Psalm 126 – Holman Christian Standard Bible
Zion’s Restoration. A song of ascents.
- When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.
- Our mouths were filled with laughter then, and our tongues with shouts of joy. Then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”
- The LORD had done great things for us; we were joyful.
- Restore our fortunes, LORD, like watercourses in the Negev.
- Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy.
- Though one goes along weeping, carrying the bag of seed, he will surely come back with shouts of joy, carrying his sheaves.
This psalm is written from the perspective of someone “in between.” Boy, am I ever there right now. The first three verses are looking back to a time period of great blessings and the last three are looking forward to experiencing those things again. It makes me think of a time several years ago when God showered my family with a HUGE blessing in the area of our finances. My husband and I were able to get jobs that covered our needs, and God worked to remove us out from under a large debt that we should never have had in the first place. It really was too good to be true and it did feel like a dream. And the only way in the world we escaped unscathed was because God worked in our circumstances.
We are currently working on getting rid of the remainder of our debt, so I wrote my Psalm 126 specifically addressing this issue. I normally put my psalm at the end of each entry, but it doesn’t really apply to the rest of what I want to say, so I will go ahead and stick it in here.
My Psalm 126:
When the LORD restored our finances, it seemed to good to be true. We could hardly believe it! We rejoiced; we gave thanks; we cried tears of joy. All our family and friends celebrated with us saying, “You have been blessed!” God DID bless us. He worked a miracle in our finances, enabling us to purchase a home sooner than we anticipated.
Work in our finances again, LORD. Give us wisdom and the desire to get out of bondage to creditors. Keep the Enemy out of our pockets. Reward our hard work and sacrifice so that we can be free from the burden of debt and rejoice when that yoke is broken. Though we are living frugally now, we will one day be free and able to enjoy the fruits of our labor, and be able to share it with others more abundantly.
On day two of this psalm’s study Beth states:
Changes of seasons in our lives or moving on with God can come with . . . ferocity. Sometimes we find ourselves on the next step, unsure how we got there. Other times we fight with everything we’ve got to get there. We must be willing to fight. The more Satan sees something crucial on that next step, the more he will fight you.
I have experienced both of these scenarios. Right now I believe I am on the verge of another moment of great blessing. It kind of took me by surprise, but now that I have this vision, I will definitely fight to get to that next step. Like the Israelites, I have been a sojourner in one area of my life for the past several years. I am incredibly grateful for this pit stop, because it has brought comfort and blessings of its own, but lately have been feeling more than a little restless. I have lingered here longer than I anticipated – and longer than I was meant to. I know that my journey is not complete and that I am not meant to put down roots and dwell were I am. It is time to continue the journey and move on. God has graced me with enough discomfort lately to make that ABUNDANTLY clear.
I am still amazed at how God has opened up His Word to me in these weeks since this study started. As I have said before, I have prayed daily for greater insights into the Scripture as I do my studying for this class, and also on my own. Our pastor has been doing a study in the book of Matthew for the past several weeks. A few Sundays ago the lesson was on the Parable of the Sower. Guess what is discussed in this Psalms of Ascent lesson? The Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23). I still have my notes from that sermon. The last thing I wrote down was “It doesn’t count unless it bears fruit.”
For those not familiar with this parable, the “seed” is the Word of the Kingdom of God. Jesus discusses four types of soil on which seed fell. The “soil” represents different people who hear the Word.
- Unprepared ground – Seed that falls here does not produce a crop because Satan comes and takes the Word out of their hearts. It represents the lost that have rejected the Word.
- Rocky ground – Seed that falls here does not produce a crop because the people fall away during times of temptation. In Jesus’ explanation of the parable He says, “this is he who hears the Word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a little while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the Word, immediately he stumbles.” It represents people who claim to believe in Christ, but turn away when faced with difficult circumstances, so their faith was not real.
- Thorny ground – Seed that falls here does not produce a crop because the people are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and they become unfruitful. It represents people who have accepted Christ, but get so bogged down with the things of this life that they lose their Kingdom focus.
- Good ground – Seed that falls here DOES produce a crop because the people heard the Word with good heart, kept it, and bore fruit with patience. It represents true believers, because the sign of a true believer and follower of Christ is the bearing of fruit. John 15:1-2 says, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” Verse 8 then says, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
I confess that the majority of my Christian life has been spent as thorny ground. I was not producing any fruit because I wasn’t doing anything for God. I have never turned away from God, but I got majorly distracted by life and all the circumstances that surround it. I kept telling myself that I would get more involved in my church or my community when our finances got in order, or when we got out of debt, or when I got a different job that didn’t take up so much of my time, or when my child was older, or when pigs fly. I let my circumstances dictate my level of involvement in Kingdom work. I had heard this parable preached over and over, and never really applied it to me until this sermon. Then Beth Moore put it back in front of me a couple of weeks later. Maybe God was trying to tell me something? Would I have ears to hear it?
It is hard to explain the change that has gone on inside of me these past few weeks. I want God to move in my life now more than I have ever wanted Him to before. I want to know God more now than I have ever wanted to know Him before. I realized that moving closer to God required moving FOR Him. I won’t get a closer relationship with God sitting in my recliner waiting for Him to show up. I have to get up and work for His Kingdom. I have to use my talents and abilities to reach others with the Kingdom message. In order to do that, I have to know what my talents and abilities are, then find a way to put them to use for Him.
- I am a geek. lol Therefore, I now have a blog which focuses on my journey to a closer relationship with God. Seemed like a natural thing to do. Hopefully someone will one day stumble upon it and get some sort of affirmation or blessing. That thought is extremely humbling and also terrifying.
- I am a geek. 😉 Therefore, I have volunteered to be a part of the media ministry at my church. My first Sunday is coming up, and I am more than a little nervous since my church believes in “hands-on-training.” lol As long as I am not the person responsible for screwing up the powerpoint slides, I will be okay. I hope.
The point is that God has given each of us talents and abilities to USE FOR HIM, not just ourselves. These are the things we use to sow the seed (His Word). Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” We can’t receive a harvest from God if we never get out and sow some seed. I have been a passive Christian WAY too long. It is time to get my hands dirty and work for my Master.