When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.
The Israelites had great struggle and much to cry about. God Himself sent them into exile, away from the Promised Land. Now they were foreigners far from home.
There came a day, though, when God restored Israel. He brought them back! The judgment was over. The wasted years were not wasted because God had accomplished His purpose in His people.
Like streams in the desert, restore our fortunes, Lord.
The people of God were in that desert place and that is when God did great things for them again.
Joy is the compelling quality, even the overpowering emotion, in this ‘Psalm of Ascent.’ God’s people go out with nothing but tears and they come back with an abundance of great joy.
The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy.
This grace from God is described three times in this short Psalm as being ‘songs of joy.’ There will be singing! There will be rejoicing in song, for God has done great things for us.
Broken hearts are healed by God and result in our joyful songs. Let’s sing, people!
Father, through Your kindness and awesome power You heal broken hearts. Please do so for me and all of Your people. Help me see the desert as a staging ground for Your abundant joy… and thank You for the songs of joy I have to sing! I live for You today.