When the Lord brought back the captive ones to Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with joyful shouting (vv. 1-2, NASB1995).
The Israelites had just returned from the Babylonian captivity. They could not believe their good fortune.
Those held captive in Babylon knew the history of their nation. They understood that Israel had been brought miraculously into the Promised Land. That their ancestors had rebelled time and again until they defiled the Promised Land with sacrifices to false idols.
God responded by removing them from their homeland.
Then God gave the land back to them…
Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting (v. 5).
The nations surrounding Israel were not pleased, but even they realized a miracle had occurred.
To give the OGV version of the end of verse 2 and verse 3…
The nations said, “The Lord has done great things for them.” To which Israel responded, “If you can explain this, then God did not do it. But you can’t explain this without realizing God has done great things.”
When you sit on your porch in the next few weeks, on a warm Fall day – read Psalm 126.
This Psalm falls under the category of what you sow, you shall reap. Then this Psalm adds grace. Now, the formula isn’t sin then judgment – but sin then repentance and finally grace!
A Psalm that I need to read over and over. How about you?
When we find ourselves guilty, with our bad decisions causing a captivity of our own making – think “Psalm 126 grace.”
The Promised Land waits for all of us!
In consideration of failure then redemption in both Israel and our lives now, the final verses of Psalm 126 are a masterpiece…
Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negeb! Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him (vv. 4-5, ESV).
God always considers His eternal covenants.
Jesus had been promised through the nation of Israel to all of us.
However, the Jews would have been so compromised by intermarriage and idol worship that neither a Jewish race nor a Jewish religion would have existed hundreds of years later.
There would have been no “House of David” into which our Savior was to be born. But after the Babylonian captivity, the Jews in Israel did not serve other gods again. They didn’t intermarry and they kept fidelity to their religion.
What the Angel of the Lord said 500 years later would have been impossible if God had not removed the Israelites from their land and then allowed their return in a sort of “restart” for the Jews and their land…
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord (Luke 2:11, NIV).
God allowed the Babylonian captivity so that He could keep His promises to us and to both ancient and modern Israel.
The promised Messiah!
While reading Psalm 126, let’s go ahead and personalize it; no matter our actions, His eternal promise of redemption still stands…
Both now and in eternity. As verse 3 concludes, “We are glad!”