When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream! (v. 1, NLT)
Scripture often has layers of meaning. Psalm 126 teaches us about “returning.”
The first layer in Psalm 126 is the return of the Jews to Israel after their Babylonian captivity, the second layer is a prophetic foretelling of the return of the Jews to Israel after two thousand years of being scattered throughout the world, and the third layer is personal encouragement about our return to Jesus!
We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy (v. 2).
When I returned to the Lord at age 18 after wandering from the faith at age 13, I was filled with peace, and so excited that the Lord had delivered me from drugs that I couldn’t help telling my story.
Many of those who listened to my story became followers of Jesus as well.
And the other nations said, “What amazing things the Lord has done for them” (v. 2).
Understanding what God had done for them in their return from captivity, the Israelites were laughing, but the nations surrounding Israel (who hated them) could only shake their heads in amazement.
On May 14, 1948, Israel declared itself a nation again.
On that same day, President Harry Truman recognized Israel as a sovereign state. President Truman had initial doubts about siding with Israel but agreed to recognize Israel as a new land – and again the world was amazed.
Let’s review: Psalm 126 describes the return of Israel from captivity. This Psalm prophecies an end-times return of the Jews to the Holy Land. The promise of deliverance from evil is inferred in this Psalm to all who would follow Jesus.
Wow! Pause right now and turn to page 536 in your Bible and read Psalm 126 in its entirety (Oops! Sorry, it’s page 536 in my Bible.).
Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy! (v. 3)
The word “amazing” is an apt description for returning to the Lord. When Israel returned (twice) and when we return (most of us stumble more than twice) – God doesn’t continue to chastise us.
As the Psalmist requests …
Restore our fortunes, Lord, as streams renew the desert (v. 4).
Modern Israel is an example of this fortune. The land before 1948 had wasted away to dry and dusty with little agriculture. Today, the land abundantly overflows with food and prosperity.
Israel is now a haven for Jewish people returning from around the world.
I experienced overwhelming blessing when I returned to Jesus. I’m sure this is your testimony as well.
It hasn’t been easy for Israel either after the Babylonian captivity or after 1948 – both times the nation struggled and fought wars. Life continues with difficulties for us after we decide to serve Jesus fully.
But worth it!
Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy (v. 5).
Psalm 126 repeats itself with its concluding verses.
Twice this Psalm emphasizes that after our return there is still work to be done and that we will struggle. The joy comes not from an absence of trials but from the realization that God works all things together for the good.
Not only in verse 5 but also in verse 6 – we find purposeful joy.
They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest (v. 6).
Both verses describe Israel today, my life too, and hopefully your walk with Jesus. We returned, we struggle, but we find joy.