1. Last Thursday we were reminded that there is "a time to weep" and "a time to mourn" (Ecclesiastes 3:4).
a. We remembered what happened on September 11, 2001.
b. We also lost a dear friend unexpectedly.
2. Today, as we observe the 3rd anniversary of the congregation, we are reminded that there is also a time
to "rejoice and be glad" (Psalm 118:24).
3. In our lesson we are concentrating on the message presented in Psalm 126.
4. To properly understand this psalm we must be mindful of . . .
I. THE HISTORICAL SETTING
A. In 606 BC, the Babylonians took control of Judah, the southern kingdom.
B. In 586 BC, the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 36:17-21).
C. Psalm 137:1 shows how the Jews felt while they were in Babylon.
D. (2 Chronicles 36:22-23) The Persians conquered Babylon and allowed the Jews who so desired to
return to Jerusalem.
E. Several psalms were written after the captivity ended (ex.: Psalm 85).
F. Psalm 126 expresses the feelings of the Jews after they were released from captivity.
II. PSALM 126
A. (vs.1-3) The Jews reflected upon their release from captivity.
1. (vs.1a) The time element is revealed -- "when the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion."
2. How the Jews felt:
a. (vs.1b) "We were like them that dream."
b. (vs.2a) They laughed.
c. (vs.2b) They sang.
d. (vs.3b) They were glad.
3. God was praised for what He had done.
a. (vs.3a) The Jews said, "The Lord hath done great things for us."
b. (vs.2c) Heathens said, "The Lord hath done great things for them."
4. Years earlier,:
a. Solomon had made a request of God on behalf of his people when he dedicated the temple
(2 Chronicles 6:24-31)
b. God granted Solomon's request (2 Chronicles 7:12-14).
5. As the Jews reflected upon their release from captivity, they acknowledged God's greatness, and
they experienced great joy.
B. (vs.4-6) The Jews made an additional request of God.
1. (vs.4a) The request: "Turn again our captivity, O Lord."
a. When the Jews returned to Jerusalem, they found devastation, the land needed to be planted,
and the land needed rain.
b. (vs.4b) They asked God to return their captivity "as the streams in the south."
2. (vs.5-6) The Jews expected to rejoice again.
a. They might have to sow in tears (vs.5a, 6a).
b. However, they were confident they would reap in joy (vs.5b, 6b).
3. As the Jews asked God to bless their land, they were confident He would do so.
1. Let us gain a new appreciation for the statement in Psalm126:3.
2. Let us ask God to bless our efforts to sow His seed so we can bring in the sheaves and glorify Him.
3. Ephesians 3:20-21