1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. 2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs 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 are filled with joy. 4 Restore our fortunes,[c] Lord, like streams in the Negev. 5 Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. 6 Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.
This psalm reflects on how the Israelite’s had come out of exile. They remember how God restored them to their home city – it was amazing, they couldn’t believe it. Their hearts were filled with joy and laughter. As I read this Psalm, I am reminded of how I feel when God acts on my behalf. My heart is filled with gladness and my mouth with joy because He has done amazing things for me too. I have come to know that “You can do anything!”
The psalm continues. The Israelite’s are out of exile but they are facing hardship again. They are asking – praying – for the Lord to restore them again. Some of my prayers are the same: Lord, help. But sometimes these answers are slow in coming – and the waiting can be hard. As I read this psalm, I find that the Israelite’s are not waiting in dismay. They know there are tears now, but they also know they will reap a harvest. It reminds me of Habakkuk 2:3 which says “though it tarry, wait for it”. They don’t focus on the hardship but they actively remind themselves of what God has done previously: “The Lord has done great things for us (past tense), and we are filled with joy (present tense)” (v3 NIV). May I actively remind myself of the same.
Lord, You are Mighty and Sovereign, the maker of heaven and earth, and You are mindful of us. I thank you that You hear our prayers and act on our behalf. You are the stream in the desert, You bring me hope. May Your name be blessed!
Written by Gab Martin