PSALMS 126:4-6: “Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negeb! Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: Have you ever felt like you were a farmer sowing seeds in a barren desert? Your efforts seemed senseless. The chances of bringing forth a harvest seemed unlikely. You were being faithful to the Lord where you were, but your days were filled with struggle, your nights were bathed in tears. Would your efforts, your faithfulness, ever be rewarded?
Think about how the Israelites felt as they dwelt for 70 years as captives in a foreign land. They were told by the prophets to build homes and plant fields, for their time of sojourning would be long. In obedience they did just that. Yet their hearts yearned for Jerusalem, their souls yearned for the sweet fellowship they had enjoyed in the Temple of God. Then something miraculous happened. Like the beginning of rain in the Negeb desert, a slow stream of God’s people were allowed to return to Jerusalem under the decree of Cyrus, King of Persia. They looked upon this small miracle and cried out to the Lord – Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the streams in Negeb!”
A rainstorm in the desert is a marvelous thing. It takes a dry and barren land and turns it into rivers and springs. These rivers and springs transform seemingly dead plants into a blossoming valley of beautiful flowers. Nothing on the land could bring about this change. It was the intervention from heaven that brings this wonderful transformation. The encouragement of the Psalmist is to remember that the seed we sow in tears – will always produce a harvest of joy, for those who wait upon and trust in the Lord.
God is faithful. He allows us to walk through the wilderness in our lives to develop both faith and character. The very tears that we shed in the process actually become the very water that brings forth the harvest. There is not one tear we shed, not one prayer we utter, that is ever forgotten by our Heavenly Father.
“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me.” (Psalm 56:8-9 ESV)
“For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:10-12 ESV)
“For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:8-9 ESV)
Lord, this morning, let me remember Your faithfulness. If I find myself in the desert, let me sow seeds in faithfulness and water them with my tears. You will not forget my labor. You will not neglect my prayers. You will turn my weeping into shouts of joy. My empty arms will be filled with bundles of the harvest of Your Grace in my life. You will always lead me through dry arid places and into the springs of Your purpose and blessing. Give me grace to not grow weary as I await Your promised harvest. Holy Spirit, bring rivers of life to the desert areas of my life and heart. Let the rivers of life produce a bountiful harvest of Your Fruit in my life. In Jesus Name!