Monday, October 24, 2016
They That Sow in tears Shall Reap in Joy
A Song of degrees.
“When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.” Psalm 126:1-2)
After the nation of Israel split into Israel and Judah, several times Jerusalem was taken by their enemies, with the first time being during the reign of Solomon’s son. Each time they were freed, they were excited and sang praises to God for delivering them, stressing to those around them that they were protected by god. Each time it was like they were living a dream come true. Each time, they turned away from God after just a few years, convinced that they had had everything figured out. Eventually they wound up under attack again as a result..
“The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.” (Psalm 126:3-4)
When the situation became unbearable, Israel would remember how God had blessed them in the past, setting them free. Jerusalem was at this point again, realizing they needed God’s help to free them from their suffering like he had done so many times in the past. The psalmist asks that God would bless them again. They needed his blessings like the intermittent streams and arroyos of the south, which were dependent on rain and snowfall to provide water.
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” (Psalm 126:5-6)
God had repeatedly promised Israel that if they would brokenheartedly confess their sin and repent, changing their ways, he would deliver them from their enemies. The psalmist is reminding them again of that promise. If they wanted to be blessed like they hab been in the past, they would need to repent and obey God. Proverbs 11:18 reminds us, “The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.”
Unfortunately, these two verses are frequently pulled out of context and applied to “soul winning,” rather than to repentance and day to day obedience. “Soul winning” is not as substitute for obedience. It is only part of what God has commanded. Partial obedience is still disobedience.