family that week!
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
Ps. 126:3

Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in joy.
~ Ps. 126:5
  Verse 5 is well known and often quoted.  Matthew Henry notes:
There are tears which are themselves the seed that we must sow :  tears of sorrow for sin - our own and others; tears of sympathy with the afflicted church; and tears of tenderness in prayer and under the Word.
Job, Joseph, David, and many others had harvests of joy after sorrow.  Those that sow in the tears of godly sorrow shall reap in the joy of a sealed pardon and a settled peace. ~Matthew Henry

Though he go, though he go, and be weeping,      
While bearing some handfuls of seed;
He shall come, he shall come with bright singing,
While bearing his plentiful sheaves
~ Ben Tehillim, in "The Book of Psalms, in English Blank Verse," 1883

  • God is the rescuer of His people
  • The Lord does great things for His people, filling them with joy
  • I praise the Lord that He does hear the cries of His people and brings deliverance in His time
  • I praise the Lord that He does great things for His people - and am especially grateful for His mercy and lovingkindess shown to my family in December, 2005
  • I bless God that our tears are not wasted
     O Lord, You have done great things for me . . . over and over and over, filling my heart with joy.  Would you continue to show Yourself merciful to me and my family, pouring out Your blessings and lovingkindness on each one.  How I bless You that You bring deliverance to Your people . . . thank You, O God, that You are our hope. 
     Let me not dwell on the past, my Father, as though it held the best.  May I dare to believe that the best is yet to be, and that though You are filling my life with the rain of tears, every one of them will one day yield the wine of joy. (F.B. Meyer)
     In Jesus' name I pray ~ Amen

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