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 tongues with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
3 The LORD has done great things for us,
we are glad.
4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like streams in the Negeb!
5 Those who sow in tears
shall reap with shouts of joy!
6 He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seeds for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.
(Translated version, original article written in Chinese by Pastor Mickey Hsiao)
[Theme] The Lord has done great things
It is apparent that this poem describes the situation of the Israelis after their returning from captivity. The southern kingdom of Judah was once taken into captivity by the Babylonians. It was not until the Persian king Cyrus conquered Babylon that they were allowed to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. They had been taken into captivity for 70 years. During such a long period of time, the Israelis may have wondered whether they would be able to return to Jerusalem or not.
It was until God brought the exiled people back to Zion that each of them, as described by the poet, felt like their dreams have come true, with great joy in their hearts. They became God’s witnesses! Even the Gentiles said: The Lord has done great things for them! At this time, they remembered to pray persistently to God so that more of their people could return, a complete revival. Let the people who belong to God all return to Jerusalem, just like a long dry river bed, filled with abundant river water again!
In addition to patiently asking and praying, we have seen that the poet also emphasizes man’s responsibility to pay the price and sow the seed in tears. Those who have hope and faith that God will bless them, will reap with joy and come back joyfully with their sheaves.
What is the price for you to sow seeds in tears?
No matter what kind of work it is, Christians are in God’s hands and are blessed by God and shall strive to do God’s work. Farmers know that to have a good harvest, they need to work hard to sow, cultivate, irrigate, and fertilize, then wait for God to let the crops grow. We, who follow God, must also work hard to put on our own strength, offer our prayers, and serve God zealously; Then, we can look up to God by faith and wait for the great things that He will accomplish for us. In this way, we will become the witness of the Lord in front of brothers, sisters and friends of seekers.
Lord, you are God who can accomplish great things, who enabled the Jews to return from captivity. Once again, I will petition to you my long-awaited needs, with prayers for your response and I am willing to sow in tears. May the Lord reward me according to your grace and let me taste the joy of harvest!
Psalm 126:5-6 Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seeds for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.