Sunday, 27 August 2023
Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy. -Psalm 126:5
Psalm 126 is one of expectancy, looking back to the Lord’s great deliverance and looking forward to His doing it again! Coming back to their homeland after years of captivity was like a dream and it had brought forth exultant joy. There is yet another crisis situation that they experience that demands God’s mighty move which they plead before Him, full of hope.
There is a contrast between two halves of the Psalm, Verses 1-3 and Verses 4-6.
I. Joy Experienced
The first thee verses speak of the elation they felt in returning to their homeland after years of despair and hopelessness. At one time, it seemed an impossibility, though they longed for it—Psalm 137 reflects the captive mood as they sat and wept thinking of Zion. Ps. 137:4 says, “How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land?” But now it was like a dream come true as their mouths were filled with laughter and their tongues with songs of joy! The proclaimed: “The LORD has done great things for us...” (Ps.126:3). The nations exclaimed: “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Almighty had restored the fortunes of His people.
II. Joy Expected
The second half of the Psalm starts with pleading with God to again restore their fortunes which maybe a second return from exile of those that still remained there. The Negev was a parched land most of the year but torrential rain would bring in gushing water that would flood the area like a running stream. The Psalmist dreams of a similar torrent of returning exiles to the land, with the Lord’s mighty move on their behalf. For now they would soak their dry and dreary state with tearful prayers. Hence the confident declaration: Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy! (V.5).
God has ingrained in nature the principle of sowing and reaping. Galatians 6:7 says you will reap what you sow! A farmer is well aware of the potential of good seed that can bring in a good and bountiful harvest. Yet he has to practise patience! Apostle James writes of the farmer who waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the right rains (James 5:7). The Psalmist here paints the picture of a sower toiling (in the not-so- conducive conditions for planting), yet carrying seeds in his hand and weeping for God’s mercy to bring forth a good yield. And surely he is blessed as he comes back with joy bringing in the sheaves at the harvest! What a picture of hope, trust and confidence in a God who is able to not just meet his need but supply him joy at the unexpected harvest!!
Dear brothers and sisters, as we meditate on the Psalm today, maybe many of you are going through your dry season, parched and waiting for God’s refreshing rain to revive you, may you hope in Him who can fill you with joy again. Look back and reflect on the umpteen times the LORD showed up to deliver and fill your mouth with songs of joy. Now bring your draught situation before Him and soak it with tears and prayer, sowing the seeds of hope and the promises of His Word, believing that through Christ it will be yes and amen for the glory of His name! Go on your knees and plead with Him to do it again! Let your hearts and mouths then bring forth songs of joy at the bountiful harvest of answered prayer!
To Declare: The LORD has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy. (Psalm 126:3)
Listen: 'Do it again'