(I am writing this on my phone, so apologies for weird text formatting and such. Further apologies for my spotty posting this week. Have been at a wonderful, but very time consuming continuing education event out of state.)
Psalm 126:1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. 2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” 3 The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced. 4 Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the watercourses in the Negeb. 5 May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. 6 Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.
DaThe first three verses give me the impression the writer is giving thanks for recent events. But then there’s verse four and it becomes clear this is not the case.
“Restore our fortunes, O Lord…”
Gods people are once again in a bind and need God’s salvation. The writer draws faith, not from his current situation, but from his memories of God’s faithfulness in the past. And then there are verses 5-6 which are beautiful.
“May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. 6 Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.”
When God’s salvation is at hand, tears can become like “seeds” – falling to the ground, but producing “sheaves” of joy. It’s a hopeful image in the midst of a reality with little visible hope.
Gracious God, help us to get through tough times to see your salvation. Let our tears be seeds of joy. Amen.