Psalm 126:1-6 (ESV)

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,

we were like those who dream.

[2] Then our mouth was filled with laughter,

and our tongue with shouts of joy;

then they said among the nations,

“The Lord has done great things for them.”

[3] The Lord has done great things for us;

we are glad.

[4] Restore our fortunes, O Lord,

like streams in the Negeb!

[5] Those who sow in tears

shall reap with shouts of joy!

[6] He who goes out weeping,

bearing the seed for sowing,

shall come home with shouts of joy,

bringing his sheaves with him.

What a great Psalm to read at this time of year as we work at getting our gardens in and as those who farm for a living get their fields planted with the hope that this will be a good year and the crops healthy and the profits large.

The Psalmist looks back on better days for Israel and asks God to do now, in a time of distress, what He did for the people before. The basic message of the Psalm is that the God who has shown mercy in the past, can be trusted to do so again (See Psalm 85:1-6).

It is also a statement of faith. Verses 4-6 claim with confidence that though there are tears now, these tears are merely seed that will produce the fruit of joy.

Planting seed is hard work. Some of the seeds never germinate, some get eaten by birds before it ever sinks into the ground. Some are dead and will produce nothing. The work is back breaking and will be accompanied by much difficulty. The farmer is willing to do all this because he knows that the seed will produce food for him and others.

This is an obvious picture of the work of evangelizing the lost. The parable of the sower is hard not to bring into the picture painted here (Matthew 13:3-9, 19-23). If God sends us out with the Gospel it will bear fruit. He shall lose none of all that He gives to the Son (John 6:39). Doing God’s work in God’s way shall not return to Him fruitless. He is not sending us on a fool’s errand. Gospel work is fraught with tears and pain and there is much that tempts us to give up. But we need to remember that the Gospel is fruit bearing work. If we do good and do not faint we shall reap at the right time (Galatians 6:9-10).

Do not give up. Persevere. Trust in the God who cannot lie and who sees to it that the Word shall not return void but shall accomplish all that He intends it to (Isaiah 55:11). What a work to be involved in. We plant, another waters, and God gives the increase (I Corinthians 3:5-9).

But it would be wrong to see in this Psalm just a reference to giving the Gospel. There is much work to be done for God in the work that He gives us to do. And they all demand patient care and hard work and the hope that we serve a great God who cannot break His word to us. Let us do good to all, especially tose who belong to the household of faith for in due time we shall reap if we faint not. That text of Scripture comes with a warning as well as a promise. Do not be deceived. God is not mocked. Whatever a man sows is what he shall reap (Galatians 6:7-8). The point in all this is that God is faithful. He is faithful in His promises to give fruit to those who work hard for Him. He is faithful in keeping His promises to those who have worked against His ways.

Today, plant seed that has God’s promise upon it for great fruit because He Himself is in the work that you were faithfully performing. The joy that produces will be reward enough for oyu, even though God promises more.