Summary: The Psalmist proclaims they looked back on their Captivity and they did not cry or complain they thought about how many times in the past God had brought them through. Based upon a Memory they moved from Prayer to Praise
TITLE: THE LORD HAS DONE GREAT THINGS FOR US
SCRIPTURE: PSALM 126
This Psalm, at first glance, appears perfect for this Sunday Morning message before Thanksgiving. What better holiday than the feast of pumpkin and sweet potato pie to read of shouts of joy and mouths full of laughter? What a great time of year to say, “THE LORD HAS DONE GREAT THINGS FOR US!” and to rejoice. Indeed, it is a great time of year for this, and for many of us it will be easy to give Praise to God for all that has done for us.
After a closer examination of this text, we find this was not the case. This Psalm was written not for a time of joy, but at a time when the only thing they had going for them was the memory of joy.
• It was written in a time of sowing seeds in Sorrow
• It was written in a time of weeping for all that has been lost
It was written long after the Israelites had been joyfully reunited with their homeland, and things had gone sour once again.
• It was written when the waters of wealth and blessings seemed to have dried up like DUSTY RIVERBEDS
• It was written in a time of Floods and Disasters
• It was written in a time of renewed violence in Israel
• It was written in a time of Economic Uncertainty and Political Unrest like in our nation
• It was written in a time of Harvesting what’s left of a drought-ridden field
This is a psalm of hope in what is likely to be only the beginning of winter. From where does this Hope come? In this Psalm, the hope does not come from the Hills — that’s PSALM 121.
• Rather, in this Psalm, it comes from Memory
• It comes from the recalling of the stories of their ancestors, whose faith brought them through one storm after another only to experience blessing and renewal once again
• It comes from faith in the cycle of life that teaches us that, even when we feel far from our God, it is only a matter of time before we will be reunited
• It comes from the belief that Trouble does not last always
• It comes from the belief that Joy comes in the morning
• It comes from the foolish but somehow trustworthy faith that, with God, you can sow seeds in the tears of winter - and reap a joyful harvest in the spring
I am not a farmer nor raised in the Country, but I have sense enough to know Winter is not the season for sowing seeds. Winter is a time of dormancy, where plants are recycling over but not growing comes with the falling temperatures and reduced day light that winter brings. But this Dormancy is much more than a period of suspending animation.
• It's part Survival Mechanism for plants
• It’s part housekeeping exercise
• All meant to help plants rejuvenate for warmer days ahead
Winter months is a season for Reaping, and, as our culture tells us, you reap what you sow.
• If you’ve been good, you get a lot of FOOD - TOYS - OR GIFTS
• If not, your crops are dry - your stocking will be full of coal - your plate will be empty
• The winter harvest is where you find out how you’ve been Judged
That might be what our culture tells us, and what advertisements work very hard to make us believe, but it is not what this Psalm suggests.
• This is a Psalm that tells us to go ahead and plant seeds in the Winter
• This is a Psalm that tells us to journey on, no matter what, because the harvest will be great
• Joy will come
• Laughter will bubble out
• Sometime, somehow, it will happen again
We know this because it has happened before, and we walk in the faith that our God will lead us there again. this psalm is a memory turned into prayer. I want you to think about that for a moment. It's a memory turned into prayer. You know what we often do - the memory is there even if it's faded in its vividness -- the memory is there -- and it turns us to nostalgia or to sentiment - but we don't let it take us all the way to prayer.
We like to sing that Song – but it is just a song to us because we don’t move from Memory to Prayer. You know the song we sing every now and then –
LOOK WHERE THE LORD HAS BROUGHT US FROM
HE HAS BROUGHT US OUT OF THE DARKNESS INTO THE MARVELOUS LIGHT