"You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken
away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing
praises to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks
forever!" (Psalm 30.11-12)
Much of the Psalms move from an ordered
world to a life of chaos, a new reality of disorientation. But God
comes through and restores us, creating a new orientation. (You can
recognize a psalm of new orientation because it often states the problem and the resolution.)
To fully appreciate the new orientation, we need to remember what it was like to be in captivity. Two weeks ago, I talked about Psalm 137,
where the Israelites were taken to Babylon as exiles. (FYI: Chronicles
ends with a statement about the end of the captivity and Ezra picks up
the story and tells about the return of some of the Israelites, and
their work of rebuilding the Temple; Nehemiah continues the story after
that with the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem.)
It was perhaps during this time that Psalm 126 was written.
Find our way out of captivity …
… wherever you are, even in exile.
Be a witness to God’s power
… power to keep you while in exile; power to bring back from exile.
… Place your hope in God’s power to
restore. While all Israelites could have returned from Babylon, only about 50,000
did so. Many Israelites had grown accustomed
to life in Babylon and were content to stay. So when the opportunity
came to return they chose not to return.
Remember that we live in the “already/not yet” of God’s kingdom.
We have experienced God’s restoration (salvation), but we are also waiting for God’s complete restoration.
Keep planting (and hoping)!
God blesses faithful and persistent followers, in his time.
Remember that God does great things. I love the wording in the NKJV:
"He who continually
goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again
with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him" (Psalm 126.6). During
times of drought, planting seeds was accompanied with anxiety.
Perseverance pays in the long run. God will deliver and restore!
“Bring back our captivity … as streams …”: The Negev was the area to the far south of Israel; it was desert-like.
At times, there would be seasons of rain that leave pools of water and
rivers of flowing water. This area tended to be extremely dry until the
winter rains came and renewed their flow. This is a reminder of God’s
Whatever you’re going through, know that you will again find joy. Be patient. God’s great harvest of joy is coming!
God has ever done, He can do now. Anything God has ever done anywhere,
He can do here. Anything God has ever done for anyone, He can do for
you.” (A.W. Tozer)
Be “confident of this, that he who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”