Preparation Day -3 (6/5) Psalm 126
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, 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.
Thoughts: Jerusalem had been burned. Its temple had been destroyed. The young men, old people, children, even the dogs had been killed. The walls had been torn down and all but the poorest were taken into exile in another land when the Babylonians invaded in 586 B.C. Seventy years later the exiles were back. They had first rebuilt the temple (though smaller), and then rebuilt the wall under Nehemiah. No one would have guessed it would happen- except the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah said it would. Clearly it was the Lord who helped them. So now the pilgrim is asking God to help them on their journey. It is a psalm anticipating that there will be misfortune and problems on the journey. But it is a prayer that God, who could rebuild the devastated Jerusalem would rebuild them. God can make water come from a rock in the desert of Negev. So God can restore us and help us.
Prayer: Lord, help us to climb on the bumps before us. Give us grace to believe in your restorative power.
Personal: Today, my daughter Rebekah is getting married to Jay Gilliam. They are both going to Israel with us on their honeymoon. They are really brave to go with their parents, church members and a bus load of people on their honeymoon- but they love the Lord and want to explore the holy sites.
Other thought: One of the reasons Israel is so protective of their country is that they have been in four+ wars since 1948. They remember the times their country was destroyed by Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians-- they remember Massada. When they have had their fortunes restored (as in this Psalm), they want to be good stewards of this blessing.