(6 verses, 0:32 to read)
What I am about to READ
- Thanksgiving and prayer from those who have returned from Babylonian exile.
- Thanksgiving for the great things already done (1-3)
- Entreating Him to restore their fortunes (4-6)
- The setting for this Psalm appears to be after the return of some of the exiles from Babylonian captivity (cf. Ezra and Nehemiah), but possibly before the full restoration and rebuilding of the temple.
- The exiles are so overwhelmed with joy that it feels like a dream to finally be returning home. This overwhelming joy brings forth laughter and shouts of joy. The LORD has truly done something beyond their wildest dreams – He is bringing them back to the promised land, the land which the Israelites had been removed from because of their wickedness. The LORD has done great things for them and they cannot help but be glad. See also the promises for those in captivity as recorded in Deuteronomy 30:1-10.
- The Negeb (or south country) is dry until the rains turn them into flowing streams. So too, God’s people cry out to Him to restore their fortunes. They are returning to land that has been ravaged by war and neglected. They call out to God to restore things to what they were before the exile.
- They trusted that though there were tears and sorrow, the LORD would turn their tears and weeping into shouts of joy.
- Like the Israelites the LORD has done great things for us and is doing great things for us. He has redeemed us through the blood of the Lamb. And like the Israelites we too often suffer and weep and mourn. First comes the cross, then comes glory. There is no other way for God’s people. No matter how much we mourn and weep today, we can be confident that one day the LORD will turn our weeping into shouts of joy – even if it’s not until our Lord returns.
- Paul Gerhardt:
Often God’s own children here
Sow in tears and sadness,
But at length the long’d-for year
Comes of joy and gladness;
For the reaping time appears,
All their labours after,
When are turn’d their grief and tears
Into joy and laughter.
Christian heart! courageously
All the griefs that pain thee
Cast behind thee joyfully,
More and more sustain thee
Let sweet consolation’s light;
Praise and honour give you
To the God of love and might,
He’ll help and relieve you.