Psalm 126(125) : 1 - 6 ( NRSV )

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.(1)
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
"The Lord has done great things for them."(2)
The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.(3)
Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like the watercourses in the Negeb.1(4)
May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.(5)
Those who go out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
carrying their sheaves.(6)

Comment

     A song of thanksgiving. The speaker reviews earlier trouble, and acknowledges that God has heard, acted, and overcome the trouble. The trouble is described as life-threatening (v.3). The speaker prayed to YHWH and asked for deliverance from the trouble (v.4) and YHWH heard and acted (vv.2-3).
     As a consequence the speaker resolved to trust YHWH with all future life. To "love YHWH" (v.1), means to acknowledge YHWH's rule and to submit to YHWH's commandments. To "call on YHWH" means to entrust all future life, whatever the need or trouble, to YHWH's care. Reflecting on a past deliverance, the speaker resolves to keep loyal to YHWH into the future, whatever may come along!
 
footnotes:
Psalm 126 A lament probably sung shortly after Israel's return from exile. The people rejoice that they are in Zion (vv.1-3) but mere presence in the holy city is not enough; they must pray for the prosperity and the fertility of the land (v.4). The last verses are probably an oracle of promise: the painful work of sowing will be crowned with life (vv.:5-6).
1. [ v.4 ] Like the watercourses in the Negeb: The psalmist prays for rain in such abundance that the dry riverbeds will run.


 

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