When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, it was as if we were dreaming.
Then our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with joyful songs. Then the nations said, “The Lord has done spectacular things for them.”
The Lord has done spectacular things for us. We are overjoyed. [vss 1-3]
Restore our fortunes, O Lord, as you restore streams ⌊to dry riverbeds⌋ in the Negev.
Those who cry while they plant will joyfully sing while they harvest.
The person who goes out weeping, carrying his bag of seed, will come home singing, carrying his bundles of grain. [vss 4-6]
A song for going up to worship. (Psalms 126:1-6 GW)
Many words are connected to the idea of restoration but joy is what stands out to me. It isn't an emotion but a state of being.
Joy is far more than happiness. It's deeper than any pleasant emotion. It fills the mind and heart of a person who may even sense it in a physical way. The joy of restoration is almost indescribable except by song.
My wife is not a talker nor overtly expressive but she's a person of joy. I often hear her humming a praise song and singing along with a tune on the radio. Joy just bubbles out of her.
Psalm 126 is included in the Song of Ascents (Psalms 120-134), a group of psalms sung during annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem. It was written after the seventy-year exile and restoration of Israel to their homeland.
Here's how this joy of restoration was described—
...It was as if we were dreaming. Then our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with joyful songs. (Psa 126:1-2 GW)
Also, notice the pathway to this restoration expressed at the end of this psalm—
Those who cry while they plant will joyfully sing while they harvest. The person who goes out weeping, carrying his bag of seed, will come home singing, carrying his bundles of grain. (vss 5-6)
Brokenness and grief aren't pathways we would choose but are what preceded this restoration.
The people of Israel needed to grieve over their sin of rebellion and turn to the Lord in prayer. God promised restoration to Israel when they turned to Him in repentance.
This is true for us as individual believers. We need to come to a place of brokenness because of our need for restoration before restoration takes place.
Are you going through a time of brokenness or grief?
Have you turned your heart fully to the Lord?
We experience the fullness of God's joy when we turn to Him in true repentance.
Would you like a free study guide for your study of Psalms?
I won't cover all 150 Psalms, but do selective devotionals through the rest of Psalms.
So if I skip one that you like... let me know and I'll try to cover it!